Vinta's Playbook

Plans and practices

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Communication FAQ

  • Be responsive. If a client has an inquiry that can't be checked promptly, reply stating the specific time you will get back to them at X time.

    Situation: Client reports a bug during the weekend.

    Response: "Hi, the bug was tracked. The team will check it Monday morning and get back to you."

  • When explaining bugs, detail the cause to the client so they can comprehend the issue and properly reply to users.

    Situation: A payment failed due to network issues.

    Response: "The user experienced a server error. This happens rarely due network issues we can’t control. This is a rare condition, but we receive reports of those errors. I was able to identify this problem by looking at a report I received 3,5 hours ago, i.e., the exact time X was charged. When this happens, recommended steps are:..."

  • Be extra careful with the tone of your written phrase. Be polite!

    Situation: Client reports a bug but you cannot reproduce it on your machine.

    Do not respond with: "It works on my machine". This might give the impression that you do not trust the client or that you are trying not to take responsibility.

    Much better response: "I'm afraid I could not reproduce the problem, can you provide more information?"

  • Be assertive when a client asks a question. If you're not sure, say you don't know and that you will check and get back to them at X time.

    Situation: Client asks about specific behavior of a feature.

    Response: "I'm not sure. Let me check the code so I can confirm the behavior. I'll let you know in about 30min."

  • Don't mitigate risk. Let the client aware of potential implications a feature, fix, deploy, etc may have. Reinforce your advice, but ultimately, the final decision is the clients. Your responsibility is fully disclosing the risk so they make a conscious decision.

    Situation: Client asks to proceed with a hard deadline of a feature that hasn't been fully QA.

    Response: "For a safer deploy flow, before deploying a feature to production we proceed with a detailed QA on Staging. This feature has not been fully tested, thus I strongly advise we push the deadline until X so we can follow our process. If this is not possible, please be aware that more bugs than expected may arise."

  • Don't be afraid to say no, but reframe the "no" using positive language.

    Situation: Client asks to deploy Friday night.

    Response: "I'm sorry, but we do not deploy on Fridays. We follow this process to assure that in case of an issue, developers can solve it on the following day."

Back to the Playbook

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