We recently sat down with Daniel Collier, Head of IT, and Matt Louth, IT Director at Hobbycraft to understand the experience they’ve had working with Noibu to better detect, prioritize, and resolve key errors on their site.
Founded in 1995, Hobbycraft is a leading arts and crafts superstore in the United Kingdom. Hobbycraft currently has over 100 stores across England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland and a constantly growing digital footprint that serves online shoppers across the globe. Daniel and Matt are responsible for overseeing Hobbycraft’s eCommerce site and leading the development team.
In this case study, we shall break down the key challenges that the brand was facing, what made them choose Noibu, and their error resolution journey so far.
Typical Error Resolution Workflow Before Using Noibu and Key Challenges
The IT team at Hobbycraft wasn’t proactively looking to optimize their error resolution workflows or make any changes to their error monitoring and prioritization strategies. It wasn’t believed that there was a better-suited solution to their needs and challenges.
However, when the team at Noibu reached out to Hobbycraft with a proposal on how our tool can help streamline their issue resolution process and help capture undetected errors, they were pleasantly intrigued. This came at a time when the dev team at Hobbycraft had just recently migrated to Salesforce Commerce Cloud and could use a fresh approach to their error monitoring workflow to ensure the platform was running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Both Daniel and Matt were curious to learn if there were any site errors that weren’t being reported or weren’t exactly visible from the customer journey.
“Years ago, customers were much more likely to ring up and say “you’ve got a problem with your website.” Today, they’re much more likely to go and shop elsewhere” – Matt Louth
How Noibu Compares to Other Similar Tools That Hobbycraft Evaluated
While sharing their experience using or evaluating other tools similar to Noibu, Matt and Daniel were confident that “no other solution came close to offering the ability Noibu does”. According to them, Noibu’s capabilities are unparalleled in terms of proactively detecting errors and correlating back to actual customer sessions on the site, and providing the exact line of code that needs fixing.
Any other tool that they’ve used merely gave them session recording capabilities or insights from a journey optimization standpoint. Noibu has been the only one that provides all the technical details required at the developer level to go right into fixing errors.
“Noibu is the only tool we have found that will give you instant pointers in lines of code where the error lies, whereas other tools will give you a session or a video of a session. They won’t give you the extra detail that you need at the console level for a developer to just get in and start work.
Just having a video means you sit there for hours watching videos, but it doesn’t necessarily get you very far. So, I think Noibu is a much better tool than just session capture. It’s all about the detail that your product offers” – Daniel Collier
How Noibu Helped Hobbycraft Streamline Their Error Detection and Resolution Process
As per Daniel and Matt, Noibu gave the dev team at Hobbycraft better visibility and insights into the functioning and performance of their new platform and the experience that the customers have interacting with it. It’s as if they “could see over their customers’ shoulders and witness how they were engaging with the site from their perspective”, as put by Matt.
Let’s take a step back to understand how Daniel and Matt’s team were detecting and resolving errors before Noibu came into the picture.
How Were Errors Being Reported Before Hobbycraft Started Using Noibu?
Hobbycraft’s previous error detention workflow was straightforward but challenging.
- Customer service representatives were responsible for reporting and flagging any issues shoppers were facing based on the complaints and queries they received.
The IT team had no way of finding out if a particular issue was being faced by one customer or ten customers or perhaps more.
They didn’t have answers to questions like – which device the customer was using, which browser they were on, etc. – all of which are extremely crucial to reproduce and resolve bugs.
The dev team then had to drop everything to investigate and resolve issues for which they would have little to no context or technical details.
Very often, issues would seem bigger than they were or simply have no order of priority, and hence countless resources and hours would have to be spent on investigation.
How Error Detection (and Prioritization) Workflows Were Optimized With Noibu
With Noibu, Hobbycraft’s error detection workflow was significantly optimized. Noibu helped the team gain visibility into exactly how big the issue is, how many customers are facing it, the extent of the impact it has on revenue, and much more.
Correlating customer complaints to reproducible bugs
With Noibu in their tech stack, the dev team at Hobbycraft could streamline how they were notified of critical errors and the information they received to resolve them. Customer service agents were still responsible for reporting errors and issues gathered via customer complaints.
But now, instead of treating every issue as #1 priority and dropping everything to investigate it, the dev team uses Noibu to correlate complaints to exact sessions to figure out their root causes and the technical details required to resolve them.
“As you can imagine, it’s really hard to track down issues when you don’t know what browser the customer was using, which device they were on, what they had in their basket, or any of their other session details at all. It’s often really hard to replicate an issue that a random customer has, and Noibu’s definitely helped in that aspect.” – Daniel Collier
The ability to deep dive into session replays and pinpoint exact errors empowered the dev team with more context that they needed to track down and reproduce bugs. With Noibu, even those customer service complaints gave the team a lot more evidence and direction to fix issues efficiently.
“It’s all about visibility; getting under the cover on your own site to see exactly how end customers are experiencing it. Noibu provides eyes and ears that we otherwise wouldn’t have, which is massively valuable.” – Matt Louth
Utilizing Noibu’s Help Code has proved immensely helpful in making sure that the particular session in which the error occurs can be recorded in a support ticket along with the details of the issue, thus significantly cutting down the reproduction and resolution time.
Proactively fixing errors that haven’t been reported
Apart from prioritizing and efficiently resolving errors that were reported via customer complaints, Hobbycraft was also able to proactively detect and fix bugs that hadn’t been called out yet. Therefore, they no longer had to rely solely on support tickets to identify key site errors that could be impacting their revenue, but were able to actively prevent some of those bugs from causing friction in the site experience.
While talking about their experience working with Noibu’s team, Daniel and Matt acknowledged that their dedicated Noibu Customer Success Team has been extremely helpful in regularly pinpointing open issues that would need to be addressed to limit the damage caused on-site experience. The team is also always available to readily respond to any technical questions or concerns regarding resolving issues. This ensured that there weren’t any missed opportunities for optimization or errors left unaddressed that could potentially impact conversions and revenue.
Hobbycraft’s success story with Noibu illustrates how the ability to correlate customer complaints to session IDs and technical details can be game-changing in helping IT teams successfully resolve errors with unparalleled efficiency.
Daniel and Matt’s team were able to streamline their error detection and resolution workflows and save their valuable time and resources that would otherwise spent investigating issues without much direction. For eCommerce businesses looking to optimize their error resolution processes, Noibu can fit perfectly into their tech stack and help transform how they deal with revenue-impacting errors.