Is the customer satisfied? This question is answered with the UAT – the last important step in the development of software. It cannot be automated. And skipping it is not a good idea.
Because this test has a great influence on the satisfaction of the customer. That’s why you have to pay special attention to how it’s performed. Because it’s about much more than the functionality of the application.
If you want to have customers who praise your business and recommend it to others, then read this article to the end. Here we explain how the UAT affects customer satisfaction and how you can use that 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’ve developed customer relationship management software, it needs to be tested by a salesperson on 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 must also define the circumstances under which the test is considered a failure.
It would be best if you define this together with the customer. That way you have common expectations for the test.
Step 2: Planning
For a UAT, you need to prepare many things. For example, you need to find end users and sign a non-disclosure agreement with them if necessary. Also, decide whether the test will take place online (e.g. Zoom) or in an office.
Also, be careful when scheduling time. Unexpected errors can occur that prolong the whole process. (If you’ve been to UATs before, you probably know that the demonstration effect exists in computer applications, too).
Step 3: Implementation
There must be a lot of concentration during the execution. Avoid distractions as much as possible. And most importantly, record everything that happens during testing, because otherwise you’ll lose all the feedback.
Step 4: Reporting
Create a report by evaluating the results of the UAT. Afterwards, you need to determine the next steps in consultation with the customer.
What Influences the Satisfaction of the Customer
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,” they often say. But that is not the complete answer. Because you’re not just offering the customer an end product, but a process.
Was this process painful and exhausting? Then the customer will be less satisfied with your service despite a good end product.
In addition, applications must be produced in collaboration with the customer. To make this collaboration work well, pay attention to the following:
Ask the customer 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 longer radio silence, your customer 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 when unexpected deadlines have to be postponed, customers feel disappointed.
Not all customers 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 when developing software. But in such cases, you can’t just say “no”, you have to offer the customer several options.
Why UATs Are Critical to Customer Satisfaction
One of the strongest factors influencing customer satisfaction is the UAT process. These are the reasons:
Customers Actively Participate in the Development Process
In UAT, customers are highly involved because they voice their opinions and concerns. Because of this involvement, there is a stronger bond with the product. Those who participate in cooking appreciate the food more.
The Perception of Quality Increases
With a smooth UAT, the customer’s confidence in the product increases. It gives a feeling of security before the launch. However, there can also be an opposite effect if the test does not go well.
However, there are usually no perfect UATs in which no suggestions for improvement can be collected.
In fact, it even has a better impact on the customer’s satisfaction if they find their own suggestions for improvement. 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.
Here’s How You Conduct UATs for Maximum Customer Satisfaction
Now you already know how a UAT affects your customers’ satisfaction. But there are other aspects you need to consider to ensure that the UAT maximizes your customers’ satisfaction:
Ask Questions in the Right Way
During the UAT, you have to ask the customer a lot of questions. And these questions must be thoroughly prepared beforehand. But the way you ask these questions has a big impact on the customer’s perception.
- Wrong: In your opinion, was this feature implemented well?
- Right: You expressed at the beginning that [need] is important to you. That’s why we implemented [feature]. Does that meet your expectations?
This shows that your product is not a generic solution, but a customized application.
Therefore, do not use generic questions. Prepare an extremely individualized questionnaire!
Keep the Process Simple
UATs must not be too long. Because if the testers lose concentration, they can make human errors.
Likewise, the process must 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 customers. They prefer to keep thoughts to themselves and are not comfortable voicing criticism.
You have to counteract this. Create a relaxed atmosphere and convey to the customer that criticism will not hurt feelings.
It also helps to provide multiple feedback channels. For example, some prefer to provide certain concerns in writing afterwards.
The UAT provides a lot of insights about your product. Now it’s up to the product owners and developers to translate this feedback into a better product. This means that the application will change at certain places. Now it is important to accompany the changes with tests. The best way to do this is with automated UATs that constantly monitor that the application is available to the user as it was intended. No change should breake the application. Then your product will be lifted to the next level with a lot of happy users!
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