What’s the Difference Between Customer Service and Quality Assurance, Anyway?

Written by Laura Roeder

On July 21, 2017

QA lead and CX pro Sarah BrownIf you’ve ever so much as used an app, you know that two of the most important teams behind the scenes are the people who build it and the customer service pros standing by to help you out.

At a lot of software companies, those teams are separated with a big red line – the dev team develops, and the customer service (or CX) team talks to customers. Other companies have their CX team handle only billing and basic FAQs, while the developers manage all the tech support.

But that means the developers have less time to actually develop…and let’s face it, in most cases, customer service professionals have more experience managing the complexities of working directly with customers and users.

So how do you strike the right balance?

At MeetEdgar, we want to make sure that our customers’ voices are heard, and that the people who know our customers best are able to make an impact when it comes to design and development – which is why our own CX team includes people focused specifically on quality assurance, or QA.

How’s that actually work, though? How is QA separate from customer service and development? And is there one right way to balance all these different responsibilities?

Here’s a look at what exactly our own QA team does!

Customer troubleshooting

No matter how good you are, bugs are almost guaranteed to happen sometimes – and when one of our users finds one, everyone on the CX team is responsible for troubleshooting and offering tech support.

Our QA team, however, is responsible specifically for tracking those issues over time, and acts as a liaison between the rest of CX and our developers. They prioritize issues, figure out how to replicate them so our developers can locate and fix bugs, and ensure that our users are notified when those bugs get fixed.

Our QA team works closely with developers, so they can communicate the most relevant updates to customer service.

Because those tasks are specific to our QA team, we can make sure that urgent bugs get more immediate attention, and identify other weaknesses before they become larger issues – while still providing our users with timely feedback and updates.

Quality testing

Every new feature, design, and bug fix is tested by our QA team before it gets released to our customers. They use the app just like a customer would, applying their detailed knowledge of Edgar’s nuances and our users’ priorities to make sure things work the way they should, look good, and fit within our company goals for the app.  

In many companies, this type of testing is performed by the development team, or even independent QA professionals. By assigning it to members of our own CX team, though – people who regularly interact with our customers, and know how to advocate for their wants and needs – we’re able to point out common customer pain points, offer insight into how they might use new features, and ensure bug fixes address the full scope of any issues.

Does that mean we prevent every bug? Nope – because that’s just not possible when it comes to app development.

An approach that focuses on both the user experience and technical needs, however, enables our QA team to point out additional considerations the developers may not have accounted for, as well as prevent one bug fix from inadvertently causing another issue somewhere else in the app. All in all, it maintains a user experience that’s as streamlined and bug-free as possible.

Planning and Design

Have you ever told us about a feature you’d love to see?

Our QA team tracks our users’ requests and feedback, and pitches new features and design tweaks to our developers. We hold regular review meetings for CX, QA, and dev to discuss these ideas and prioritize our product roadmap.

Once a new feature is designed, our QA and dev teams review it together before it goes into development. This gives our QA team an opportunity to look at it from a user’s perspective, and to offer feedback that can improve the new feature’s ease of use and ensure it’s actually addressing users’ wants and needs.

QA coordinates launches with our dev team, so everyone is on the same page throughout the company.

Because of this approach, our dev team is able to incorporate that feedback into the design before coding begins, streamlining the development process and freeing up a lot of time. That first round of user-centric review prevents lots of back-and-forth in the development process, and ultimately makes everyone’s job easier!

Is this always the right approach?

Maybe, maybe not – you know your own team best!

Ask yourself this, though: is your customer service team fairly separate from the rest of your business, and is there a way for you to better incorporate their unique insights? Can you amplify your customers’ voices by adopting processes outside of your industry norms?

Like any other successful business, we’re always tweaking and improving these processes – and they didn’t come into being overnight. MeetEdgar’s QA team has evolved as our app and user base have grown so that we can improve efficiency and ensure we’re not losing sight of what our customers want and need from us.

Giving responsibility for quality assurance to our customer service team has freed up our developers to do what they do best – actually develop things – while giving our customers a real voice behind the scenes.

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