Engagement Workshop: 4 Phases of Increasing Tester Participation

Securing high-quality feedback from your project is like taking a roadtrip — with the right travel companions, a thorough plan, and a map of how to get where you’re going, you have all the building blocks for success.

We’ve already dug into diagnosing potential challenges — communication breakdown, recruiting the wrong testers, friction caused by tools, and a product that isn’t ready for customer-testers — and how to start addressing them. Now, let’s talk about what happens when everything goes right. This outline of the ideal tester journey will help you set engagement goals for each phase of your Customer Validation project and clear the path of obstacles on your road to insightful, thorough tester feedback.

Engagement Workshop: 4 Phases of Increasing Tester Participation

Follow along with this blog post (or easily share the info with your team) using your own personal copy of the Tester Engagement Journey Map!

Phase One: Gathering Your Travelers

It’s easy to think that engaging your testers begins and ends while your test is in progress. In reality though, the steps you take toward maintaining high participation start during recruitment. To stick with the road trip analogy, who you’re bringing along for the ride has a huge influence on the overall ease and success of your travel plans.

What are your testers doing?

Applying for opportunities in your community

What’s your goal?

Attracting qualified test applicants

Your Strategy

Engagement Payoff

  • Interested, qualified applicants for your test
  • Key information to help you select the best testers

Phase Two: Getting Ready to Go

Are you all packed? Did you fill up your tank? Has everyone seen the schedule? Did they use the bathroom before they got into the car? Just like making sure that you’ve prepped in the time leading up to your trip, creating structure promotes higher participation once your test is up and running.

What are your testers doing?

Completing the necessary steps to join your project

What’s your goal?

Setting up your testers for success

Your Strategy

  • Ensure your testers complete the necessary agreements (e.g., NDAs)
  • Send a welcome letter that includes clear expectations for participation

Engagement Payoff

  • Well-informed and excited testers who understand how to provide valuable feedback

Phase Three: Having a Good Trip

With a plan drafted, the prep work done, and a group of enthusiastic, targeted testers using your product, this part should be easy. Like the driver, it’s your job to steer — communicate your overall progress, answer questions that pop up, and keep an eye out for any warning signs or obstacles. While nothing stops the unexpected from happening, the right testers and the preparations you’ve made will smooth out any bumps in the road.

What are your testers doing?

Using your product and providing feedback

What’s your goal?

Generate high volumes of relevant feedback

Your Strategy

  • Give testers an obstacle-free way to submit feedback (e.g., via forms)
  • Ask testers to complete weekly topics and activities
  • Remind testers when activities need to be completed
  • Be responsive, supportive, and encouraging to your testers at every opportunity

Engagement Payoff

  • Detailed, high-quality feedback that covers each of your key product areas
  • Real-world product usage metrics

Phase Four: Wrapping Things Up

You made it! But you’ve still got to unpack, tidy up, and check-in with your tester team — especially if you plan on traveling with them again! Make sure they have clear channels for returning your product and, of course, thank them for their part in your project! You couldn’t have done it without them, after all.

What are your testers doing?

Giving your final impressions of your product

What’s your goal?

Making sure your testers feel valued

Your Strategy

  • Send testers a sincere thank you message
  • Provide clear product return instructions (if applicable)
  • Reward your testers with incentives within a couple weeks of your project ending

Engagement Payoff

  • Your testers’ informed, holistic impressions of your product
  • Testers who are excited to test for you again (and primed to do so)

Learn from the Industry’s Best

The help doesn’t stop here. Get strategies for increasing engagement, survey participation tips, and best practices for communicating with testers from Autodesk and other experts in these on-demand sessions from Delta ’20: The Virtual Customer Validation Conference!

Watch the Delta ’20 Tester Engagement Sessions On-Demand

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