I spoke about the overlap between testing and technical support at SoftTest 2018 last week. The presentation was based on When Support Calls, the book I wrote with Neil Younger and Chris George for the Ministry of Testing.
Here’s the blurb:
Testers are said to be advocates for the customer, but when do most testers come face to face with a real-life customer? I don’t mean internal stakeholders, but the people at the sharp end of things, the ones actually using the software. Rarely, I find. Which is why it can be a SHOCK! to be asked to participate in a customer support call. It’s an unusual situation, there’s pressure, the customer is watching, something needs fixing, and there’s a deadline … of yesterday.
Gulp. But don’t worry! You’re on the call because a colleague values your input. Perhaps you’re great at analysis, or lateral thinking, or problem solving. Maybe you have deep knowledge of your product, or the whole ecosystem, or the historical angle. You could be there for questions, or answers, or honesty when you don’t have either.
These kinds of tools from your testing toolbox are valuable on support calls and in this talk I’ll say how and why. I’ll also give an intro to customer support, talk about how to prepare for calls, what to do during and after them, and — importantly — what you can take away personally, for your product, and for your team.
- understanding of customer support and its similarities to testing
- actionable advice for when support calls you
- benefits for you and others of being involved in support