A Shakespearian software dilemma?

DateJuly 2022

We’ll never know what Shakespeare would make of member CRM software, just as he’ll never know that 420 years after penning Hamlet, a membership software company in Guildford would be borrowing one of his most famous lines to support a blog on the importance of user acceptance testing (UAT).

Admittedly, ‘to be or not to be, that is the question’ relates to slightly darker matters than the topic of CRM for membership organisations. Thankfully ours is a little more light-hearted. And it’s this: to test or not to test.

Firstly, to test or not to test SHOULD NEVER be the question. The only question is HOW you test.

When it comes to putting the finishes on our customers’ bespoke version of Silverbear 365, we offer – if not insist – on a belts and braces approach to testing before going live. After all, the last thing any organisation wants is to push the button on a brand-new member CRM system only to realise shortly afterwards that X, Y, and Z could have done with some refinement (or, worse, quite a lot of refinement) before being presented to its members and stakeholders.

Our approach, for example, is to create a standalone UAT site that mirrors the customer’s solution so that tests can be carried out, elements can be added (or removed) and refinements made BEFORE it goes live.

Of course, there are many people with a more gung-ho approach who prefer to make changes to a live platform. Our view, however, is that UAT in a simulated environment is much better – and here are our top three reasons why.

  1. Testing takes time

It stands to reason that anything that takes many months to create will take considerable time to test. A fighter jet isn’t put into production once the components have been made and the prototype assembled. It’s tested to within an inch of its life (and arguably that of the test pilots charged with the job of pushing it to its limits). So, just as you made the commitment to create the best membership CRM platform that will forever transform the way your organisation operates, you need to take the time to test. If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.

  1. Testing saves money

We understand that when it comes to CRM software implementation, there are often time pressures in play. After months of development and a process that has drawn on a large swathe of your team’s resources, there may even be pressures from people within the organisation to go live. But it’s important to resist this and get it right first time. Any issues with functionality and things that you thought would work in theory but don’t in practice are cheaper to correct at the early stages of development. More to the point, they are certainly cheaper to address in UAT prior to going live.

  1. Why wouldn’t you test?

We’ll never pass an opportunity to use a car analogy in a blog, so here’s the latest one: would you buy a new car and drive it off the forecourt without test driving it first? The answer’s probably no. So, after investing a significant amount of time and money into a process of digital transformation, why not make absolutely sure that it’s operating exactly how you envisaged it before making it readily available to hundreds – if not hundreds of thousands – of your key stakeholders.

When it comes to CRM for membership organisations, there are many boxes to tick. The organisation’s board needs to be happy with its investment. Employees from across different departments need to be sure that it meets their individual needs. And, of course, your biggest asset – your members – need to be happy with the system, too.

There are countless variables that can negatively impact the user experience, and the only way to discover what they are before it’s too late is to test for them.

Some things simply can’t be rushed. Testing is one of them.

What's next?

Silverbear 365 is a membership CRM system built on Dynamics 365.  It has been developed specifically to help member organisations engage, grow and retain their members.  For more information, or to speak with one of our team of membership CRM specialists contact us below.


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