How to Improve Customer Experience & Accelerate Innovation

Improve Customer Service and Accelerate Innovation

When it comes to software, customer experience is not a once-and-done thing. It's a dynamic, fast-moving target. 

Technology is constantly evolving, and so are expectations. To achieve an excellent customer experience, you need the ability to change, fast. 

You need to ensure your changes work flawlessly. For this, you need to fast and reliable software testing.

The best way to accelerate testing is with automation. In fact, excellent customer experience is hard to achieve without it.

Why Technological Innovation is Key to Excellent Customer Experience

Like them or loathe them, Uber are a great example of an excellent customer experience. In a short time, they’ve become the biggest taxi company in the world… and they don’t own any cars.

Prior to Uber, you’d either hail a cab on the street, or you’d call up to book a taxi. Both of which had their drawbacks.

It’s easy to take their app for granted, but have you ever tried using local taxi apps? In my experience, they’re universally poor. I like supporting local businesses as much as is practical. But if I’m out in town and want a taxi home, it’s Uber every time. It’s just too easy. 

Uber achieved this level of customer experience purely through technological innovation. 

Excellent Customer Experience Needs Constant Evolution

Uber doesn’t rest on their laurels though. They’re always improving their service. These days, customers expect constant evolution. 

People want new features, ease of use updates, and new integrations. They're used to Google, Amazon and Apple providing a steady stream of new functionality. And they're used to it being bulletproof, working flawlessly.

If you want to build and maintain an excellent customer experience, you too need regular innovation. Innovation means change. Change requires development. Development needs to be tested.

Inefficient Testing Will Slow Your Innovation

Unfortunately, testing can put the brakes on your progress. You're not alone, testing is often a major bottleneck in software development. Inefficient testing can add weeks or months to timelines. 

Bad testing slows your release frequency and blocks innovation. By the time you get your release live, you're already behind the curve. This slows your ROI and business benefits, and it could affect your market position.

Your customers may notice your competitors pulling away from you. Especially when their friends and colleagues accessing better services and features elsewhere. 

How long will it take for your customers to start looking elsewhere?

What Can You Do About Slow Testing?

When you’re faced with slow testing you've got 3 main options…

  1. Hope. Cut corners, skip some test cases, leave your development to chance.
  2. Delay. Plod through your tests until they're done
  3. Accelerate. Test and innovate faster

If you want to achieve excellent customer service, you must accelerate testing and innovation

There are many ways to accelerate testing and I’d encourage them all. These include:

  • Adopting a risk-based approach, 
  • Training your team
  • Using centralised test management tools. 

For full test acceleration though, you need test automation.

Test Automation Accelerates Change

Back to Uber, do you think they have banks of manual testers churning through all their business processes? Or Apple, or Amazon, or Google? These companies can release multiple changes a day, to different customer bases. There’s no way they could do that with manual testing.

For rapid testing, you can't rely on people alone. 

We're just too slow. If you want to achieve modern release frequency, test automation must form part of your approach.

Are you going to release software every day? Probably not. But what would a 50% reduction in test execution times do for your release frequency? With test automation, it’s not unusual to see test execution times reduced by 80%.

Automated scripts don’t care about the time of day. 

They don’t get bored running the same test repeatedly. In fact, the more you run an automated script, the better your ROI will be.

Your Competitors Are Using AI for Test Automation

Across all sectors, businesses leading the way have large, automated test packs. They can test releases and fixes rapidly. In a matter of minutes or hours.  

These companies aren’t just benefiting from automated scripts. They’re using the latest AI technology to accelerate and automate script build and maintenance.

If You Want Excellent Customer Service, You Need Test Automation

Customer experience is an ongoing objective. It requires constant innovation and high-quality solutions. A slow rate of change will hold you back. You’ll always be chasing your tail, never getting ahead.

If you don’t accelerate testing, you won’t accelerate change.

With slow testing, you’ll be stuck with a slow release frequency. While your competition, and your customers, race ahead.

Test Automation must form part of your rapid delivery approach. 

You can execute scripts quickly, any time of the day or night. Repeatedly, with the same quality every time.

If you want excellent customer service, you need to cut testing times. Test automation should play a fundamental part in achieving the speed gains you need.

Stephen Davis
by Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis is the founder of Calleo Software, a Micro Focus (formerly HPE Software) Gold Partner. His passion is to help test professionals improve the efficiency and effectiveness of software testing.

To view Stephen's LinkedIn profile and connect 

Stephen Davis LinkedIn profile

18th October 2021

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