Everyone knows that a great beta test will catch bugs and product issues prior to launch. But did you know that beta testing impacts more than just the development of the product? By leveraging customer feedback and data with different departments in your organization, you can easily solidify the value of your product, refocus your marketing efforts, increase sales, save on costs, and better plan for the future. Let’s take a closer look at how five different departments can utilize beta test results.
Development and quality assurance teams receive the most quantifiable feedback from beta testing. By analyzing the product’s real-world performance, they can easily identify, evaluate, and prioritize bugs to ensure the product works the way customers expect it to. By understanding these issues ahead of time, they are able to spend less time fixing problems post-release and more time ensuring customers receive a quality product right out of the gate. This will also help the development and QA teams create a more effective development process, which all results in a higher quality product at a lower cost.
By letting your customers use your product in real environments, you get the opportunity to uncover any usability issues that pop up with your product in the real world. You can even have beta testers record their interactions with the product, which can uncover usability problems that they weren’t consciously aware of. What were their first impressions unboxing the product? Did they get confused? Perhaps they tried a feature they didn’t understand and used it incorrectly or skipped it completely.
Through beta testing, you’re able to expand on any usability studies your team has previously done in a lab and see how your product is performing out in the wild. This can provide valuable feedback that will allow you to make some final improvements before release.
By running a beta test, product managers can decrease their time to market by understanding their customer’s expectations, allowing them to spend precious time improving the critical aspects of the product and creating more efficient processes. Beta testing is the product management team’s opportunity to get real feedback from real users in real environments. It offers unique insights into the entire customer experience, from product readiness (will my customers be happy with how my product currently works?) to a competitive analysis (does my product stand up to the competition?).
Feature requests are a critical aspect of any beta test and should always be included as a form of feedback for testers to submit. This is because it not only helps keep these types of requests from ending up in bug reports, but it also lays the groundwork for understanding what your customers want to see next. This can help solidify and prioritize ideas for your roadmap, allowing you to build even better products in the future.
Leveraging beta test feedback in marketing and sales efforts is easier than you think. By collecting mock reviews and NPS scores, marketing and sales teams can focus on the parts of the product the customers love, support those claims with user-generated content (like quotes and case studies), and increase sales. Not to mention, having eager and reliable beta testers creates early adopters and evangelists of your product, which in turn helps create buzz and momentum during launch. Can you think of a better way to generate product awareness?
Your support team can benefit in more than one way if you include them in your beta test. During beta, they can interact with your beta testers and field real questions and issues. It will not only prepare them for commonly asked questions post launch but also give them the chance to review current documentation to ensure accuracy. In turn, this will lead to higher customer satisfaction rates and lower support costs.
When it’s all said and done, every department, no matter how small, can benefit from the customer validation that comes from an efficient beta test. Even though each department utilizes customer feedback in different ways, all of these tactics lead to higher customer retention, increased customer satisfaction, and ultimately, a more successful product release. To learn more about how beta testing provides value to different areas of your company, check out the Customer Validation in 20 Minutes ebook.