Is the customer satisfied? This question is answered with the UAT – the last important step in software development. It cannot be automated. And skipping it is not a good idea.
Because this test has a great influence on the customer’s satisfaction. That’s why you have to pay special attention to how it is carried out. Because it is about much more than the functionality of the application.
If you want to have customers who praise your business and recommend it to others, read this article to the end. Here we explain how the UAT influences customer satisfaction and how you can use this to your advantage.
The Basics: What Are UATs All About?
Applications are usually tested by developers. This is because there are many types of tests that require a lot of expertise. But with UATs, an end user tests the application. Without any prior knowledge.
For example, if you have developed a customer relationship management software, it has to be tested by a salesperson at the UAT. Or if you have developed a video game, it should be tested by a gamer.
At the end of the test you must be able to answer the following: Does the end user find his way around? Or is he confused and unable to navigate the application without help? The test scenario must always be as realistic as possible.
Step by Step: This Is How a UAT Must Proceed
A successful UAT is planned and has a clear process.
Step 1: Set the test objectives
At the beginning, you need to define what a successful test would look like. You also need to define the circumstances under which the test is considered a failure. It would be best if you define this together with the client. That way you have common expectations for the test.
Step 2: Planning
For a UAT, you have to prepare a lot of things. For example, you need to find end-users and, if necessary, sign a non-disclosure agreement with them. Also decide whether the test will take place via Zoom or in an office.
Also be careful when scheduling time. Unexpected errors can occur that prolong the whole process. (If you have been to UATs before, you probably know that the demonstration effect also exists in computer applications).
Step 3: Implementation
There must be a lot of concentration during the performance. Avoid distractions as much as possible. And most importantly, record everything that happens during testing, otherwise you will lose all the feedback.
Step 4: Reporting
Prepare a report by evaluating the results of the UAT. Then you have to determine the next steps in consultation with the client.
What Influences Customer Satisfaction
Before we talk about the relationship between UATs and customer satisfaction, it is important to clearly define how customer satisfaction is created in the first place.
IT service providers often have a simple answer to this question: “A good end product makes the customer happy” is often said. But that is not the complete answer. Because you are not just offering the customer an end product, but a process.
Was this process painful and exhausting? Then the client will be less satisfied with your service, despite a good end product.
In addition, applications must be produced in collaboration with the customer. For this collaboration to work well, pay attention to the following:
Ask the client many questions. This shows that you want to understand them. Customers always want to feel that their needs are being addressed. Also remember to give regular updates. If there is a long period of radio silence, your client will feel neglected.
Something is not going as planned? Don’t try to cover it up. Instead, talk openly about challenges and share how you plan to solve your problems. This builds trust. But if deadlines have to be pushed back unexpectedly, customers feel disappointed.
Not all clients know what they really want. And a client’s wishes can change in the middle of a project. You have to react to this professionally and be as adaptable as possible. However, there are also limits. Not all changes of direction are realistic in software development. But in such cases, you can’t just say “no”, you have to offer the client several options.
Why UATs Are Crucial for Customer Satisfaction
Einer der stärksten Faktoren, der Kundenzufriedenheit beeinflusst, ist der Ablauf des UATs. Das sind die Gründe:
- Customers actively participate in the development process
In UAT, customers are highly involved because they voice their opinions and concerns. Because of this involvement, a stronger bond with the product is created. Those who participate in cooking appreciate the food more.
- Perception of quality increases
With a smooth UAT, the customer’s confidence in the product increases. There is a sense of security before the launch. However, there can also be an opposite effect if the test does not go well. But usually there are no perfect UATs where no suggestions for improvement can be collected. In fact, it has a better effect on the client’s satisfaction if they find suggestions for improvement themselves. Because that way you can implement their ideas. And in the end, they have a product that they know works exactly as they want it to.
How to Conduct UATs for Maximum Customer Satisfaction
Now you know how a UAT influences your customers’ satisfaction. But there are other aspects you need to consider to ensure that the UAT maximises your customers’ satisfaction:
Ask Questions in the Right Way
During the UAT, you have to ask the client many questions. And these questions must be thoroughly prepared beforehand. But the way you ask these questions has a big impact on the client’s perception.
Wrong: In your opinion, has this feature been implemented well?
Right: You expressed at the beginning that [need] is important to you. That’s why we implemented [feature]. Does this meet your expectations?
This shows that your product is not a general solution, but a customised application. Therefore, do not use generic questions. Prepare an extremely individualised questionnaire!
Keep the Process Simple
UATs must not be too long. Because if the testers lose concentration, they can make human errors.
The process must also be simple. This way, all participants can follow attentively without anyone getting lost in thought.
Get the Customer Talking
A big problem with UATs is shy clients. They prefer to keep thoughts to themselves and are not comfortable voicing criticism.
You have to counteract this. Create a relaxed atmosphere and let the client know that criticism will not hurt their feelings. It also helps to provide multiple feedback channels. For example, some prefer to provide certain concerns in writing afterwards.
With the help of the UATs, the application was improved and optimised and finally taken live. The customers are satisfied and everyone is happy. End of story.
No, because now it’s about keeping the customer satisfied too. This is where the automated UATs come into play. They keep checking that the customer’s wishes continue to be served and that important suggestions are not suddenly ignored.
If you want to know more about how automated UATs can help keep your customers happy, get in touch!