avellable > posts

Be thankful of your customer support staff

September 20th 2021

It is very hard to write absolute bug free software. No matter how good is your QA, at least one of these sneaky little buggers will get in your product. Bugs are like sword of Gryffindor and your users are true Gryffindors. These special bugs present themselves only in front of your real users. But unlike the sword they do no good and make the developers' life miserable. There is one other group of people who are affected a lot by production bugs, customer support staff.

I work in a startup with in-house customer support. I see them talking to customers and resolving concerns every day. It is a tougher job than mine or any other developer for two reasons,

The second reason is what makes it tougher than it should be. I'm not saying that all bugs are mistakes. But some are. Some are very stupid ones. If I was a customer support staff apologizing to a client because one eager developer released without testing, I would be very frustrated. One could make an argument saying that is a customer support staff's job. Is it though? Their job is not to apologize for somebody else's mistakes. Their job is to be a bridge between customers and the developers or product managers. I have seen developers/product managers lashing at their customer support staff just because they asked a simple question. I hate to admit I've done it myself couple of times too. But after seeing the questions they get from customers, I realized they have no other choice. This does not mean there are no stupid questions from the customer support staff themselves. Of course there are. Stupidity is everywhere.

The point I'm trying to make is very simple, be thankful to your customer support staff for all the heat they take on your behalf from customers.