As a follow-up from my Status Report Templates post, I thought it’d be a good idea to cover reporting individual issues into your team. While a weekly or monthly summary is great for highlighting the more general issues, sometimes you need to quickly communicate issues back into the team individually, or with more direct information. These are often communicated via a quick email, and generally contain either a single (high or critical severity issue), or a collection of 3-5 of the most relevant individual issues.

Audience: Community Managers, Social Media Managers

The basic format

Issue Name
Severity:

Summary:

“user quote” (link)
“user quote” (link)
“user quote” (link)

Note: if applicable, clarify further here.

An example of this might work:

Profile Loss After Update
Severity: 
Critical

Summary:

After updating to the newest version of the app, a substantial portion of our users are experiencing partial or full profile loss. Customer Support is reporting over 300 tickets and climbing. Our social channels are blowing up with negative posts and comments.

“what the fuck? My save it completely gone after I updated. Please tell me this is a joke?!?” – Joe Tato, Facebook (link)
“not cool. I spent like $50 on this game and now all of my progress is gone… uninstalled” – @somedude, Twitter (link)
“@#$!$!!!! I’ve been with you guys from the start, but this is the final straw. FU!!” – GrumpyPanda33, Forums (link)
“NOOOOOO!!! Don’t install this update! Lost all my progress. 1 STAR UNTIL FIXED!” – SuperBird22, GooglePlay (link)

Note: @somedude has been one of our most passionate advocates before this update. We will attempt to win him back, but may not be able to given the extent of his profile loss and his level of frustration.

Determining Severity

To be honest, this can be a little hand-wavy, as it relies a bit on ‘gut feel’ and knowing your community really well. What’s a high severity issue for one community may be a relatively low severity one for another.

In general, I tend to go by the following:

Low: Something the user grumbles about, but which doesn’t significantly impact their experience in a way that will make them leave, or play less. Example: You introduced a ‘Starry Night’ background to one level, which some players find distracting.

Medium: May cause the user to play less, or experience more frustration regularly to the point where they eventually leave. Example: New level balancing makes one level much harder than all of the rest. Most players can get past it with a bit of extra effort, but they’re not happy about it.

High: Significant player drop off unless addressed soon. Example: A player tournament did not award any of the promised prizes, resulting in severe frustration and negative sentiment. Actively losing players if not messaged and addressed promptly.

Critical: You’re losing a ton of players, FAST. Example: After installing the new update, a significant portion of players lose their entire profile

Frequency & User Pain

Sometimes it can be useful to break Severity into multiple categories, to help better prioritize the issue. In these cases, I like to split the category into: Frequency & User Pain. In this case Frequency = how often the issue is commented on, reported, etc. User Pain = the level of frustration, anger, or general negativity this issue is causing for the user.

This distinction can be helpful, as sometimes an issue may be reported at a high frequency, but be relatively minor in terms of user pain.

Example:

Level 5 Grants the Power of Flight
Frequency: High
User Pain: Low

Summary:

Some users are experiencing a glitch on Level 5, in which they temporarily gain the power of flight when coasting over the second water section. We’re seeing a ton of posts about this issue, but most users seem to think it’s funny, or a minor irritation at worst. Customer Support has reported 11 tickets on this issue. Most of the comments seem reserved for social media and the forums.

“Level 5: I soar, majestic and freeeeeee!” – Sandra Alder, Facebook (link)
“really guys? What’s with the flying in level 5?” – @somelady, Twitter (link)
“anyone want to sync up video and have a fly-off? I challenge you to Level 5: FLY AS F@*&!” – Flygal, Forums (link)

Note: This is easily the funniest of the YouTube uploads thus far: (link)

Alternately, sometimes an issue may be reported very infrequently, but illicit a high level of user pain.

Example:

Reaching Max Level Results in Profile Corruption
Frequency: Low
User Pain: Critical

Summary:

A small number of our most dedicated users have reported reaching the max player level, and upon doing so, have had their user profile corrupted. Players affected by this issue are unable to continue playing, even after doing a full reinstall of the game. Appears to be tied to the user profile, as players are able to launch the game, but once they log in with their account they are completely blocked.

“I’m freaking out here a bit. I tried reinstalling, but I still can’t play? Please tell me it’s not gone :(((“ – TJ, Facebook (link)
“Scared that I just lost access to my game. I put over 120 hours into it.” – @sadguy, Twitter (link)
“This is crazysauce. I try to log in, game completely locks. Is this because I maxed out?!?” – UberLad, Forums (link)

Note: This issue is affecting only our most dedicated, advocate level players, as reaching max level is a huge time investment. While this is not affecting many players, we risk losing our most passionate, outspoken players due to this issue.

In Closing

How you report issues back into your team is going to be dependent on the individual team and project. Feel free to adapt this approach in whatever way works best for you (for example, some teams really like to have # of CS tickets as a top level field).

In addition, if you have a way that you like to report issues that’s wildy different, or builds on this example, I’d love to share it! Drop me a line in the comments, or over on Twitter @boopsocial!

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