How I used FullStory before becoming a FullStorian
Insights · 6 min read

How I used FullStory before becoming a FullStorian

Christina Baumel
Posted March 30, 2022

Imagine having a baby and then, just as you anticipate holding your baby and breathing a sigh of relief over your baby’s perfect Apgar score, you instead have to wait days or even weeks to hold your baby and determine whether he or she is healthy.

Can you imagine not being able to share pictures and progress reports with family and friends for days—or even weeks?

What does this have to do with Product Management? For many product managers (PMs), launching new products into the world can sometimes feel a lot like becoming a parent. And just like new parents, PMs and the teams they work with need visibility into their “babies” immediately after launch.

This is one of the most compelling reasons that product teams like the one I used to work for choose FullStory—they never have to ship new features and worry about lack of insights post-launch.

I’m a FullStory Product Manager, so of course I love the product now. But before becoming a FullStorian, I was a customer, which gives me a unique perspective on how FullStory empowers product people. Here’s how I used FullStory before becoming a FullStorian.

4 ways to use FullStory to become a better product manager

Shipping new features

Every PM has horror stories of shipping a new feature, only to realize that the analytics tagging plan that they thought was air-tight somehow didn’t capture everything they needed.

As a PM at a large company, where many hands and many teams are responsible for getting digital analytics right, I had plenty of these stories myself—some of which still bring me horror all these years later! Launching a new feature with limited—or in some cases, zero ability to understand how customers are using it—is agonizing for product teams. For anyone who has launched offspring or new products into the world, this potential lack of insight is a nightmare.

FullStory’s autocapture ended that nightmare for my teammates and I, and ensured that we could see how our features were performing immediately at launch. FullStory pairs quantitative data with recreations of actual user sessions.

With FullStory, product teams can see, understand, and empathize with their end users’ experience without the cumbersome planning and cross-team coordination often required with a traditional analytics tagging system. You can see how your product is doing from the moment it launches and monitor customer engagement as it grows and evolves over time.

Validating bug reports and prioritizing fixes

Sometimes, things don’t always go as planned, and a new feature isn’t immediately successful. Sometimes, someone calls your baby “ugly.” What do you do?

I once found myself in this situation shortly after my team launched a new version of the feature that enabled shoppers to cancel a digital order on the website, without needing to contact support for assistance.

My team and I dogfooded and tested the new feature before and after launch. Using FullStory’s Session Replay capabilities, we watched recreations of actual consumer sessions and monitored customer success and failure metrics for the consumer journey using FullStory’s Funnels and Conversions features. The feature was performing well qualitatively, and our quantitative metrics for workflow completion and call center avoidance showed a clear improvement relative to the legacy version.

So, when an internal stakeholder reached out to support to complain that the new feature was "broken," we were caught off-guard. Fortunately, we used FullStory to research the issue and determine that the feature was, in fact, working as expected, and that we had an opportunity to reduce consumer confusion through contextual messaging.

FullStory’s Session Replay made it easy for my team and I to stitch together the checkout and post-checkout interactions related to the order in question. Without needing to know anything about the shopper’s identity, we could see that they had placed the order and waited a few minutes too long before deciding to cancel. The self-service cancellation window had closed.

Our new feature wasn’t broken—it was working exactly as expected. Using FullStory to do this research took minutes instead of the hours or days it would have taken for our team to stitch together clickstream logs and reconstruct the consumer’s experience down to the timestamp level.

Better yet, once we had noted our observations on the relevant session replay, we were able to easily share our findings with our colleagues in support, who worked with the stakeholder to resolve their issue.

Uncovering new opportunities

Consumers often found hacks and workarounds to make our site work the way they wanted it to. Gaining insight into these creative hacks is pure gold for product teams. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to uncover these types of digital experience unknown unknowns because, well, they’re unknown.

I was fortunate to uncover several of these creative hacks by watching replays of user sessions, which led me to the surprising realization that a sizable portion of consumers were starting new purchase journeys from the end of the purchase funnel, instead of from a product grid wall or product detail page.

Digging deeper, I saw that consumers were searching for products they had purchased several seasons ago, and that they were frustrated when copying the product names from their order history page and pasting them into the search bar didn’t return helpful results—particularly if the products they were searching for were long out-of-stock.

This consumer insight, combined with the higher conversion rates for past buyers relative to new visitors, led my team to prioritize a feature that recommended similar products when an item was out of stock.

As a customer, I used FullStory’s Session Replay, Funnels and Conversions to uncover these types of unknown unknowns. With our recently launched Journeys and Top Highlighted Text signal, Product and Marketing teams have even more powerful capabilities within FullStory to surface the unknown unknowns that can lead to breakthrough insights.

Celebrating wins, together

Product teams and cross-functional stakeholders who contributed to a feature together to celebrate with FullStory session viewing parties. These watch parties were great opportunities to strengthen connections across partner teams and to build customer empathy.

There’s nothing quite like seeing the new capability or feature you and your team have spent months ideating, building and testing out in the wild, in the hands of actual customers. If something isn’t working quite as expected, you’ll see it, together, which makes prioritization of fast follows that much easier.

And who knows? Your team’s next great product or feature release could be inspired by finding some of those unknown unknowns in your FullStory data. If you do, we’d love to hear about it. One of the many things that impressed me about FullStory when I was a customer, and continues to impress me now that I’m a FullStorian, is our commitment to customer listening and to co-creating value with FullStory users.


If you’re looking for a new role at a company that cares a whole lot about product, FullStory is hiring. Check out open roles here.

author
Christina BaumelSenior Product Manager

About the author

As a Senior Product Manager, Christina partners with software engineers, designers and data scientists to solve problems for FullStory's Enterprise customers.

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