To gain a better understanding of the customer validation industry, we conducted an industry survey of professionals from more than 260 technology companies. The results of the survey have helped us identify trends of where companies are succeeding and struggling with their customer validation programs. We specifically asked if the respondent’s company collected feedback from real customers in real environments before a product’s release.
A whopping 96% of the respondents said that their companies run these types of tests, but only 60% call them “beta tests.” Across the industry, there are dozens of other terms that companies use for this important part of product development.
Here’s a selection of some of the other terms used across the industry:
This simple, yet significant fragmentation in terminology indicates that the industry is still in its infancy. While all of these tests ultimately aim to achieve the same thing (validation of the product from real customers), there are many variations in how companies implement them.
With this level of fragmentation, people tasked with running their first beta test or assessing the efficacy of their company’s existing processes are put in a tough spot. This problem was further illustrated when survey respondents said that the biggest challenges they face when running beta tests is having no standardized processes for their beta program and struggling to juggle multiple tools.
This is why it’s important to build standardization across the industry. If companies of all shapes and sizes learn from each other’s successes, it will ensure that, as an industry, we can focus more on pushing innovation and building more reliable, better products rather than worrying about how to run these kinds of tests.
Over the coming months, we’ll continue to dive deeper into the Centercode Beta Testing Industry Survey Report 2016 for a better look at what the results mean for the customer validation industry and how we can begin to grow stronger as an industry.