Preventive Webhook alerts

Profile Pic of Pranit Bauva Pranit Bauva

When I onboarded the very first customer for Reverse Penny Drop (RPD) product for bank account verification that I built for Setu, I used to check whether the webhooks sent to them were being received and processed properly every day by sifting through logs. The metrics for RPD were very dependent on our customers’ uptime and their ability to process webhooks correctly. We had to prove to our customers the value proposition from these metrics since we had launched an industry-first product and we were the only ones offering it.

I did come across many instances of a few payloads that weren’t being processed correctly and I would email our customers the payload and the error so that they can replay the payloads for debugging and fix the issue. Then we onboarded a few more customers and I repeated it with them in the initial phases. After a point, I stopped doing it. It was a manual operational thing I had to do day after day. We had automated monitoring and alerting for our API endpoints, though, at that time, there didn’t seem to be an easy way to setup alerts for webhooks. Moreover, we had to send email alerts to customers outside of Setu.

But does that mean errors stopped happening? Possibly NO.

The webhook consumers often make deployments, do refactors, upgrade some functionalities and each deployment is a risk, a risk of some edge case not being covered or something going wrong. One could argue that setting up thorough integration tests on the webhook receiver’s end is recommended, and while it is always preferable to have integration tests, not setting up adequate alerts shouldn’t be an option. If you are thinking that webhook consumers should setup alerts on their end for their API endpoints, you may not be used to taking control of destiny in your own hands. After all if your product doesn’t help your customer even if it’s their problem, it would still reflect poorly on your product.

Give your customers the white glove enterprise-level support they deserve. Make the decision-maker look good by choosing you, improve the metrics they are responsible for, and help them get promoted.

That’s how when your customers’ employees switch companies, the first thing they recommend to their new employer is to buy your software. This is what happened with Setu’s RPD.

That’s how you get the sweet power of word of mouth to work for you.

This is how you become the market leader and have competitors trying to copy you and yet fail, because they don’t know what it feels like to take the reins of destiny into their own hands.

This is how you get to cross sell other things. They have to absolutely love the first experience in order to buy more from you.

This is what a sustainable business moat looks like. If your competitors know the secret and are still not able to perform to your standards, you DESERVE to be the market leader and have followers who can try to copy you as much as they want, but they just don’t have what it takes.

This is HOW YOU WIN.

Stop being an engineer who has to glue things together because some JIRA ticket says so and call it a day, you are destined to win as long as you take matters into your own hands.

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