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Thoughts from Support Group: The Truth about Bug Reporting

We had a fantastic time last week at Support Group talking with Kailee Urban about her experience with reporting bugs. Her insights really opened up some discussions about why bug reporting is so crucial to great customer support. For Kailee, bug reporting isn’t just part of what she does; it’s the foundation of support. Yes, it’s that important. Here’s a little bit of what she had to say:

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Why those Pesky Bugs Matter

Product bugs aren’t just tiny glitches that cause minor annoyances to customers. They’re a reflection of the quality of your product. When a customer experiences a bug, they’re experience a lapse in quality, and that affects their attitude towards your brand. Even the tiniest bug can damper the experience of a customer, and unhappy clients are bad for business.

Product bugs also cost your company money. If your product isn’t working properly, then chances are that customers are spending more time trying to deal with the glitch than they enjoying what you provide. And if the problem is serious enough, they may just find a product that works a little better than yours. No matter how innovative or useful your product is, if it isn’t working correctly, your customers won’t stick around for too long.


How to Squash those Bugs

Confirming that a bug exists in the system is important, but the real trick is in the reporting. That’s where the difference between good and great support really shines through. Good support will let the Development team know there’s a problem. Great support will give them the info they need to fix it. And to make sure that the engineers can fix it quickly, here’s what they need to know:
Who:     Who experienced this bug?  A customer?  A subscriber?  A colleague?  

What:    What happened, and what should have happened?

Where:   Did the bug occur on a phone?  A tablet?  A computer?  What URL, and what
              operating system?  What version?  URL, Browser, Platform, Version, etc….

When:   When did the bug occur? When a button was clicked?  When a file was
              downloaded?  Did it happen during a specific time of day?


Reporting all of this clearly and concisely to your Dev. team will help them recreate the bug and get it fixed. It’s all about communication, so talk with your engineers and build a consistent reporting system that works best for your team.


Following Up on those Darn Bugs:

Great customer support isn’t just about reporting bugs; it’s about fixing them as well. The best agents are just as much a part of the solution as the development team. Once you’ve reported a bug, your job isn’t over. There’s a few things you should still be doing.

First, keep in contact in contact with the engineers so you can stay updated on the bug’s progress (something customers like to know, so you should know too). Providing customers with up-to-date info on the status of bugs reassures them that you care about the quality of their experience.

Second, help determine whether or not the bug is truly squashed. When the engineers give you the thumbs up that it’s gone, then test it out. Try to recreate it. See if that bug is really gone, or if it’s just doing a good job of hiding somewhere in your system.

Third, talk to your customers. Find out if they’re still experiencing the issue. It might even be a good idea to do some testing with a group of select users to see if that bug is truly gone once and for all.

Tricks to get those Bugs:

The best way to get bugs out of your products is to be organized and consistent in the way you report them. Do some research and find some tools that can help you and your team. For Kailee and her team, Fullstory is their secret weapon. It allows them to see exactly what a customer did to prompt a bug, so there’s no guesswork in determining what went wrong.

We’d like to give a big thanks to Kaillee Urban for taking the time to share this with us! We hope that her ideas will help your own support teams move forward. We’re already gearing up for our next Support Group, which will be held on Thursday August 4th. Check back soon to learn more about the topic.

Hope to see you there!

Also published on Medium.

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