Ensuring Valuable Product Testing Insights are Infused Into the Product Development Process
When your development team is validating a new product, conducting product testing is a critical part of the process. When companies look to add formalized product testing to their processes or enhance a current process, this is often part of a larger strategy. This is known as collecting and applying voice of the customer feedback across the organization.
Product testers provide critical pre-market insights about products as they use the products in real-world ways. Companies leveraging an enterprise-grade product testing solution like MESH01 are continuously generating product testing feedback. This feedback improves product design, development, merchandising, marketing, and the product experience.
Applying voice of the customer feedback to your product development process ensures you’re launching a product that will deliver a great customer experience. According to Forbes, 86% of buyers will pay more for that experience.
Product testing is integral. But how can you make sure your product teams are capturing voice of the customer feedback? How can you be sure you are applying it to the product development process with effective feedback loops?
What Does an Ideal Voice of the Customer Feedback Loop Look Like in Product Development?
There are some key steps that are necessary to implement an effective voice of the customer feedback loop in your organization. Let’s take a look:
- Generate voice of customer feedback.
This component is arguably the most important. Without it, you have no feedback to apply to your product development process. Using a purpose-built product testing platform like MESH01 gives you access to a vast community of product testers. This community can be narrowed down to be representative of your target market. After all, it’s critical that you’re listening to the right voices.
You can launch surveys and collect field testing activity logs. Additionally, you can collect images and videos, performance zone heatmaps, and other information through multiple feedback channels. Tester feedback is provided in real-time so you can share the findings with product teams right away. This gives you the opportunity to execute improvements even on tight deadlines.
- Analyze the voice of customer feedback data.
Depending on the product and size of your testing community, you may have quite a bit of feedback data to sift through. Analyzing the data helps you understand how to apply the feedback in the most impactful way.
Your product testing solution should provide a dashboard from which you can extract all of the tester feedback. This will allow you to parse out call-outs, commonalities, and themes (both positive and negative) in how testers were reacting to your product. This process will not only help your teams identify what should be improved but will also help prioritize decision-making based on what’s most important to your customers.
- Collaborate on executing actionable insights.
Once you have analyzed the voice of the customer feedback generated through product testing, you’ll be able to assign direct action to the most appropriate teams.
For example, if the feedback addresses a product quality issue such as inconsistencies with a material, sourcing can collaborate on the solution. However, if the feedback addresses a design issue, such as a trim component that is not meeting expectations, collaborating with design will ensure the product issue is addressed before going to market.
- Conduct additional testing as needed.
After you have applied the changes to the product as indicated by a product test, you can send subsequent prototypes or samples out to your product testers. These additional rounds of product testing can provide even more critical feedback. This ensures the improvements solve customer concerns. The more validation you have that your product meets the needs of your target customers, the more confident you can be in your product launch.
Continuous Customer Feedback Loops
Even after product launch, generating and analyzing customer feedback is an important part of establishing valuable continuous feedback loops. Reviews, social media posts, customer service calls, and more often give completely free insight into how your customers are experiencing your product. However, these are often incomplete. To shore up these feedback loops and ensure representative feedback is being generated, the addition of product testing to current products is often employed with significant impact. Following up on customer feedback generated through accurate channels builds customer loyalty, too.
What Have We Learned?
- Collecting voice of the customer feedback through product testing is an integral part of product creation.
This is the only way to surely know how your target customers will experience your product once it hits the market. After all, you don’t want to find out about avoidable issues after launch.
- Creating an effective feedback loop is critical to ensuring your product development teams are informed.
This keeps everyone on the same page about what needs to be done to improve or update the product. This is incredibly helpful when there is an already tight development timeline.
- Voice of the customer feedback loops enables companies to shape their product roadmaps.
This provides valuable insight into product issues you may not have been aware of. Additionally, it can reveal updates that can propel a product forward. When you’re aware of how to enhance your product in a way that’s meaningful to your customers, you can move more quickly to deliver what they want when they want it.
- A structured feedback loop helps support your organization’s strategic goals.
You would want to know if a product or category is consistently declining. Keep your business and brand strong by addressing these issues at the source. Using pre-market customer feedback will help to deliver new or updated products that resonate and will be successful.
A Final Note on Collecting Voice of the Customer Feedback.
Some brands opt to use employees, family, or friends for product testing. This may feel like it will save time in the testing process but it’s generally not. MESH01 customers consistently report not only concerns about feedback quality (bias) with feedback loops dependent on friends, family, and coworkers but also longer turnarounds compared to dedicate, non-biased testers.
To ensure both relevance and reliability, conduct product testing using a solution like MESH01 that features an integrated product tester community. Our platform is designed to accommodate even the tightest product development timelines. The more valuable the feedback, the more impactful your product will be after launch.