Vidar Sømme is the Chief Development Officer at Vetserve and is responsible for day-to-day development operations. Vidar prioritizes his developer’s time knowing that providing excellent customer experiences is the most significant selling point for their appointment software solution.
Fast-loading pages and an easy-to-use UI are non-negotiables for Vetserve’s customers, who are busy veterinary professionals relying on the software for the day-to-day running of their practices. Therefore, the responsibility to provide a seamless software experience falls to Vidar and his development team—a task they take seriously.
Our most effective sales channel to date is word-of-mouth referrals from networking events. This makes me very interested in how customers use our application and how it performs.
The challenge came when attempting to pinpoint issues impacting performance and availability. Historically, Vetserve’s development team relied on looking through text files paired with user information to solve errors, both of which were often incomplete. Vidar saw an opportunity to provide a higher standard of customer experience by surfacing better quality data, and in doing so, increase company revenue.
Vidar explains: “I had a problem where users would call to tell us our software couldn’t find certain entries. At the time, we had a log-based table system to discover errors, so it took a long time to diagnose and fix issues.”
With Vetserve’s dedication to customer service, Vidar knew he needed to expand his development capacity with specialized tools. After evaluating several leading options, Vidar chose Raygun as Vetserve’s performance monitoring solution.
“Even though I’ve tried a couple of other products in the past, Raygun clicked with me because of how we work at Vetserve and how we support and interact with our customers,” Vidar says. “Being able to keep the connection to the humans at the other end of the system is a unique touch, and helps us provide a more memorable and personable experience.”
Enabling excellent customer experiences through better quality data
Vetserve’s website is full of glowing reviews from customers highlighting how easy their software is to use, how little errors they experience on a daily basis, and how friendly the support staff is.
These positive reviews are the result of continuous work behind the scenes to understand their customers and their daily lives. Vidar knows, for example, that his customers expect to speak to a support person quickly and have their issue resolved promptly.
Raygun’s User Tracking feature has been imperative to meeting these expectations, and Vidar can confidently say that customers don’t wait long for solutions, partly due to the level of detail provided by Raygun.
“With Raygun, we don’t just get an ID or some generalized data about users and the crashes they’ve experienced,” Vidar explains. “Raygun makes crashes tangible by connecting them back to an affected user and their details. We can say: “John, at this clinic, experienced this particular crash at this particular time.”
The Raygun Platform also helps Vidar to manage performance problems before they reach the end user using Deployment Tracking.
Vidar elaborates, “Whenever we deploy a new version, we track it in Raygun, where it’s very easy to see if we’ve introduced any defects. It’s the easiest part of troubleshooting,”
Vidar recalls a particular time where he called a customer to fix an issue without it needing to be reported.
I saw that someone had trouble logging in, and knew from Raygun that it was because they didn’t declare their cache info. I made some changes to the application, refreshed the cookie and told the customer that I would send him an email with some instructions to try again. As a result, the customer was able to log into the application again with no issue.
A sense of ownership ensures excellent software quality
Throughout the whole organization, Vidar has created a culture where every developer feels ownership for their code, from deployment to the hands of the end user. Making sure the quality is high and to make sure defects are handled quickly are both on the priority list.
Vidar explains, “Previously, only the system admins had access to the inner workings of the operating system. Troubleshooting was time-consuming because only a handful of people had access to the servers to fix the problem.”
With Raygun’s easy to use interface and daily notifications, Vidar is able to empower his development team to maintain consistent quality. Vidar explains, “Now, even the most junior developer can surface a software bug.”
Vidar explains integrating Raygun with Slack has been an essential contribution to the mentality shift. “The Slack notifications bring errors to the front of everyone’s mind in their daily workflow. It reminds us that we are affecting people’s lives with our software.”
The Slack integration also helps Vidar’s team save time resolving problems. “When you have an exception appear in Slack, and you can click through to the stack trace, it saves time that we would have otherwise spent troubleshooting. You can see exactly where the problem happened in the code, and it’s usually obvious what caused the problem.”
As Vetserve continue to expand their development team, Raygun will be a valuable part in helping to create great experiences.
Vetserve offers a complete IT Solution for small-scale animal clinics and animal hospitals. Over 80 veterinary clinics around Norway rely on Vetserve for planning, documentation, and invoicing so they can spend more time on income-generating activities, like looking after cats and dogs.
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