What is a CRM system?
Customer relationship management (CRM) is a technology for managing a company’s relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers. The goal of CRM is simple – improve business relationships. A CRM system helps companies connect with customers and collect information about them.
Mentioning CRM, it usually means a CRM system – a tool that helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, and more.
A CRM solution helps companies to focus on organization relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers. So the system helps to find new customers, providing support and additional services throughout the relationship.
Why is it important to care about quality CRM?
Even one issue can lead to large-scale negative consequences in the current world with the increasing level of technological solutions in the market. For example, uncorrected defects often affect such a vital business area as finance and affect the return on investment (ROI), cause budget overruns, and even a loss of market share.
The main issues for a CRM product are:
- an insufficiently clear statement of business goals;
- unstructured planning;
- errors in the implementation of the platform;
- lack of a structured approach to change management (change management).
Broken notifications can result in missed business meetings, incorrect delivery statuses – cause delays in the delivery of goods. Customer dissatisfaction will increase in such cases, and the brand’s business reputation will be compromised. Similar cases are common. Partners, as well as employees who work with them, expect software quality. A system that interferes with dealing with tasks set by management may disappoint sales, marketing, and other departments.
Why do we need to think about improving the quality of the system?
If CRM is not tested or only the basic functionality is tested in the platform used, then undetected and uncorrected defects can affect the creation of a false impression of the customer relationship management process. And as a “finish line” – opaque planning, making the wrong decisions, the loss of customers. As a result, it may turn out that it is impossible to get ahead of competitors because they have first-class software that helps build effective work processes and long-term relationships with customers.
The vast majority of CRM failures can be detected through system testing.
Testing of CRM system
CRM testing is just like any other software testing – a process that checks if the software behaves in the expected. Testing is needed to avoid bugs, performance issues, and to make sure the software doesn’t contain UX issues.
CRM testing, as testing of other apps, should start with performing an in-depth analysis of the existing CRM and requirements to planned CRM. After analysis QA team should prepare a test strategy and a test plan. A test strategy is the most high-level test document outlining a general testing scope, testing objectives and types, approximate testing time, human and costs estimation of the testing project. A test plan comprises a test schedule, and pass/fail criteria, roles, and responsibilities within a test team. These artifacts should be kept up-to-date during the whole testing process to cover the changes introduced into CRM requirements.
The next step of testing a CRM system is testing requirements from PO/BA to avoid the main issue – misunderstanding between business and developers. The main goals of requirements to be completed, consistent, correct, unequivocal, verifiable, and prioritized. If at least one of the points isn’t done – you will screw.
After preparing all documentation and development of all tasks – the team can start working on the testing of the system. To perform the best quality of CRM systems, we need to take care of the next aspects of the quality of the platform:
- data accuracy
For better visibility – let’s review each aspect in detail.
Customized customer data management is the heart of any CRM system. In case of testing a data warehouse, engineers look at the validity of the information entered. During the data quality check, specialists are convinced of the following:
- no duplicate or lost data.
- the confidentiality of the necessary information is ensured.
- data is displayed and sorted correctly.
Important is that after a certain amount of data migrates to the CRM platform, to make sure that the information is transferred correctly and that users with the right access level can easily find it in the system.
Functional testing is carried out to ensure the smooth operation of all the required functional ranges. This includes the correspondence of data from users with similar names, correctly working user permissions, the correct display of brand details on receipts, maintaining communication between stores, and so on.
If employees wait for a long time while the system generates a report – it won’t be a good sign for application. Performance testing will help determine the platform’s performance level and improve its quality so that it can cope with the load. Load testing will determine whether the software can handle tens or hundreds of concurrent users, examine the parameters that affect performance.
According to laws like GDPR or CCPA – every CRM must fully comply with data security requirements. After all, we are talking about a platform that includes a large amount of confidential information, including a client base that has been developed over the years and which must be reliably protected. If a huge number of employees and departments use CRM, the need for security testing will increase at times. A properly constructed verification process provides reliable data protection against unauthorized access, damage, or loss.
In the case of CRM, a large amount of data is transferred to ERP, financial systems, and so on. The testing requires integration checks to make sure that the CRM data remains unchanged during the transmission of information and is available on connected platforms. When developing customized settings, make sure that their program code is compatible with existing CRM code and does not slow down system performance.
Developed improvements can create more new defects. After adding even a small adjustment, you need to check that the code of the new element has not impaired the existing functionality.