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Product Development

Extending the Value of Customer Testing Through Integrations

July 17, 2018

Today’s platforms collect and catalog more data than ever, but for many organizations, that data is gathered and stored in multiple places, making it very difficult to access from one tool to the next. The ability to push and receive data is especially critical to Customer Validation programs, whose organizational value is directly proportional to their stakeholders’ ability to identify and leverage the user-driven insights they produce. This means you and your team can spend significant time shuffling data between systems to ensure everyone gets essential data that’s easily consumable.

Most organizations leverage system integrations to some capacity, but when it comes to customer testing, connecting your systems to increase efficiency and expand the organizational adoption of Alpha, Beta, and Field Testing outcomes is crucial to your program’s longevity. Here’s how platform integrations can highlight the value of your customer testing efforts, encourage adoption, and supercharge your processes.

Maximizing Efficiency with Integrations

Between community management, test planning, collecting feedback, and building reports, your CV program is regularly pulling in and pushing out massive amounts of data. As someone charged with managing that data, it’s often the nitty-gritty tasks – like creating tickets in Jira, copying and pasting cells between spreadsheets, and emailing progress reports to stakeholders – that eat up more of your time than developing the big-picture, feedback-based recommendations that are central to your role and the improvement of your product.

Automating the bulk of this labor through integration with Jira, Salesforce, Tableau, or other platforms gets incoming and outgoing data where it needs to be in far less time, while reducing the risk of important information falling through the cracks. Leveraging user data supplied from other departments also means you’re extending the functionality of your own tools with more comprehensive data. The more easily you’re able to access the hard-earned data and information of other internal teams – or even external resources – the more transparent and less redundant your efforts become.

Use Case
For a Customer Validation team that tests products with age restrictions, sending test products to a minor is a huge liability they need to avoid at all costs. To comply with laws and regulations, test managers compare their tester email addresses against a spreadsheet of school domains and IP addresses managed by their company’s compliance team. Integrations allow them to pull real-time data from these lists into their tool and automatically flag underage users as restricted, shaving hours from their work and dramatically decreasing the risk for error.

Increasing Internal Adoption of Your CV Program

Nearly all companies understand the value of Customer Validation, but not all departments take the time to leverage the results of CV tests meaningfully. Oftentimes, it boils down to the accessibility of that data.

Part of the Customer Validation journey is level-setting within your company to help people understand what you do – and a lot of that is being able to provide them with the information they need so you can deliver value to them.

Rob Hart, Senior Technical Projects Supervisor at Trimble

Your colleagues have invested significant resources into their own tools and supporting procedures, so enabling them to access real-time data within their own environments is crucial to the adoption of your customer product insights. Rather than disrupting departmental workflows by introducing yet another silo of information in a separate tool (or set of tools), using systems that automatically share data turns isolated platforms into a powerful network of useful data. Automated integrations allow you and your stakeholders to spend less time shuffling data and more time implementing the results of your CV tests.

Use Case
Integrating your customer testing platform with your customer relationship manager (Salesforce, for example) allows your marketing team direct access to customer quotes they can leverage in their product promotions. At the same time, listener integrations automatically update your tester community profiles with your CRM’s data – including new purchases and support tickets – ensuring your team has the most up-to-date customer information during your next recruitment.

Future-Proofing Your CV Program

Ingraining Customer Validation into product development takes cooperation – not just between departments and their tools, but between your organization and its customers as well. Streamlining your output through automated integrations makes it easier for you to translate customer needs into insights that become the hallmarks of a sophisticated, delightful product. A flexible tool that fits, not fights, with the systems you’ve already invested in, or could incorporate in the future, helps you showcase your program as an invaluable resource for customer-validated product recommendations.

To hear more use cases and get an in-depth look at new, intuitive integrations for streamlining your Customer Validation processes, don’t miss a live demo of Centercode C15 on July 19th.

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