Customer feedback is important in any agency but especially in software development. No client or agency wants to get to the end of a project only to find out that they missed the mark. Collecting feedback along the way and throughout the process is a critical part of software development.
User experience can help optimize software development in several ways. This is particularly true for the discovery and validation stages. With usability testing, developers would know how their products perform in the real world. This might reveal issues that people may have overlooked. It also allows developers to fix those issues before launch.
Getting customer feedback for software development also has other benefits. This is one of the most effective ways to know what users are looking for in that software. Once you know their needs, wants, and insights, you can deliver a product in sync with expected customer demand.
But how can you have the best customer feedback experience possible in order to deliver the best product possible in the end? There are a few simple steps and processes you can integrate to better develop your customer feedback experience to deliver the most superior product at completion.
Have a dedicated channel of communication
The first thing software development teams have to do is create an open and viable channel of communication with customers. This can be better done by having a point of contact who could be a market researcher, business analyst, or an individual with experience in operations management. They should be able to communicate the client requirements to the developers and relay back the developer’s queries to the client.
This liaison between the developers and the customer shouldn’t be an afterthought to be brought in once the development process has begun. They should be part of early discussions, which will help them understand the project goals, capacity, and challenges. Clients should be able to contact the individual if they have any suggestions without developers having to attend meetings and video calls with the client.
Heycollab’s messaging allows clients to message with their feedback in real-time. Developers can upload and re-upload different versions of files for greater consistency and transparency. For more seamless communication, software development teams can use video calls from within the app for quick feedback or discuss project status in real-time.
Build a community of customers
All successful software development companies have a community of customers that they can turn to. If you’re developing a product for multiple clients, you should also develop a base of users to gather feedback. This allows you to spot problems before you get to the final stage. It’s also a credible form of market research since the audience will be an expert group of users.
A community builds transparency and encourages your current and potential clients to trust you. It would also reveal problems that users face. Some of these may have escaped the attention of developers. Scanning the community conversations, teams can discover specific features that users are looking for.
As the community increases, there will be fewer queries about older software and more focus on upcoming product attributes. This will allow developers to spend less time fixing bugs or addressing problems and more time developing new products or features. What makes this possible is software conducive to seamless communication.
To get more customer feedback and improve that experience, software development teams should regularly conduct tests. Developers don’t have to spend time on traditional data-gathering exercises. They are highly inefficient at scale and cause considerable delays in the process. Online tools can now help developers measure user behavior in real-time.
Even with all the discussions and market research, tracking how customers engage with your software can generate crucial insight. Your audience might be used to features on certain parts of the page. Their user experience would be suboptimal if they don’t find those features in a predictable space on your software.
Instead of rolling out the software and then learning from market feedback, these tests can reveal a wealth of data. Using that data, the development team can try out features at this stage and understand how customers use them. The more data you collect, the easier it would be to focus on those attributes that the client would want.
While understanding user experience ahead of launch reduces lead times, that’s not the primary reason. Putting in place a robust system for gathering customer feedback shows that the software developers are committed to delivering the most impactful product. Communicating regularly with customers shows that the development team is dedicated to improving the customer experience.