In a study conducted by Econsultancy and Adobe, 42 percent of companies surveyed identified strategy as the most important step to building a great customer experience. But within most businesses, several different groups, often in isolation from one another, manage “customer experience.” While testing is clearly a driver of improved customer experiences, these efforts are typically split across desktop and mobile groups, between marketing and merchandising, between sales and support, and across product and vertical teams. Building an integrated organization devoted to data and optimization may be a tall order, but one thing every testing team does is a powerful tool for approaching this goal.
1. What is testing again?
Testing teams often struggle to gain support and recognition and there’s typically a simple reason: no one else in the business understands or is aware of what they’re doing. Clear communication is critical for transforming testing from a “nice to have” to a necessity”—from moving from a stage one, two or three organization to a stage four or five. There are a lot of methods for communicating the importance and value of testing but the easiest is often to simply get more people into the right meetings, involved in the process and engaged in the outcome.
2. You didn’t know that promotion was coming?
Directly related to communication is the constant conflict caused by misalignment. When the testing team isn’t aligned with other groups in charge of promotions, merchandising, advertising, or development, tests end up broken or overriding other campaigns. Including representatives from related teams encourages communication of schedules at the least and ultimately leads to deeper collaboration.
3. Haven’t we tried that already?
No idea emerges from a vacuum and, as a result, our ability to develop novel solutions is confined by our exposure to new processes and ideas. Even experienced, advanced testing programs—and sometimes especially experienced programs—eventually encounter a usability problem or lagging metric they just can’t improve. Often, the winning idea is hidden in plain sight until an outside perspective makes it seem obvious.
Read more: 3 ways to break a testing idea rut
4. The idea is good but where’s the return?
It’s hard to grow a testing program without executive support—but even so most teams struggle to gain a true advocate early on. Doing so requires time, small successes, and a dedication to building trust. Sharing results directly, of course, can be very persuasive but inviting decision-makers and budget holders to strategy and brainstorming meetings can build their confidence in the entire process, not just the outcomes.
5. That’s not how we do things
Transitioning to a data-driven culture focused on testing and optimization is not easy for many organizations. It requires a shift in the way strategy is developed, decisions are made, and authority is reinforced. Including more people in the process helps nurture this cultural shift and support the changes once they take place.
Efficiency pushes a process to accomplish more, faster, with fewer people—and measuring your program against a standard of efficiency is a great way to grow. But improve the quality of tests and the significance of the testing program within the business; it may be possible to do just the opposite. A few more voices added to key stages of the process is a relatively simple way to address some of the major hurdles to testing success.