Increasing testability by increasing customer empathy
30 days of Testability, day four
Today’s question is:
Do you know what your top three customer impacting issues are? How could you find out?
For the 30 days of testability so far, we’ve been talking a lot about logging, metrics and analytics. So, naturally my answer leaned this way. You know what issues are impacting customers, by looking at data, right? Analytics, alerts? A ticketing system?
Well, maybe… I asked the question in our team Slack chat, and got a variety of answers. Turns out, when it comes to customer issues and testability, different people have different perspectives.
So I dug a little deeper, and talked to Amanda, one of our project delivery leads, in more detail about the subject:
I think the answer lies in knowing your customer. If you know your customer, you can empathise with them, and target testing to what their priorities are.
That comes from talking. Talking to customers, or, talking to people that talk to customers.
It seems straight forward, but sometimes organisations build barriers to this happening. Metaphorical walls, that is. Walls between the people making the product, and the people using it.
Breaking down those walls, I think, is one of the keys to testability.
Here are some ways you could do this:
- You could talk to your customers, if that’s OK in the context of your organisation.
- Or, you could talk to the people that talk to your customers. That could be support, or sales, or product. Anyone who can shed some light on how your customers are using the product, and the problems they’re facing.
- Or, you could become a customer yourself! Being a user of your product is an important way of understanding what problems customers face. You might hear this called ‘dogfooding’. I recently heard the term ‘drinking your own champagne’, which I like a lot better.
By doing these things, you can build empathy with your customers, and build a product that better suits them.
As always, thanks for reading / watching!