When a Bug is an Opportunity
This week we’re going to look at how we use the support process at Team TutorPro HQ, not only to fix issues, but also to add new features. So this week your blog from the Developers’ Cave comes from the support corner. We’re the people who are at the end of the phone to the client success team, led by VP Claire Loram. Our role at Team TutorPro is to fix issues for clients when they arise.
There are two sorts of issues we regularly deal with, and both of them start the same way. We receive a message from a member of our client family that one of our solutions isn’t behaving as it should. At this stage the most important thing we can do is open a conversation with the client and get as much information as possible about what they are experiencing so we can get it fixed as swiftly as possible. Sometimes just having this conversation will tell us what the issue is.
This is common in the first type of issue we deal with, issues with workflow error. These are issues created by someone, somewhere, in the matrix of people engaging with our solutions, not using a solution correctly. An LMS and content creation tools, however user-friendly they are designed to be, occasionally require a process to be followed in a very particular way and if that doesn’t happen it can impact functionality temporarily for the client. This kind of issue is similar to a problem formatting a picture in a document you are creating. You follow what you believe to be the appropriate process for formatting that image, however, you miss one tiny, vital, step. This leaves you with the image not appearing as you’d hoped. Then you have to search for a guide on how to get it right. Instead of having to search for a solution, our clients can call us to help them resolve the issue as expediently as possible.
The second type of issue, whilst rarer, is more frustrating. Sometimes as we’re having the conversation about why a solution isn’t performing it becomes apparent that it is because there’s a bug. We all know that bugs happen as a natural by-product of creating software and it doesn’t matter how hard you test your software, they can still slip through. That’s why the apps on our phones are and software on our computer is constantly updating. However, that doesn’t mean that we enjoy finding out that we’re not perfect… who does? Our first concern, naturally, is to pull as much resource as we can muster to get the issue ironed out. After all a bug that affects one client, is affecting one too many clients for our liking, and could swiftly affect more.
However we’ve also learned in the almost thirty years that we’ve been providing firms with eLearning solutions that, as frustrating as finding a bug can be, it is also an opportunity. Sometimes a bug appears because a member of our client family is trying to do something neither we, nor they, envisaged doing with our software. As well as ensuring that any interruption to client service is minimal we often find ourselves asking (via our great client success team) if in fact we should add an update into our next release, not only having fixed the bug, but also to allow the new functionality that the client was trying to achieve in the first place. The resulting update to our solution will be made free of charge, not just to the originating client, but to all our client family. Once you’ve paid for our solution, we don’t make you pay more just because we’ve tripped across a way to improve it. This second type of issue is like when you move furniture at home because you have to do some maintenance and you end up liking the new way the room is laid out.
Whilst we hate to find something imperfect, we often find that approaching a bug as an opportunity for development can in fact add real value to our client experience and can be the very thing that makes up for the frustration of finding a bug. We believe that if, rather than being too proud to admit to a mistake, we can own it and see it as an opportunity, that is better for our client family.
So we’re heading back to the Cave for more Monster and a few Swedish Fish – if you would like to know more about what we could do for you, please email our VP Client Success Claire Loram on firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on +1 (312) 544-0087- she’ll be really happy to chat with you on our behalf!