Centecode is headed to Boston! Register for our user groupnetworking event on May 21st!
Test Closure

How Do I Make Stakeholders Care About My Beta Feedback?

May 25, 2017

You put a lot of time and effort into collecting actionable feedback during your beta test. This feedback not only has the power to improve the quality of your product, but can positively impact the entire customer experience — ultimately helping you release a better, more successful product. But that will only happen if your feedback actually gets implemented. So how can you get the stakeholders in your company to sit up and pay attention to your customer feedback? These tips should help.

Align the Data with Their Objectives

Your stakeholders aren’t going to care about data that doesn’t relate to their goals, so the first step is to make sure you’re sending them feedback that aligns with their team’s objectives. Then you need to paint the picture of exactly how it aligns with those objectives.

For example, it’s tempting to send your UX team all of the bugs and suggestions that came in during your test because they could all potentially improve the user experience of your product. But if they have an initiative to improve the onboarding experience for your product, you significantly increase the chances of the feedback getting implemented by pulling out the feedback relevant to improving the onboarding experience and providing that to your team, along with specific recommendations based on the data.

Connecting feedback directly with the goals of your stakeholders will make it much easier for them to process the feedback and see how it will help them achieve their key initiatives.

Give Them Context

Customer feedback is only useful if your team understands the context for that feedback. A bug report isn’t valuable to your QA team if it doesn’t include the version of your software the tester was using, what OS they have, and the steps that preceded the issue. Otherwise, your team will need to make a lot of assumptions to try and reproduce and fix the issue, which will waste valuable time and effort (if they’re successful at all).

Instead, make sure you’re collecting all the key contextual data your team needs to understand the feedback collected to then be able to act on it. That way you have the important details when your team starts digging into the data. The key here is to strike a balance. You need to collect the important data without overwhelming your testers with overly detailed forms every time they submit a bug. We recommend using test platforms to tackle this issue.

Prioritize It For Them

Customer validation tests can easily create mountains of data, even if you only have a small group of testers. If you send all of that raw data to your stakeholders they’re going to get overwhelmed quickly. It’s much more effective if you send them the relevant data already prioritized.

To do this, you need to set up a scoring system. If you understand the goals of your stakeholders, you can take that into account in your scoring and combine it with the relative popularity of the feedback. This will allow the most important feedback to rise to the top, making it easy for your stakeholders to see where they should focus their attention first. Our platform allows you to score feedback automatically, but you can set up a manual scoring rubric if needed.

Pull out Insights

You’ll be up to your eyeballs in feedback throughout your test, so you’re naturally going to see trends and interesting insights emerge. Pull these out and provide them to your stakeholders. Chances are they aren’t going to do a ton of digging into the data from your test on their own, but if you provide a few interesting insights, it will whet their appetite and get them interested in what else they might be able to uncover.

For example, you might find that female testers used one feature far more than male testers. By digging into that feedback you might uncover an interesting use case that your team hadn’t considered. Telling your marketing team about it could uncover a new marketing message that wasn’t in their existing strategy. These kinds of aha moments are where your program can really shine, so it’s important to make sure your stakeholders see them too.

Add Some Color

Don’t just send your stakeholders some bland reports. Be sure to add in some color. (And I must say, our reports are pretty gorgeous.) You should put in quotes from testers or anecdotes about the test that illustrate the point you’re trying to make with the data in the report.

For instance, if the report is about the major support issues customers ran into over the course of the test, include quotes from testers from their journal entries about how they felt when they encountered the problems. This will make the data more real for your stakeholders and remind them of what’s at stake.

Collecting the data is only half the battle as a beta manager. You then need to get your own colleagues to take the feedback seriously and use it to implement real change. For more advice on collecting and managing actionable feedback during beta testing, check out our Feedback Playbook. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter so you get more articles like this one delivered straight to your inbox!

No items found.