Think about it: what’s your biggest challenge? Since you’re reading this blog post, you may feel like it's speeding up your innovation to meet the expectations of your customers. But that’s easier said than done when customers are expecting more from their customer experience than ever.
The Customer Experience Innovation Lifecycle
You’ve likely seen a lot of articles that tell you how to provide a consistent omnichannel customer experience via the customer’s preferred channels. There’s also a big focus on increasing customer satisfaction with self-service applications, voice biometrics, and other options. Don’t be fooled though — ideas are easy but execution is very hard! The reality is that most companies have complex and interdependent technologies that make it hard to evolve and meet customer experience expectations.
It is true that some market-leading companies are better at meeting customers’ expectations, and that they are delivering great and consistent customer experiences. If your company falls into this group, congratulations! If not, then rest assured that you are not alone. Many of your peers are also struggling to meet today’s ever-changing customer service needs, for a number of reasons. The key to getting better at meeting these changing needs is to take a look at your company's innovation lifecycle.
Is your innovation lifecycle optimized?
Your innovation lifecycle is the process you use to design, build, test, deploy, and eventually maintain your customer service offerings. You can improve your customer experience with an optimized innovation lifecycle that allows you to automate your CX testing to speed your time to market, reduce and control your costs, and ensure that you are deploying a quality solution with no defects. Your company's innovation lifecycle may follow an Agile or a Waterfall development process, and when you are improving your customer experience, this process is called a Customer Experience Innovation Lifecycle (CXIL).
Why is Agile the key to accelerated innovation?
The key to innovating faster than ever before to meet customer expectations is to speed up how you innovate, and Agile is a critical factor here.
Agile companies that have optimized their CXIL:
- Reduce their labor costs by 40%-80%
- Increase their quality by 80%-100%
- Speed up their time to market by 40%-60%
This is an example of accelerated innovation. With this acceleration, you can react to your customers' CX needs with greater frequency, roll out services faster, and improve overall quality.
But how is this acceleration achieved?
Let’s start by looking at your innovation lifecycle — whether or not you are an Agile company, testing is likely to take up about 50% of your innovation lifecycle. If you are an Agile company, you have already incorporated a cadence of frequent sprints and continuous testing. You know that These practices are a big step in optimizing your innovation lifecycle.
If you are not yet Agile, you may test much less frequently — maybe even just prior to going into production at the end of your lifecycle. Errors found at this late stage cost a lot more to fix than errors that are found earlier in the cycle. More importantly, when you do limited testing, how many errors or defects do you unknowingly release into production for your customers to find? You can read the 10 good reasons to go Agile here, and about how to get Agile and stay that way here.
The risks of manual testing
Industry research estimates that the average cost of a severe defect to a company can be as much as $1.3M. For those of you who remember, when Delta experienced their computer outage, the estimated loss of revenue was $150M, and that doesn't take into consideration the intangible costs of a negative customer experience or loss of customers.
The benefits of automation
Automation is one way to optimize your innovation lifecycle. In addition to being time-consuming, manual testing is also labor-intensive and expensive, and your human testers miss defects. Automating your CXIL benefits you financially and enables you to deliver a more consistent and positive customer experience by:
- Speeding up time to market
- Significantly reducing testing time
- Enabling companies to test 100% of the solution rather than the 20% typically covered by manual testing
- Improving quality
- Identifying and eliminating defects earlier
- Reducing project costs
Ultimately, the only differentiators companies have today in this ever increasing competitive landscape is to deliver an exceptional, and consistent, customer service.