A true story. Every detail of it – testable and verifiable.
A customer enquiry for cloud – web and mobile app testing
About a few months ago, we received an enquiry to our firstname.lastname@example.org in need for testing a mobile application and web server for a complex application. The customer was a product company who had been in business for long but never outsourced anything. They had tried building everything internally.
To such a company where they never outsourced their work – there came a challenge to test a cloud based application, web server and mobile apps which is up for disrupting the big players in the market. They wanted an external agency to test their application and certify that it could go to customers because they were trying something new from all other products they had built.
The new product was so important to them strategically that they chose to evaluate the best testing companies in India – on the basis of technicality – the team strength – the ability of the top management to get involved – the kind of test focus – the experience in the space and innovation. So, it wasn’t ordinary to them or to us.
Moolya qualified as the best testing company
Our Sales Team picked the phone – called them up – setup a meeting and I too was a part of the meeting. At the first meeting – they were blown away with Moolya. We sounded like experts. We could articulate what they want. We asked the right questions. We had tested similar products. We did everything right in the book. What was supposed to be a 30 minutes meeting went on for about 3 hours. We signed the NDA then and there – got to the details – proceeded as experts to provide a high level analysis.
As a next step – they wanted to visit our office and spend time discussing the strategy we would take towards testing the product. We prepped well for the meeting. We decided who will be a part of the team – what diversity of skills we will help them understand – we looked at how to make their time more effective. We anticipated a few questions – we tried keeping the sample work and everything ready.
The meeting at our office went on successfully and they left thinking they have found the perfect test partner. They could see in everyone’s eyes the hunger to solve the problem for our customers. We actually exist to do that.
This then proceeded with pricing discussions – Purchase Order. In parallel the training towards internals of the product began to the team that was chosen to work on it. Everything till here was picture perfect.
The Bomb Went Off
While the training was on – as per the Purchase Order we had to raise the invoice which is a part of up front payment. The Purchase Order clearly stated it. We raised it. Then came a call from the Delivery side of our customer asking us “How dare you raise an invoice even before things have begun?” and we were shell shocked about this. Our response was out of shock and that didn’t go well with them either. We pointed them to the P.O. but they seem to have made up the mind that we are money minded people. Business to them or to us is about money but money is a by product. When people think money is why we exist – that is wrong. We exist to create value.
All of a sudden – we were failing to get response. They become unresponsive on delivery side as well as to our sales teams. When our sales team tried to work it out by explaining (which was bad on our part to have done it pointing to a PO to a customer who is frustrated) we got an email that talked Moolya in bad light. We were told that we were mediocre. To the young people in the team this was hard hitting.
The “moolya” kicks in
What we did after that email – shocked them. We took the blame on ourselves. We agreed to our mistakes. We sent out a fresh email saying we exist for value and not for money. We wrote off the invoice. We worked on a test strategy document to help them based on all that we had gathered.
In the meanwhile they tried engaging others but things weren’t looking promising. We politely asked them for a chance to change their experience. No response came. We reminded them over and over. After persistence – we got a life line. They saw that we were genuine. Nobody would have got a second chance. Nobody. We knew how important this was. They had also engaged other companies as a back up just in case we fail.
Internally, in Moolya, we held a meeting on how do we change the experience. We decided to do a few things the true Moolya way. We don’t need to act when we are naturally good in our genes. We began working on the project. At all levels – the entire management delivered great support to get the project in shape.
I personally checked with the customer on how their experience was shaping up. Over a period of time the feedback was moving from good to great. The project lasted the duration we expected it to large as we delivered on time, be it working on the weekends or putting that extra /hundred/ mile effort.
Finally, we had to catch up with them on the closure and were hoping we will learn from them on if we did deliver all our promises. That catch-up was epic. They had so much appreciation for us as a company and for our test team with the results they delivered. They even gave our testers their company swag and gifts and they signed us up as their longer term testing partner.
What do we have to learn from this experience
- The ability to decode what a customer wants is a skill. This is one of the skill that sets Moolya apart from rest of the companies.
- This story is one of the rarest stories of come back and also the best story of team work.
- We let go off large amount of money because we wanted to show to our customer that Moolya exists for value.
- Although customers know they have to pay money to buy our services they are only interested to pay if we can solve their problem and as committed as themselves about the product vision.
- Relationship building is Sales. Not increasing revenues.
- Moolya’s core focus is to provide value – the more we stick to it – the better we will be in our business.
- Our testers are the best. In hundreds of cases we have seen our junior testers are way better than most experienced testers who have not had a Moolya exposure.
- Obstacles are a part of every project – we should be able to identify and remove. This is also a skill.
- The change always begins from us.
- Ethics is at the centre of the business we do.
Last and hence phenomenally important
- Even to show talent – we must be good people first.