I am a software developer. I have had many experiences where I am a user of some software and I encounter a bug. The user support people often seem to have no concept of passing it on to a development team to be fixed, just on providing workarounds. Has anyone worked at an organization like that?
Yes, can definitely relate to this one! We’ve been trying a few new products recently and have been really frustrated with the support teams. It seems to be worse in larger organisations where we often get fobbed off, half an answer or a link to a help article that isn’t particularly relevant! The sales team and I were talking about this yesterday…!
A lot of software companies need to improve the communication between teams and also with customers. I often find that if I have a support issue logged (or a request in particular) then my comments or questions can disappear into a blackhole and you never find out what happened. It all leads to a frustrating experience.
And I agree entirely that support tickets and requests are not very visible to development teams in some organisations. It is a careful balance though - you don’t want to overwhelm the development teams with every ticket but the important issues do need to get through.
I spent a lot of time acting as support & development on a large eCommerce project and I found being in both roles really made me appreciate the function of each and how they can compliment each other. It’s dangerous for devs to be too far removed from customers but it’s also vital support teams communicate well.
In larger businesses, bridging the gap between support & dev teams is, in my opinion, a function of the product managers. They have to own the communication and ensure the right level of detail gets through to the relevant teams.
I reckon everyone is missing a trick here as a proper customer feedback process is so beneficial for everyone. Customers need to be part of the process and are part of the team that help you build great software. I recently wrote an article about why I think customer feedback is so important…especially when you are building software for a complex industry: Complex SaaS products NEED customer feedback.
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