Aha! We get it now, we understand why we make excuses about not having the budget to speak with our customers. It’s fascinating that the most valuable feedback you’ll ever get is so undervalued within the culture. Fear not friends! As we discussed last week, we create all sorts of excuses for resisting usability testing, the first of which is money. Our quick survey showed us that customer feedback is one of the most difficult areas to get budget for in most companies, mostly because it is undervalued.
We often hear “We don’t have a testing budget” from conversations with our own customers. What that really means is, “I can’t figure out how to sell the value of testing, so nobody gives me money...” Product teams and user feedback is still being pushed aside, and it’s not because the value isn’t seen by “higher ups”, it’s because marketing has focused more on selling a story.
Testing has an ROI. Yes, the value of testing can be communicated to your team. Conversations will get stuck in the work that needs to be delivered, and teams often lose sight of the outcome they’re striving towards. Testing and user feedback doesn’t just get you validation, it also helps build awareness of what you’re doing by broadcasting it early through subtle means. Product is the new marketing, which means testing is the newest channel to market through. To help you win these conversations internally, here are some tips for getting around the “budget” pushback.
- Visualize the outcome. If you’re only testing because it’s a known “best practice”, you’re gonna have a bad time. People will never hear this as a valid reason. Think “why is it considered a best practice?” and convey that to your team.
- Know the upside. What further benefit does testing and customer feedback provide? Above we mentioned the marketing opportunity, but there’s power in giving your customers the feeling of control when it comes to product direction. (Notice we said feeling of control, not actual control)
- Know the downside. Anticipate the arguments made for other places in the business and how budget is being allocated to other parts. Testing and customer feedback is the lynch-pin to the entire organizations success, don’t let that be buried by outdated thinking!
- Build your internal network. Think about how testing tools can help others in the organization, how it can be useful to them. It’s hard to deny tools that scale the whole company.
- Provide an example! Many testing tools provide a small sample of their power, if you’ve already got some bite-sized, relevant data to show leadership, it’s a lot harder for them to deny its power! P.S. Helio gives you some data for free!
You don’t have to be the CFO to make changes in how budget is allocated at your company. You only need to advocate for your team and the success of the company's goals!
Go win your week,
Christian & The Helio Team