It’s important to treat your customers and beta testers right. In this post I explore how it can lead to your testers becoming happy customers too.
When doing research for a previous blog post about getting your testers involved to help find your target audience I realized that customers often feel like beta testers when they’re actually paying customers. In other words, the app they’ve bought has some bugs or limited usability and they reckon it should’ve been tested more before hitting the paying market. Unfortunately many organizations lack the time and money to do extensive quality controls of their apps and therefore release their products when it still have some kinks to work out. It might still be at an acceptable level, but it can be enough to annoy the consumer.
Here in the app development community we benefit from having beta testing as a huge part of our development process. When you clearly label your product as a beta version then your potential customers know that if they want to test it, they can to expect it to be flawed. It is a big no no in my book to treat your paying customers as unpaid beta testers, because you only get one chance to impress.
So instead of making the early adopter customers your beta testers, make the beta testers your customers. There are a few things you can do to increase the chance of this transformation from tester to customer. To start with obviously treat the testers well and have a good dialogue with them. When the beta testing is done you can offer them a special deal. Perhaps give them the production version of the product, or a reduced price or some other incentive that will turn them into customers. Just make sure to not offer this incentive until after the testing is done to avoid getting extra positive feedback in “exchange” for this offer. If you have a good app that they enjoyed testing it should be easy turning them into customers, as long as you genuinely appreciate them and show it.
So keep in mind, everyone is a potential customer and make sure to treat them that way, including your testers!