Building the Future of Customer Support with MetaMask Activity
MetaMask's cutting-edge Support tool, winner of an internal hackathon, provides contextual help, education and information to users, and gives Support agents the information they need to assist those users.
MetaMask's new Support tool, MetaMask Activity.
When I talk to people who aren’t “into crypto”, there’s a clear theme: “It’s really complicated; I don’t understand; there’s so much, I wouldn’t know where to start.”
It’s true, there is a lot of complexity in decentralized ledger technologies. They are a framework through which we can build extremely powerful and fine-tuned collaborative systems, and all that detail and structure is public. Systems this complex exist all around us, and we interact with them every day. But we’re not used to seeing their bones and veins; we’re used to being provided with a simplified version, “the part that concerns us”.
Complexity is one thing; the user experience of something being complicated is a completely different matter. It is incumbent upon those building the interactive tools and experiences of any system to take the complex, and make it make sense.
The process of understanding enough to even interact with public blockchain networks often requires reading arcane, technical texts and absorbing abstract mathematical concepts. With a learning curve this steep, those of us trying to make this technology make sense to users find ourselves in the position of providing education and training as often as actual technical support. As any teacher can tell you, that’s not easy, and it’s not quick.
Let’s take a step back, though: these new technologies offer an incredible opportunity from the perspective of support and privacy. We have, already, a database of all the actions a user has taken on any of their accounts, actions which can be recognized and categorized using software, saving countless hours of manual lookup on the part of the Support agent and the customer.
What’s more, we can have access to this information without the customer ever providing us with their name or their email address; the only thing we need is their public account address.
With this, we can provide live, contextual support for their specific issue while preserving their anonymity. We have no access to, authority or permissions over their accounts; we get only the information we need, and the power stays with the customer. This is the vision we have of the future of customer support which we have begun to build.
A user should not have to sacrifice their privacy simply to have their tech work properly, or to understand how to use it; nor should they sacrifice at the level of user experience. With the tools we have, we can provide contextually-driven information not only on par with traditional infrastructure, but superior to it.
The beginning to all this–the first step in this transformation of the power dynamics between customer and provider–is MetaMask Activity.
All MetaMask Activity needs to work is a public account address, entered either by typing it, copy-pasting it, or authenticating using MetaMask.
The user is then presented with a readout of the transaction history of the account in question. Going much farther than the standard “ledger-style” account readout, the app categorizes the transaction type and provides the user with information specific to the type of transaction they performed.
For example, the common DeFi flow of approving a DEX to have access to your tokens, then swapping with that token:
Or another favorite, minting NFTs:
Notice that failed transaction, showing up in red.
Off the top of my head, it looks like the user smashed that “mint” button twice in a row, and only one transaction went through. But the user doesn’t have to take my word for it; they can click through to the article, or copy-paste the transaction hash (its unique ID) and search for more details on Etherscan:
And yes, ERC-1155 tokens are supported:
…as well as a wide variety of ERC-20 tokens:
MetaMask Activity has an additional tool which helps users chase down transactions that go wrong. Transactions that fail, get stuck, or are pending for long periods of time:
This initial version of MetaMask Activity offers this functionality on Ethereum Mainnet, and it sets the stage for functionality that can be built on top of it: address-authenticated, transaction-specific Support chat; multi-chain analysis; the potential for more advanced features like dapp permissions management and assisted account migration tools.
The idea for MetaMask Activity originated in a conversation between a Help Desk team manager, a product manager on our team, and myself, a technical writer. Our Support agents were spending massive amounts of time helping customers find, and understand how to look at, their own transactions on the blockchain; both the customers and the Support teams desperately needed a tool to help them.
What took this concept to the next level was ConsenSys’ internal hackathon, in the spring of 2022. A team of five volunteered to build it, from all over the world, and all over the company: engineers, a marketer, a project manager, and myself.
Over the course of a work week, we built not only a functional proof of concept of this application, but were able to communicate the ways that it would improve the working conditions of Support agents, reduce the average time to resolution of Support tickets, and empower users to self-solve and learn about this technology. Additionally, it would be a first-of-its-kind application showing the benefits of open blockchain networks for something as normal and day-to-day as customer support.
Our project won that hackathon, and ConsenSys stood by one of its core values of “embracing innovation” by funding the project. A little less than a year later, that same project manager and the team that built the application are delivering this product to MetaMask users.
We hope that MetaMask Activity gives you some insight into what’s going on with your accounts and transactions, and how this technology works. We’re very much focused on the long-term potential of this product, and remember: if you get stuck, we’re only a few clicks away.
Try it out here: activity.metmask.io
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