At Detectify, we like to approach problems as opportunities for improvement. In the last couple of months, we’ve faced two challenges where we have taken the opportunity to rethink how we work. We’d like to share them with you to give you insight into how we work together and, hopefully, inspire some of you to try a new approach when solving your own challenges in the future!
Both of these examples are related to our payment process. The first one streamlines the billing process, and the second one the checkout process. Let’s dive into the challenges and what we learned in solving them.
“Never spend 6 minutes doing something by hand when you can spend 6 hours failing to automate it.” – Zhuowei Zhang
This is a humorously sarcastic quote, not meant to be taken literally. But it is often harder and more time-consuming to automate something than to simply do it by hand. However, spending more time in the present can save your future self both time and a headache. Knowing where best to place your resources is all about understanding that balance.
Decreasing errors while finding solutions
A while back, we switched the subscription and billing service we used. After the change, we initially had errors or incorrect settings that needed to be handled manually. To become more agile at solving these errors we initiated a monthly cross-functional forum with all the relevant stakeholders connected to the process; the finance team, people from the data team, and internal product teams.
“Having all the relevant stakeholders in the same (virtual) room helped us find the solution we needed.” – Pedro Merino, Financial accountant
Sharing the problem
Our primary objective was to understand why these errors occurred. Secondly, to find solutions (correct them) to prevent future errors of the same kind from happening again. The issues came in many forms. We needed to look at them from different perspectives, so it was great to have everyone there. In a way, we emulated the mob sessions that our programmers use. At each meeting, a different person took ownership and walked through the issues at hand. That way, more of our team members could learn how to handle problems of various kinds.
“Don’t just fix the problem and move on. Sometimes that works, but it’s better to share the problem with others too.” – Alexander Matsson, Product Owner Internal Products
In one of our first meetings, we ended up trying to solve 30 errors in one meeting, so we stepped it up to a weekly session. That made it easier to focus on individual issues. Increasing the frequency of the regular meetings helped us deal with the load and address the problems with a long-term perspective in mind. Now we are averaging five errors monthly, a much more manageable number.
So what did we learn, and what were the benefits?
Sharing the know-how with more people helped us solve the problem at a larger scale while reducing the reliance on a few people (the initial solvers);
- Errors were decreased to a more manageable level,
- More people are now capable of correcting errors when they happen, and,
- Ownership moved to the appropriate team.
Smoothifying the checkout experience
With the backend of the payment process all sorted, we needed to ensure that the frontend was running just as smoothly for our customers. We were set on improving the checkout conversion ratio – i.e., to get more customers that start a checkout to buy our tool to complete it.
We kicked off the project by planning the most urgent changes that needed to be done, and ordering them on importance and simplicity. A plan was made for who would work on each issue. More extensive tasks were broken down to become more manageable and were tackled individually or as a team, depending on the issue. The vital part in the planning was making sure we used our resources in the best way and that the final product added value for the customer. We focused on creating a consistent and clear flow for all customers with different, sometimes complex, setups, enabling customers to manage their cart manually. Adjustments were made as needed, and we worked with agility to push forward.
“We focused on building a scalable process and making it more intuitive for the customer.” – Emilie Hillert, Software Engineer Internal Products
So what did we learn, and what were the benefits?
The team worked tirelessly on improving the checkout experience for our customers, and the new checkout has increased the checkout conversion.
We learned how to work iteratively in a better way and continuously pushed out small changes that gave value to the customer. All of our products are now available for self-checkout. Trial customers can keep purchases and settings from their trial to the checkout and don’t have to provide all their information again. They can, of course, still make adjustments. A collection of small improvements, too long to list, built over time, has improved the process and made it more user-friendly.
At Detectify, we see problems as opportunities
The value of what we do is the sum of the problems we solve. Approaching a problem as an opportunity to create something better is a core value of the Detectify culture. With every challenge we face, our creativity, tech superiority, and customer understanding evolves. We dare to speak up and challenge each other because problems are solved by communicating – not staying silent.
Do you see obstacles as an opportunity to build something great? If you think Detectify is the next adventure for you, check out the different roles we are recruiting in Stockholm and Boston. Apply today!