Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the largest software market, yet research indicates that systems have failed to live up to their promise and even damaged customer relations. Faults like errors in analytics, difficult and complex interfaces and long download times are highlighted.

If your organisation is suffering with these types of issue you should take action now by arranging for the system to be thoroughly tested and de-bugged. Here are some of the problems that appear during testing, how to deal with them and how to measure the quality of the test.

Which CRM Problems Can Testing Reveal?

Low Adoption

A poor UX leads to employees turning away from the CRM or avoiding some of the functions.

Bad Customer Experience

CMS that repeatedly misses appointments or sends constant reminders ultimately lead to low customer satisfaction. Along with faulty delivery and sales information, incorrect payments, this can lead to disappointment and ultimately loss of custom.

Poor Integration/Inaccurate Statistics

If you are repeatedly receiving inaccurate statistics, wrong calculations or customer data it is likely due to a lack of integration between the CRM and other systems. While your competitors are using accurate stats and building sales, you have a misleading view of your business which can affect your decision-making and customer satisfaction.

Information Leaks

Non compliance with essential security data regulations, both regional and international, leads to information bleed. Losing confidential data can lead to compensation claims and fines. The need for role based verification cannot be understated; the more users, the greater the need.

Organizing Efficient CRM Testing

Here Are Some of the Essentials for CRM Testing:

It must be well planned – analysis of your testing needs should lead to a test strategy document in which these are specified, along with the objectives, time and human and financial cost. It should be comprehensive: including pass/fail criteria, schedule and the responsibilities of the test team.

Use an experienced team - Teams must be knowledgeable and experience in the field of CRM tests. There are a number of specifics that need to be tested for including the validation of the communication tools, which platform the CRM is used with and how well it is integrated with other software.

Consider CRM testing automation is the most efficient way to test a CRM particular those involving a lot of data. However, to develop automation along with a good user interface takes time. It is therefore most useful for longer term projects. A good test lead will look at the CRM requirements to decide if automation will be of benefit to your organisation.

Continual improvement of testing quality – a professional testing team should assess the test quality at every stage, revising and improve test cases as they go. This should be more stringent for automated test cases which should be constantly checked for script validity and corrected as needed.

Ensure Good Communications with the Test Lead

A test lead will carry out the process but should be providing constant updates on the test results. A monthly meeting should be enough if things are going to plan, if there are complex issues then these can be increased as needed.

What Should CRM Testing Cover?

An Effective CRM Testing Plan Should Cover:

Data Quality – the core of the CRM is customer data so this should be at the fore. The team must check that the CRM is handling the data properly, it is sorted and reported correctly, and that all graphs, tables and diagrams represent the correct data.

Data warehousing is also a key factor – ensuring that the process are validated, incorrect data does not enter the CRM and that the structure and architecture are sound.

Functionality

This will ascertain that all the CRM functions are working properly. This will normally include tests for sales, marketing, campaigns, events , social media integration and customer service amonth others. It also ensures that the CRM functions across multiple browsers and that appropriate error messages appear as needed.

Integration with Other Systems

CRM effectiveness is limited by a lack of integration and this produces numerous issues. Incorrect data may be produced because formats are incompatible. The test should look at how the CRM data looks before and after a data transfer. Customizations can also produce faulty code compatibility issues and this should be identified as part of the test.

Performance

Performance testing is carried out to see how the CRM responds to loading and access by multiple users. Putting the system under pressure allows the team to ensure the CRM works well for your employees.

Security

CRM security is an essential test because you need to keep your client data secure from potential hacking. A key part of this is validating the control of user-based access. Only relevant permissions are granted according to the work needs of the employee.

Poor Functioning After Changes

Sometimes a small fix or customisation can create bugs in the system so testing should be regular and especially after any changes are made. Regression testing looks at if the code of the newly introduced features have caused issues with the CRM functions.

Testing KPIs

Evaluating the success of the testing necessitates assessment monthly by validating it against KPIs. These can produce performance metrics on the following:

Testing velocity – looks at the scope the team covered during a set time scale and compares real time to that planned in the testing schedule.

Needs that weren’t covered in the test case – Sometimes things fall through the net and they are not included in the test case. If these are found the test suites need to be updated.

Rejected defects – Developers may consider a reported by irrelevant leaving them unfixed. Ideally no more than 5% of defects should be rejected by developers to ensure that CRM requirements are sufficient.

Missed Bugs

It is simply not possible for the number of missed bugs to be zero but bugs can be more of less severe so should be differentiated according to severity. For this KPI between 5-15% of minor or trivial bugs can be missed so it is useful to have users routinely report bugs they find as a matte of course.

Test Automation Rate

More automation means faster testing and fewer missed bugs. This is useful for longer term projects where test automation has been deemed appropriate. This KPI will recognise an incorrect test strategy and the need for more automated tests if these show to be lower than specified in the test strategy.

Takeaways

A CRM must be properly tested regularly to remove defects that cause problems with customer relations. The key is to take account of the basics and to have an team with relevant CRM testing expertise. Testing must be comprehensive and include functionality, security and integration. The performance of the testing should be measured to ensure successful diagnosis of issues with the CRM.

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