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    Are you familiar with the term “domino effect”? When something happens, it’s followed by a chain of different events. When speaking about software quality, you don’t just talk about QA or development teams. The product - which is responsible for generating profits - is the beating heart of every company and it’s connected to different teams. When the software quality is compromised and there’s a lack of effective software testing, every facet of your company feels it.

    Picture this: A company launches a new software product promising groundbreaking solutions and enhanced user experiences. But as customers eagerly dive in, they encounter a barrage of glitches, crashes, and functionality bugs. The result? Frustration, disappointment, and worst of all, dwindling revenues. The immediate effect is reduced profitability, but it also directly affects multiple departments such as support, marketing, PR, and sales teams.

    How Bad Software Quality Can Affect Your Entire Organization

    The Obvious Impact - Revenue Reduction

    It may seem obvious, but the biggest impact of poor software quality is usually decreased revenue. While its effect is felt immediately, there are also long-term repercussions like reputation damage that may affect future revenue.

    A survey by PwC found that 55% of respondents won’t buy from a company with whom they had a bad experience, and 8% of those claimed they would stop after a single bad experience. For enterprises and large organizations with millions of customers, 8% is an extremely significant number.

    This can harm both existing and potential customers:

    • Existing Customers: When someone encounters serious bugs while using your software or suffers from slow loading times, it has a high impact on customer satisfaction. Customers are looking for a product that answers their expectations, is easy-to-use, and helps them complete actions faster. Providing nonfunctioning software that fails to meet these expectations could decrease customer loyalty and increase churn rates.

    • Potential Customers: Prospects who are evaluating your product, as well as other options, are likely to look for reviews and even try your product themselves. According to Statista, 94% of U.S. online survey participants stated that positive reviews increased their likelihood of using a business, while 92% indicated that negative reviews reduced their willingness to do so. This can substantially affect future income and cause lost sales opportunities.

    The First to Take a Hit - QA & Development

    QA Testers and Developers are typically in charge of all technical aspects of the product and are the main personnel to affect bad quality software. Testers find themselves spending valuable time on unending testing cycles when retesting and working on repetitive tasks while developers work on debugging and putting out fires.

    In situations where software quality is poor and staff members have to repeatedly fix bugs and retest, they can find themselves facing more collaborative struggles. This, in turn, can hinder effective communication, widen collaboration gaps between testers and developers, and delay the release of fixed software versions.

    A Real Struggle - Marketing & Sales

    The impact of bad software quality extends beyond development and testing teams. Marketing and sales teams who are responsible for increasing brand awareness and enhancing the company’s profitability are also in the line of fire. Marketing teams focusing on reaching wider target audiences and preserving a positive brand image will face difficulties when the software isn’t meeting customer expectations. Customer complaints and negative reviews across social media and different ranking sites can significantly harm marketing effectiveness and conversion rates.

    Consequently, this has a direct impact on the sales pipeline, leading to a decrease in opportunities and revenue generation. The reduced influx of potential customers willing to engage with the product through demos or trials creates a vacuum, prompting them to quickly seek alternatives. Such dynamics even cast a shadow on ongoing sales cycles, making the process of closing deals more challenging.

    On the Front Lines - Customer Success & Support

    Customer success and support are on the front lines when it comes to working with existing customers. The main goal of these departments is to ensure high customer satisfaction and verify that they get the most out of the product. However, when the software fails to meet user expectations, the heat automatically goes to those representatives.

    This can meaningfully increase the workload of these two departments, which will most likely drown in user support tickets and bug reports. This, overall, will increase customer support costs as more time is spent on troubleshooting complex issues, while the amount of support requests continues growing.

    In the intricate dance between technology and legality, the effects of bad software quality can cast an unexpected shadow over an organization’s legal and compliance landscape. When software quality falters, the seemingly technical realm intersects with legal intricacies, opening the door to a cascade of unforeseen consequences. Bad quality software can harm regulatory compliance standards, which can cause companies to be subject to heavy penalties and fines by authorities.

    Moreover, a lack of software testing can put companies at risk of security issues. If not performing in-depth security testing, software products can have vulnerabilities and potential security breaches, inviting attackers to steal valuable information such as credit card numbers, ID numbers, addresses, and so forth. This can expose organizations to ransomware attacks from hackers on one side, and heavy privacy lawsuits from customers on the other side.

    The Resolution - Prioritizing Software Quality

    As we understand, bad software quality considerably affects organizations and can be felt in every department. The way to prevent this is by prioritizing software testing to ensure high-quality products.

    • Invest in Software Testing: The first step is changing the mindset regarding software testing. Some companies and managers hold the misconception that “testing just holds us back”, which is far from the truth. Instead, they understand that robust testing is a strategic investment that guarantees the delivery of top-quality software to their customers.

    • Customer-Oriented Focus: Next, always keep your customers at the top of mind. Ultimately, your software is intended to serve and satisfy the end-users, and to achieve this, the testing should focus on them. Align your testing with user stories that simulate real-world scenarios to validate it to meet their expectations. Additionally, many organizations are involving more business users and end-users in their software testing operations to ensure this kind of focus.

    • Adopt Modern Practices: Finally, embracing modern methodologies such as Agile and DevOps is imperative. These approaches emphasize high flexibility and adaptability, using better collaboration among different team members like testers and developers. Using CI/CD tools and automated testing as an integral part of testing efforts allows teams to release software faster than ever with high confidence.

    Conclusion

    Software quality has a significant influence on the entire organization, from developers and testers responsible for the technical elements of the software, to marketing and sales teams building trust, and customer support representatives navigating real-time challenges. Prioritizing software testing to increase overall quality is necessary to deliver products that meet - or exceed - customer expectations. In order to do that, companies must embrace modern development principles and perform testing that focuses on their customers.

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