Because Voalté is viewed as a high-tech software company, I constantly find myself stressing that it’s not the technology behind Voalté that makes the product so special, but the end-user experience. I use this term to
define a broad range of things from how we work with clinicians to develop the best communication workflow, to our personalized high-touch support model, to the pink pants culture, and everything in between.
Recently, our CTO wrote about his experience at the Disney Institute
picking up management skills that helped him put together a very successful internship program this Summer. Shortly after his trip, I also visited the Mouse to learn about Disney’s Approach to Quality Service
. If there is one thing I took back with me, it was the concept of “It’s not our fault, but it’s our problem.” This is something that is constantly on the staff’s mind and examples can be seen all over Disney’s parks. Picture this all too common scenario:
A husband and wife bring their two kids to the Magic Kingdom and spend a day creating memories that will last a lifetime. As they leave, exhausted, with cranky tired kids in hand, they get to the parking lot. The husband asks the wife “where did we park?” to which she responds “I told you to write it down…” [Insert screaming kids and arguing adults here]
Although the family forgetting where they parked is not Disney’s fault, it still makes for a bad experience at the park, which is Disney’s problem. In this case, a Disney parking lot attendant devised an ingenious solution by writing down the times at which each row was filled. The family can tell the parking attendant that they arrived sometime between 9:00 and 9:15 and he can tell them that they are parked in the Goofy Lot, somewhere between rows 30 and 35.
At Voalté, we constantly find ourselves working to not only improve the product and feature set, but also the manner in which our end-users experience it. Because we spend so much time onsite interacting with end-users and working to understand their needs, we have the opportunity to gain special insight into the little things that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Recently, our Services team was visiting a hospital with our Lead iPhone Developer, Robbie Hanson (our Engineering team routinely visits hospitals with us to understand exactly how Voalté is being used in the “real world”). As he toured the unit talking to nurses, the charge nurse approached him and explained that while on a call, all day people could hear her, but she couldn’t hear anyone.
From an engineer’s perspective, your mind might be inclined to think through all of the technical reasons one-way audio might occur—Could it have something to do with the transmit and receive power of access points? Is there a bug in the way our client’s SIP stack communicates with our Voice Server? Did we screw something up on the codec? The PBX integration? The list goes on and on…
Luckily, the answer was much simpler. The nurse had her volume turned all the way down to zero. D’oh! While this issue certainly wasn’t our fault, it clearly soured the experience with Voalté. More importantly, it had the potential to be a patient care issue. This inspired our team to add a notification on the screen that would alert users when their volume may be too low while on a phone call.
This was such a small little detail that surely would have gone overlooked had we not been onsite and getting direct feedback from our end-users. It is just the latest (and certainly not the last) in a long line of tiny details that have been included over time, such as memorizing the user’s font size preference or playing recorded messages to inform a caller why their call has been declined. In fact as I write this (onsite from another hospital), our engineering team has observed another case and has begun work on that as well.
Yes, the technology is exciting and sexy, but the real magic is in the experience. It’s my job as Chief Experience Officer at Voalté to make sure we never forget that.