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How Usability Testing Can Help Your IT Teams Provide Better Tech Support

How Usability Testing Can Help Your IT Teams Provide Better Tech Support

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, May 02 6:00

Software developers rely on usability testing to make sure their applications work as they should. Manufacturers have found that usability testing allows them to identify issues before products start shipping to stores. As more businesses find innovative ways to demo their products with expert testers, internal departments are learning to put the process to use, as well.

One of these areas is a business s customer service desk. By consistently testing out performance, a company can quickly pinpoint issues before customers see them. Internally, your IT team can provide this same attention to customer service as they deploy new software, strive for 100-percent system uptime, and resolve computer and mobile device problems.

What Is Usability Testing?

Usability experts gain an expertise in reviewing a product or service objectively, looking at it through the eyes of the customers who will be interacting with it. The skill is now in high demand, leading to many universities offering it as a course of study. However, the high cost of a usability expert can make full-time teams an impossibility for many businesses, especially if they want the valuable feedback that comes from multiple testers.

Fortunately, there are several less expensive options for businesses. You can put together an in-house team of testers and ask them to test specific aspects of the IT team s work and offer feedback. This gives you the benefit of feedback from people who know the inner workings of your organization. However, you won t get the objective feedback you d receive from an outsider. For that, crowdsourced usability testing through sites like Applause and CrowdsourcedTesting.com can help.

How Can It Be Used By Your Help Desk?

Your IT department can put usability testing to use in a variety of ways, starting with the process employees or customers use to get tech help. You likely track it through a ticketing system, which either auto-populates after a user completes an online form or is manually updated when users call or email a troubleshooting request. IT departments also track bug reports for any in-house software, then deliver those issues to the development team to resolve. Reports can identify ongoing issues and response times, but the usability of the reporting tools themselves can only be determined by directly using them.

A business s usability testing team can go through the process of reporting issues, making observations as they go. If placing a help ticket requires navigating a complicated phone tree, then waiting on hold for 15 minutes, that can be noted and reported. If confirmation emails fail to come through following a ticket being placed or resolved, usability teams can report on that, as well, giving IT staff the feedback they need to retool their systems to be more user friendly.

If your business has an on-site tech team, usability testing experts can test out your systems and report issues that need to be resolved. By choosing alternatives to full-time user testing staff, you can have access to objective testers while still remaining within your business s annual budget.

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