After 25 years of extreme consumerism had eroded any concept of customer support or service in the modern buyer, it has been wonderful to see the renaissance of customer-centric products and marketing strategies popping up seemingly everywhere. Never before has the consumer had so many options, forcing companies to keep with up with high-quality customer support or simply perish.
Companies like Zappos and Starbucks have literally built billion-dollar brands on the back of their customer service. As software grows and becomes even more ubiquitous in our everyday lives, tools like Intercom and Zendesk make it easier than ever for the customer to communicate their feedback. Where “world class support” used to be a generic term thrown on the footer of your website, actual support engineers, with highly technical skills ( like ours!), are now key product differentiators for many businesses.
But this acute growth of feedback and service between customers and customer support teams has not gone without its headaches or hurdles. The rise of ticketing systems has been anything but graceful, bug reproduction is getting enormously more difficult, and communication between support, product, and development teams now is a focal growing pain of many businesses.
The biggest challenge for many customer support representatives at SaaS or web companies is accurately reproducing bugs, or features, that customers are complaining about. With brick and mortar stores, or more traditional service companies, customers have a finite way of accessing and using the information; whether it be a kiosk or mail delivery, there are only so many things that can go wrong when customers buy shoes from an outlet mall.
When today’s digital consumer demands meet the fast pace of the digital age, the gravity of online customer support is increasing as web applications, features, and updates are constantly released. However, because the proliferation of devices and different browsers, it can be difficult for customer support representatives to replicate the bugs customers call in with or write a ticket for.
When the day comes that your customers find a bug on a device that you don’t have, it’s pretty hard for you to replicate the problem unless you want to expedite their exact machine via Amazon overnight or fly your developer to the customer site. And sometimes, you can’t fix their problem without having the same device in front of you. This is where CrossBrowserTesting’s 1500+ browsers and devices come in handy <– we even have Windows XP IE 6, a reps worst nightmare.
Internal Ticketing Systems For External Problems
Often times when customers take support tickets out, they write minimal descriptions about what they were doing, what error they received, or what browser they are using. While many support tools capture important data from the browser or console, most do not and you may not even be using one. It is important that during the first few exchanges between a rep and customer that some necessary data is procured:
- The device, browser, and operating system they are using
- The URL they started on
- The steps they took
- The issues they encountered
- What they expected to happen instead
- Associated screenshots, error readings, or files
- The severity of the issue
The beautiful thing about using a tool for cross-browser testing in the cloud, of course, is the unmatched access to thousands of device, browser, and operating system configurations at the drop of a hat. The best thing to do when a customer encounters and issue like this is to access a live testing session and offer test reproduction support. By going through the same steps that they went through in the same device via CrossBrowserTesting, your support team can approach their issues with the utmost accuracy.
While going through bug recreation, support reps have the ability to record their entire session, taking snapshots of problem areas and ultimately our error message or bug. Once the bug is documented in CrossBrowserTesting, you can share your test results through Slack, Email, or create a Jira ticket.
Communication Is Key
Replicating the test environment as closely as possible will assure that developers are able to reproduce the test as closely as possible to find the same bug your customers are encountering.
Previously, your developers would have to figure out how to rewrite test cases in order to reproduce the bugs with little information. By communicating with the customer and repeating the problem on their exact configuration, you can let them know where the issue originates with a definitive answer so they don’t have to wait for a solution and your developers don’t have to guess what went wrong.
By doing this, they know if there’s a problem with your application, a user error, or if it was the fault of the network configuration. You can also work with them to get the issues fixed faster.
Once your developers let you know that the new code is in place and the bug is fixed, make sure you test the solution yourself before firing off an email. There is nothing worse than sending a customer a “We Fixed It” only to have the bug still reproducible.
While customer support is becoming more difficult in the digital age – tools like CrossBrowserTesting can help alleviate the hurdles of the web. Reproducing bugs across environments will ensure that your application is optimized for the right devices, and more importantly, that your customer is satisfied, reducing the time it takes to recognize and effectively fix bugs or complications.