Behind the Scenes with JW Support

Having issues with your video product? We’re here for you.

Hi, my name is Todd Grunow and I am the Director of the Technical Support team here at JW Player. Last month marked my fourth year here at JW, and while you might recognize my name from an e-mail thread or forum post, I figured it was about time for me to step away from the Support queue to write a few words about our team’s mission and give you a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes here at JW Support.

Above all, our team’s mission is to help everyone take better advantage of all that JW Player products have to offer. We offer more than just a Javascript player! We have native Android and iOS SDKs, we transcode and host your videos, and we have some amazing new Recommendations and Analytics products as well.

We realize that you and your team are excited to be building the next great thing for your viewers, and the last thing you want to do is run into a problem where you need technical support. We get it. It’s an occupational hazard, I guess. People like talking to us about how to fix their problems or how to make more money from their videos, but they also wish they never had to reach out in the first place…

 

 

We’re builders and coders also, and we understand that frustration of getting stuck. That is why we try to reply to every e-mail promptly and with as much detail as possible (links to documentation, test pages, code examples, etc.) to get you back on your way. We also want to have as much documentation as possible and other player tools so you can test out your content or ad tags right away, because no matter how fast we can reply to your e-mail, it is infinitely faster to not have to ask your question in a support case in the first place, right?

And how many cases do we get? On average, we see about 250 new cases per week, which is not too many considering that our player is used on more than 400,000 domains around the world and plays 10 billion videos each month.

The first thing we do after reading though your support case is try to reproduce the issue. We want to see the problem happening first and then we can figure out why it is happening. Usually this leads to one of four outcomes:

  1. Something in your player code is not quite right. We will send a code example and demonstrate that the player is working as expected with the correct code or player settings.
  2. There might be a better player event handler, etc., to get what you need out of the player. We will reply with an explanation and some links to documentation and code examples.
  3. You have found a bug in the player. We will create a barebones test page for our Level 2 engineers and escalate to them for resolution.
  4. What you are trying to do is not built-in functionality in our player. We will give suggestions on what is possible in the short term and then submit a feature request to our product manager for consideration.

We’re taking more strides towards our team’s mission to help everyone get the most out of their JW Player products, including:

  • A Support site makeover and updated documentation. There are many resources you’ll find helpful, and I hope you like the new design.
  • A new case submission form in your JW Dashboard that helps narrow down your issue and gives suggestions for the most likely causes (click on the Submit a Case button to try it out)
  • Upcoming improved tools to help you troubleshoot your videos or ad tags

Most importantly, I want to start conversations outside of just the narrow focus of an individual Support case. My team and I are going to write more blog posts covering fun topics like building better test pages, troubleshooting ads, and explaining why the first four seconds of your video might look fuzzy. We want to share things we’re seeing across the online video and video ads space so we can all learn together.

I also want to hear from you directly. How is my team doing? How can we do better? Send me an e-mail to todd@jwplayer.com. I promise I will pull myself out of the Support queue long enough to send a note back :-)

 

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