It's a typical Sunday evening, and I am channel surfing the 500 or so US cable stations. I am a food show junkie, and Bar Rescue on SPIKE catches my eye. This show is typically about a failing bar, and the bar owner, who has no vision for how to get out of debt and grow his or her business, so they contact Jon Taffer, the host of Bar Rescue. Jon puts together a team that goes into the bar to conduct research, work with the bar staff on improving their products, and coach the staff on new methods of providing a better customer experience.
Jon stresses the three P’s – People, Process, and Product. He finds the problems and then puts in the right process, people, and products to turn the failing bar around. Jon equates running a bar to a science. He uses market research and technology to scientifically test a bar’s performance. He also creates a load test by packing the bar with customers and observing the staff in action. After discussing the results with the owner and staff, Jon meets with his team to begin creating a new concept for the bar, essentially a new customer experience.
Bar Rescue and Customer Experience Testing
What does this show have to do with testing the customer experience? Is this too big a stretch? To me, this is somewhat similar to the process Cyara goes through with our customers, minus the bar of course. Typically, customers contact Cyara because they want to provide a new or improved customer experience.
Unlike the bars in the TV show, our customers are usually not about to go under. Instead, they usually have some concern about the limits of their technology and infrastructure. Can their production customer experience environment, for example, handle a load test of 1,000 concurrent calls? To find out, the customer could hire 1,000 people to dial their call center over a specific period of time and have 1,000 agents available to answer the phones. Then, from surveying the callers and agents, they could determine the results, which would be based on how people “feel”. Or, they could call Cyara to get an accurate answer.
The Cyara Platform
Cyara is the world’s fastest growing provider of omni-channel customer experience management software. The Cyara Platform enables companies to optimize their customer experience on the phone, web and mobile channels through rigorous, automated, live and regression testing and monitoring. Cyara enables its customers to rapidly iterate their customer experience to achieve better customer outcomes, while minimizing business distraction and dramatically reducing the cost of development and testing.
Let’s assume that you want to engage Cyara. Once the Cyara contract is signed, Cyara will perform a discovery to confirm your objectives, call flow, and dependencies for testing. You can read more information about the testing process on the Cyara website.
On the day of the test, Cyara will start with a small load test and progresses with a medium test and then a full load test. Similar to an episode of Bar Rescue, the load test is usually where problems appear.
Cyara employs technical consultants who thoroughly understand carrier technologies and are experts in analyzing real-time and historical data to identify problems. These specialists will troubleshoot with your staff to isolate the problems. Depending on the severity of the issue, your staff makes changes to your environment, and the test is executed again on the same day, or on another scheduled testing date. This process is repeated until the identified problem is solved. This testing can be conducted over a 2-, 4- or 8-hour block of testing time using the Cyara cloud platform.
A Cyara customer for a major Australian bank said. "When we use Cyara, the need to use human testing is reduced by 50%... We view Cyara as a key plank in our strategy around quality and efficiency.”
The Three Ingredients
Getting back to Bar Rescue, once a bar has been “rescued”, does the bar survive, get sold, or go back to their old habits? Likewise, will the same customer experience problems occur after they are identified and resolved in a load test? It’s hard to tell, or as my IT friends respond to my technology questions, “It depends.” Basically, lasting improvement depends on whether or not these three ingredients are applied:
- Document the source and the resolution for the issue(s)
- Create a process to prevent the issue(s) from resurfacing
- Ensure that your customer experience environment has the stability to operate successfully
And, back to the bar, while we don’t conduct our testing there, we aren’t opposed to celebrating there after a successful testing session. Care to join us? Find out more about Cyara here.