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Beta Testing Myths Debunked: Three Reasons Enterprises Still Need It

Beta testing remains critical for effective software launches despite some common myths. While mounting pressure from executives, consumers, and competitors may make it tempting to rationalize skipping prelaunch tests, the benefits of effective beta tests make it a strategic necessity.

Beta testing, where sample users provide pre-launch feedback, has conventionally been considered important for fixing bugs and delivering a good user experience, all of which is essential for brand reputation and customer retention. But in today’s competitive market, software developers often dismiss beta tests as unaffordable, redundant, or frustrating to customers.

In this blog, we’ll debunk three of the most common myths that discourage software teams from proper app testing. We’ll show how, in reality, beta tests are cost-effective, necessary for quality assurance, and helpful for customer engagement, and we’ll share how crowdsourcing can help you conduct beta testing efficiently.

Beta testing myths

  1. We can’t afford beta tests because of time or budget constraints
  2. QA processes make beta testing redundant
  3. Beta tests can frustrate customers

But if we examine each of these rationales, they don’t really add up to a case for skipping app beta testing. On the contrary, they highlight issues that make beta tests essential.

Myth #1: We can’t afford beta tests because of time or budget constraints

Reality: Beta testing saves time and money in the long term
While skipping beta tests might seem like a way to save time and money, in reality, you risk losing both by shortcutting your testing process. Following recommended approaches for testing actually saves you time and money in the long run.

If your product has bugs that impact critical functionality or users, identifying and fixing them before launch can save you more time than trying to catch up after. Proactive bug identification means that your team doesn’t have to spend as much time finding or fixing bugs after release. This frees your team to invest their time in new development projects and reduces time spent on resolving support tickets that could have been avoided through app beta testing.

Good app testing also helps your budget by delivering a better customer experience. This builds user engagement and customer loyalty, increasing customer retention rates and lifetime value. Positive customer experience also multiplies the efficiency of your marketing investment by building brand reputation and increasing referrals. Far from costing you money, a properly executed beta tests increases your return on investment.

Myth #2: QA processes make beta testing redundant

QA teams capture as many scenarios as possible during alpha testing, informed by their own internal data and data from customer journeys. In theory, perfectly executed QA processes should be enough to catch any major bugs, or so this narrative goes.

Reality: Beta testing solves issues QA teams can miss
In reality, internal tests designed by your own QA team can’t capture every real-life scenario external customers may encounter. Customers may discover ways to use your product differently than what your QA team anticipated. They may encounter unforeseen situations when using products on different devices, in different software environments, or in different locations.

Beta testing widens your QA team’s perspective by transcending internal data limitations and letting you test products in real scenarios, with real customers using different devices, operating systems, and software from diverse locations. You gain the opportunity to collect customer feedback from sample users and take preemptive action prior to launch. This lets you uncover issues before they impact your entire customer base and harm your brand reputation.

Myth #3: Beta tests can frustrate customers

The issue of brand reputation poses another potential objection to beta testing. Some companies fear that beta tests risk frustrating customers by exposing real users to bugs and other product issues.

This anxiety can be accompanied by fear of loss of control. Releasing an early version of your product out into the wild where you can’t control it can feel risky. The beta testing process itself can feel complicated and unpredictable, with real users testing your product outside the control of your QA team. Faced with this loss of certainty, it’s easy to assume the worst-case scenario and yield to fear that beta tests could drive customers away.

Reality: Beta testing promotes customer engagement
In reality, properly executed beta testing builds customer relationships by promoting higher engagement. These programs create a direct pipeline between your organization and brand champions and early adopters.

Beta testers want to be in the loop on product development in part because it makes them feel validated, and they appreciate the fact that you value their input on bugs. Customer validation can come in many forms, including surveys, open-field questions, and bug reports. Even when a feature misses the mark, an open dialogue with your testers can help you build rapport, trust, and loyalty.

Beyond spotting bugs, beta testers can be invaluable brand ambassadors. Many testers will naturally help create buzz around new products and features they like.

Optimize your beta testing strategy with crowdsourcing

Contrary to these three myths, beta testing is time-saving and cost-effective, necessary even with good QA processes in place, and valuable for building customer engagement. But even companies that recognize these realities may struggle with how to implement beta test cases effectively.

A successful app beta testing requires multiple testers who share feedback through several sources. This can make managing beta tests feel overwhelming, further aggravated by high churn, which forces organizations to recruit new testers constantly. Between the personnel, resource, tool, and maintenance commitments, beta tests can be a lot to manage internally.