Envoy Uses Instabug to Identify and Diagnose App Issues
With Wells Riley
Head of Product and Design
Envoy aims to digitize office management. Its core product is Envoy Visitors, a fully customizable iPad app that handles office visitor sign-ins, from guest badges to NDAs.
With backing from Andreessen Horowitz and around $16.2M in funding, Envoy aims to expand its services to all aspects of the workplace, from deliveries to meeting rooms and beyond.
“At Envoy, we try to make tech solutions that seamlessly weave into the workplace and make people happier and more productive and make the office a way better place to be,” Wells Riley, Envoy’s Head of Product and Design, told us. Envoy uses Instabug for bug reporting and feedback collection in order to ensure that their production apps are reliable.
The reliability of Envoy’s apps is integral to the success of their business, and the success of their customers. If their apps aren’t stable, then that negatively affects their end users — mostly receptionists with whom they’re on a first-name basis and have strong relationships — and the companies that they work for.
“With Envoy Visitors in particular, we guarantee to our customers that our product is solid, that it’s always going to be up, it’s always going to work, because, with that great first impression that we promise with our product, they can’t then create a good first impression for their own customers if the thing that they’re using to sign them in is broken,” Wells explained.
Envoy wanted a faster and easier way to identify and diagnose problems in their products.
“We found that we weren’t getting issue reports early enough,” Wells said.
In addition to wanting to know about issues in their apps as soon as possible, Envoy also wanted to make the process of reporting problems easier for their customers. Most receptionists aren’t responsible for tech support, so if there was an issue, they would get Intercom messages saying, “Envoy’s not working,” but they had no context about the problem.
“If they’re in San Francisco, we used to send people out to their offices, send an engineer with a Mac that has Xcode installed on it so that they can pull logs from the device. We tried to get people to send us crash reports and we tried using other products that send crash reports, but it was limited — we got crash reports, but we still didn’t know what was happening when the app was broken and it wasn’t crashing,” Wells noted.
Sometimes it was a problem with the app and sometimes it was a problem with the device or the WiFi network, but they needed a simpler way to understand their customers’ issues in order to fix them.
“We wanted to get data from customers and the status quo just wasn’t working.”
Envoy turned to Instabug to get the data that they wanted so their engineering team could fix issues faster.
We also get all the metadata that we need to diagnose whether it’s a problem with the network or a problem with the device or a problem with the app. We get lots and lots of logs, so it gives us a lot of data to go off of.
“Instabug has made it easier for Envoy’s customers to report problems.”
“It’s easy for the support team when they’re talking to a customer and they’re having a problem with the device, they can just tell them to take a screenshot, it’ll pop up the Instabug interface, and it’ll send us the screenshot automatically, which is really nice because if there are any errors on the screen that the customer maybe forgot to tell us about, we can see them there,” Wells explained.
“With Instabug, we have found problems that didn't show up in our analytics and infra metrics. We didn’t see PagerDuty reports, we didn’t get bug reports from customers, but we’ve seen stuff come in through Instabug saying, ‘My iPad can’t sign in visitors.’ And then ten minutes later, another customer will say, ‘My iPad can’t sign in visitors.’ And then a third one.
I've had plenty of apps break on me and I try to take a screenshot so that I can send it to support and I always get a little disappointed when I don’t see Instabug. It’s just like, ‘Don’t you want to know when your app isn’t working?’
We then realized there’s clearly a problem here that we’re not hearing from support, but some customers have identified. We wouldn’t be on top of those things if we didn’t get those Instabug reports,” Wells said.