Best Practices

Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Poor Product Quality

Discover how to leverage product quality reviews as an early warning system to identify bugs before they create a cycle of poor product quality.

Software, by its nature, has bugs. That’s not really a problem, since they’re expected; the problem is how your team tackles those bugs. The first step in stomping out bugs is identifying the issues before they become too big of a problem.

unitQ Monitor acts as an early warning system, helping you identify bugs before they become large problems for your company. unitQ Monitor monitors all your customer feedback, identifying new issues and alerting your team when it detects a sudden spike in reports from customers.

So what happens when you are flying blind without this warning system? You could enter a vicious cycle, where bugs go undetected and linger for far too long, causing customer dissatisfaction, leading to churn and the abandonment of your product for a competitor’s. Lingering quality issues can cascade throughout your organization, with more support tickets being submitted, more 1-star reviews being written, higher user churn, and lower engagement.

An Example of the Vicious Cycle: Lost in Translation

To help illustrate this vicious cycle, let’s walk through the business impact of one bug from the company I started before unitQ, Skout. When new users signed up for Skout in Spanish, the localization string for “male and female” literally got lost in translation — the genders were reversed in the signup flow. This bug went undetected for 4 months. Never mind that Skout had 35 people working in our Chile subsidiary. You know what they do? They speak Spanish all day long. Despite that we couldn’t connect the dots until we saw the user reviews come in, combined with second day return rates showing an anomaly for all Spanish users. Their second day return rate was half that of users in other languages.

As a result of this bug persisting:

  • Support volume increased, since users reported the same bug over and over again. 
  • Our app ratings decreased. We found that the average rating for a review containing a bug report is 1.5 stars. 
  • Conversion dropped, not only because of the low rating, but because the bug acted as a filter mechanism masking important product flows. 

This led to the worst case scenario: we entered into the vicious cycle of product quality. Our bucket started leaking with bigger holes, and eventually our loyal users began jumping ship.

We frequently found ourselves saying, “If only we found this bug 6 months ago, the business would have been 3-5% bigger today.” It became an obsession of ours: To hunt, quantify, prioritize and fix bugs. And nothing was more satisfying than launching fixes and seeing a big boost in engagement and retention metrics. Just like when we fixed the Spanish bug.

To learn how unitQ is helping category-leading companies like Chime and Strava break out of the vicious cycle, request a demo today.