Beta Testing Programs

Options
ashley_martin
ashley_martin Member Posts: 30 Navigator
5 Insightfuls First Anniversary 5 Likes First Comment

Hi All -

I work for a start up that is 3 years old. We sell hardware today and will be selling our first SaaS offering coming soon. We are allowing customers to be apart of a beta program for it. However, we have no established process around beta testing. And from what I have seen so far we let customers beta new firmware and rarely get feedback or the customer just doesn't test it.

I am trying to avoid this behavior in the future as I have a very large book of business. I would like to streamline the process so that the customers who do sign up for the beta are actually testing and providing feedback.

Any tips would be much appreciated.

Tagged:

Comments

  • MattSmith
    MattSmith Member Posts: 7 Navigator
    First Comment Name Dropper
    Options

    I think the important thing would be what incentive is there for a customer to take part in the beta and provide feedback?

    Do they get direct access to your product/development team to influence your development/roadmap?

    Is there a financial incentive like % off their renewal, or discount on your new SaaS offering?


    Feedback is hard to get, so you should target the customers in your book that you have the best relationships with so they would be happy to chat about your release, combined with those other customers where you know this solves a problem/gap they have.

    If you're building a process for it, you can give time-limited access to the beta (say 30 days) but the customer must complete a feedback form after 10 days in order to keep access for the remainder of the time, and then agree to get on a call with you/the team after 25 days to discuss their feedback.

  • Javed Maqsood
    Javed Maqsood Member Posts: 31 Contributor
    First Anniversary 5 Insightfuls 5 Likes First Comment
    Options

    Hi ashley_martin -

    Matt brings up a few important points for you in the previous post. Additional thoughts

    Draw some boundaries for your beta program, with discussion and buy-in from product and any other departments involved. Boundaries could be -

    • How many customers would go through beta and in what cadence?
    • What qualifies a customer to be in beta?
    • What agreement do you need to have in place with the customer to be part of beta? they need to have a stake in the program - something that they would benefit from. In return, what would they do for you; like provide feedback.
    • When would beta end and what would be the state of the usage of the product afterwards.
    • How would feedback be filtered to product

    Lastly, how does this program affect your book of business management - internal discussion and alignment is also a must.

    Hope that helps.

    Javed Maqsood

    Javed Maqsood
    Advisor, Mentor

Leave a Comment

Rich Text Editor. To edit a paragraph's style, hit tab to get to the paragraph menu. From there you will be able to pick one style. Nothing defaults to paragraph. An inline formatting menu will show up when you select text. Hit tab to get into that menu. Some elements, such as rich link embeds, images, loading indicators, and error messages may get inserted into the editor. You may navigate to these using the arrow keys inside of the editor and delete them with the delete or backspace key.