Customer Oriented Testing

user experience
22 Oct 2020
Customer is the King!

This is the absolute truth of today’s customer-centric arena. Without meeting the demands of a customer, companies cannot thrive & be profitable. Meeting customer expectations is extremely pivotal for businesses. Modern testing principle emphasis on the above point, which means customer inputs are very important in modern testing practices. Serving them with what they really need is the key of building a successful product. And I always believe that, if a product can't build trust or connect or relate with their customer is not a success!!!

This article is about the power shift of focus towards ensuring end-user delight while testing and developing.

In traditional testing, testing teams where more focussed on delivering only the "testing team objectives" rather than considering customer experience. Now, it is about beyond traditional testing.

Along with the evolution of products & technology, customers also evolved. This new vista is set to upend traditional test case-based approaches with different strategies and approaches. If the product is not satisfying the customers, they will definitely go for alternatives and the market have lot of options to choose from. And this is where we can end-up when deliverables are not focused on customer experience or customer point of view.

What really matters is the customer experience!!! It's a win-win if we can provide better customer experience.

And it's time to shift the testing objectives to delivering desired customer experience.

To design an effective customer oriented testing strategy, firstly we must understand customer behavior. Which encompasses different characteristics, traits, non-functional aspects alongside addressing human behavioral elements.

Mainly Emotions, Reactions & Feelings!!!

Michael Bolton has shared a wonderful piece of content to understand more about "Emotions in Software Testing"

Importance of Exploratory Testing in COT

No matter how carefully we design, develop & test our product, people will refuse to stick to the happy paths we laid out for them 😄 And we cannot blame them for that, we also behave the same when we are customers/users of a product.

customer- centric test strategy

It's why exploratory testing is so important when we are customer oriented.

Do something unexpected, as your customers certainly will.

Understanding the customer & user journey gives us an infinite space to test and vast possibilities to explore the product.

Follow the intuition and understand the design with the intent of a user engaging to it

Don't simply test, understand the context, ask questions and challenge assumptions

How Testers can bring Value in COT?

Testers bring value by helping to combine the understanding of technical requirements of the system with the big picture of what the business needs. Also, they ask questions to evoke requirements and remove hidden assumptions. And these questions are the important part while learning more about the product and helps understand it well.

The main purpose is to give valuable suggestions to improve products. Staying focused on the customer leads to improvements that are validated and useful.

Customer-driven approach is the best way to ensure that your customers will actually use the product you’re building

Priorities in COT Test Strategy
  • Improving customer experience & driving business outcomes
  • Analyzing risk & reduce its probability of occurrences
  • Use specifications for understanding risks and input to manual exploratory tests
  • Consider emotional and psychological experiences
  • Conduct in-depth performance testing
  • Depend on opinions beyond specifications
  • Involve, collaborate, communicate with customer-facing team members
  • Keep data as the source of truth. Analyze previous versions Issues reported, Customer Feedback, User Inputs, Inputs from customer support team to drive the testing
  • Focus on factors like Accessibility, Trust(Security), Intuitive & Ease of Use(UI/UX), Functionality & Content

How we can Approach?

User Data as the basis of Test Strategy

Let Data & Knowledge drive the tests evolved from opinions

Understanding how customers use our application is a valuable information for every team. Before building a Customer Oriented Test Strategy look at user analytics. Analyze the previous data & understand the risks. Feedbacks received from previous versions, production issues, customer support team inputs are the informations to consider while building a customer-centric test strategy. We can even provide valuable recommendations by gathering inputs from these sources.

user experience

Consider an example of an e-commerce application, where the bounce rate is more due to the page load time in checkout screen. By analyzing this data, we can provide recommendations on reducing the page load time thereby reducing the bounce rate and increasing the revenue and improve the conversion funnel.

Data is the key factor for a customer oriented strategy. Just imagine, if a small reduction in page load can increase the revenue of a business, how much impact can we bring in by analyzing relevant technical behavior & data? Also, have frequent chat with your customer facing teams or real customers and gather inputs and feedbacks.

User-Centric Regression Tests

More focussed on creating regression tests from production logs, which are detailed records of possible user activity paths. By analyzing the logs or tracking system, we can gauge the user attempts and possible paths and focus more on those areas. Automated tests, smoke tests, performance testing, and transaction monitoring all benefit from knowing the top customer features from these logs.

Let Data & Knowledge drive the tests evolved from opinions

Rather than choosing all the major functions of the application to determine stability, testers can choose the functions that matter most to customers. The larger a platform, the more that usage is distributed. Users favorite features should be monitored closely for error rate and should be tested in-depth based on risks identified.

Prioritization of Tests based on Device & Configurations

Again, data is the key here also. Customer usage data plays vital role in building a proper customer-centric test strategy. Having the analytics on customer usage devices & configurations is very useful. It helps to identify which browser is being used the most, which OS is preferred, which platform receives more traffic, which mobile device is being used by most of the users etc. Based on these, companies can focus on configurations used mostly by the customers. And, this is where cloud providers play key role. Rather than depending on in-house options buying more real devices, it is always a good choice to rely on cloud providers like BrowserStack, SauceLabs, LambdaTest etc.

Performance Testing
  • How will you rate the application which is having a severe performance issue?
  • How you feel if the application keeps on loading for a while?
customer- centric test strategy

Answers to these questions give us the importance of performance testing in customer-oriented test strategy. As I said before, emotions and feelings are more important in customer-centric strategies. And performance is the key factor in that.

Monitor & Prioritize

Focussing all over the place can be an hassle for all the teams. So, keep in mind to Monitor what is relevant & prioritize what has to be resolved faster.

exploratory testing

User actions help us to create a focussed UI test automation strategy, client preferences give us focus to test the most important configurations. Also, this monitoring give us the Knowledge to build a customer-oriented test strategy.

Understanding customer behaviors benefits everyone... Team, Stakeholders & Users
There is no Success without satisfying Customers

We’re living in a customer-centric era & everyone tries to be more user-centered in their approaches. Also, customers have higher expectations of the technology they use, and meeting those expectations is critical. There is always an alternative option for them, so meeting expectations & building a relation with customer is more important. Bringing customer-oriented strategies to the top, we win more business. Customer oriented testing is generally when the tester takes on the persona of a customer.

It describes a goal, but gives freedom of imagination to the testers on how to achieve that goal. But, certainly, it is good to ask more questions to clarify as the expectations & desires of the user keep on changing.
Why Testvox?

And we at Testvox, provide a customer-first approach in our testing strategies. As we know there is no success without satisfying the customers.