96% of Users do not report bugs - they just leave

Most users do not report bugs and just leave your product, instead

96% of Users do not report bugs - they just leave
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96% of Users do not report bugs - they just leave

Do you ever come across bugs in your software but never report them? You're not alone! Recent research has found that on average, 96% of users do not report bugs and decide to just leave. This can have a damaging effect when it comes to software upkeep and market sustainability, as it can be costly to find and fix bugs. As such, it is important for developers to understand the reasons behind this and develop strategies to encourage users to report bugs instead. In this article, we'll be examining the reasons behind this trend and exploring how developers can incentivize users to report bugs more regularly.
Background Reasons why users do not report bugs Impact of users not reporting bugs Opportunities for Product Improvements Implications & Recommendations


In the digital age, reporting defects and bugs in software, apps, websites, and other systems is essential for progress. After all, identifying and fixing errors can ensure that users have a positive experience with the product or service. However, research has shown that despite the significant importance of bug reports, most users do not report them. Studies conducted in 2019 showed that 96% of users will never report a bug they experience when using a product or service. This suggests that either they do not know how to report or just ignore it. In addition, other research found that 56% of users believe the bug they experienced was not important enough to report, while 18% did not know the bug could be reported and 6% did not think the product provider would take any action upon receiving the report. The implications of this vast majority of users who do not report bugs are far reaching. For starters, it implies that product development teams have little or no insight into user experiences, making successful growth and improvement less likely. Furthermore, it can hinder the optimization of existing systems, increase development time and resources, and decrease user satisfaction scores due to the presence of unresolved bugs. In order to move forward, proper strategies and design processes must be implemented to encourage users to report – and resolve – errors, defects, and bugs when they arise. Therefore, this article seeks to further explore the causes of why users are so unlikely to report bugs, and suggest potential solutions to overcome them.

Reasons why users do not report bugs

Users who experience bugs when using an application or software typically do not report the bugs to the organization or company who developed the product. Recent statistics show that 96% of users do not report the bugs, leaving the organization or company unaware of any software issues. There are a number of reasons why users do not report bugs. The first reason is the lack of knowledge about where to report the bug. If users are unaware of who to report the bug to, then they will not report the bug at all. In addition, some users may not know how to accurately describe the bug they experience while using the product. Without precise and accurate descriptions, the bug may not be reported. The second reason is the time it takes to report a bug. Bug reporting often requires users to submit detailed bug reports, which can be time consuming. This may deter users from continuing with the bug reporting process. The third reason is the potential difficulty of the bug reporting process. This includes the need to fill out tedious bug reports, or providing detailed screenshots or videos of the bug. If users find the bug reporting process too difficult, then they are unlikely to report it. Finally, users may be frustrated and discouraged if they have previously reported a bug but felt that the bug was never resolved. This lack of satisfaction from using the application may lead them to not report any future bugs. In conclusion, users do not report bugs for a variety of reasons, including lack of knowledge, time constraints, complexity of bug reports, and lack of satisfaction from previous bugs. It is important for companies and organizations to understand these reasons in order to make the bug reporting process easier and more efficient.

Impact of users not reporting bugs

When users do not report a bug that they encounter, it can have a significant impact on the user and the software development team. For starters, the user will have a poor experience with the software and may choose not to use it again. The bugs that go unreported will remain in the software, potentially leading to further issues and frustrations with the software itself. From a software developer’s standpoint, not having bug reports makes it nearly impossible to identify, fix, and improve the software. The bug will remain without being addressed, which can prevent the users from reaching their desired outcome. Moreover, the longer a bug goes unaddressed, the more likely users will start to abandon the software and look for alternatives. Not only that, but bug reports help the developers prioritize which fixes should be implemented first in order to improve the user experience. Without the data provided by bug reports, the software development team is flying blind, unable to assess the usability and functionality of the software. This can create a barrier for adoption for potential users and hamper the growth of the software. Finally, failing to report bugs also inhibits community building. When bug reports are collected, it provides developers with a better understanding of the user base and the impact their application has on the people that use it. This helps the development team to get a sense of who their users are and how the software helps them. Without this kind of clarity, it becomes more difficult for software developers to make decisions that consider their user's needs. Overall, it is important that users report any issues they come across while using software in order to ensure the best experience possible. Without this vital feedback loop, it could not only impact a user’s experience but also how the software is improved.

Opportunities for Product Improvements

As product and software developers, we should be thankful that 96% of users do not simply report bugs and leave. It could mean our products are bug free and have few feature requests and suggestions for improvements, or it could mean the users do not feel empowered to report issues. To keep improving our products, we must understand why users do not report bugs. Most users are too busy to take the time to report bugs, however, a well-crafted bug reporting system that allows users to simply report a bug and move on would be easy to use. Additionally, if users could use a motivating rewards system and be rewarded for bug reporting, the number of bug reports could significantly increase. To further improve products, we should increase user engagement and make sure users have the right tools to enable better bug reports. Providing support documentation and troubleshooting guides can provide users with the guidance they need to improve their user experience. Furthermore, leveraging customer feedback tools, such as surveys and forums, can also provide users with a platform to express their concerns and make suggestions for product improvements. Last but not least, providing users with open channels of communication, informing them about the progress of fixes and feature updates and getting their feedback on the same can be a powerful tool for product improvements. By listening to users and improving our products according to their feedback, we can continue to improve product usability and user experience.

Implications & Recommendations

The implications of 96% of users not reporting bugs is far-reaching and could significantly impact the development and release of a product. An obvious implication is that existing bugs are going undetected, leading to user dissatisfaction, frustration and ultimately, loyalty loss. Besides causing a poor user experience and consequent decreased user satisfaction, there are also risks that can impact a company’s finances. Errors, security flaws and other errors can open a product up to liability or privacy-related issues, effectively putting the company at risk. In order to ensure the highest possible satisfaction with a product and keep the risk of liability and financial loss to a minimum, it is important for companies to enact measures to increase bug reporting and develop systems to quickly address user issues. First, companies should identify the root cause of users not reporting bugs which could include a lengthy bug-reporting process, a lack of bug feedback or a lack of awareness of existing bugs. After identifying the issue, companies can then target solutions that address the underlying problems. For example, they could create a bug-reporting system that is easier to access or provide more bug-reporting feedback to the users. Additionally, companies should take steps to make bug reporting an integrated part of the user experience. This could be through providing bug-repoting features within the product itself, or setting up rewarding systems such as points, discounts or bonus items for reporting bugs. In order for companies to ensure the greatest user satisfaction and the least financial risk, greater attention needs to be given to user bug reporting. If companies make steps to ensure that their bug reporting system is robust, easily accessible and rewards users for reporting bugs, bug reporting rates can improve which can ultimately lead to more satisfied users and a better product.
The findings of this research make a clear statement that app developers need to improve their user communication channels to foster better customer engagement. Developers should look at creating customer support portals, a separate bug reporting page, and rewards programs that encourage users to report bugs. Furthermore, customer success teams should consider leveraging AI-based support systems to automate routine bug fixes and make bug tracking easier. With the right strategies in place, developers can ensure that the customer journey is seamless and turn disgruntled users into satisfied customers.

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