As consumers increasingly turn to digital solutions, supplying a flexible, personalised and unique customer experience is essential. Are you ready?
Lockdowns, social distancing, capacity restrictions, supply chain delays… you name it. Welcome to the new normal: the antithesis of good business.
The 2020-21 pandemic has changed how consumers buy, how they interact with your business, and how you interact with them. It hasn’t been the best year to create a winning customer experience (CX).
The most successful online businesses, however, are enjoying huge profits based on a simple premise: conveniently give locked-down consumers what they want.
For everyone else, the past months have been about ensuring there’s no “physical contact”. And that means no customers. Those with existing digital solutions have fared better.
This doesn’t just mean supplying an online offering, it means creating products that boost the in-store experience (and promote social distancing), such as digital kiosks, item location apps and even virtual assistants.
CX is a journey, not a one-off trip. It’s why your business must prioritise investment in and focus on developing strategies and solutions that promote and enhance the customer experience.
2020 has shown that keeping customers happy and loyal is a must. In its recent State of the Connected Consumer report, Salesforce found that 73 per cent of consumers expected companies to understand their needs and expectations, while 84 per cent said that “experiences are as important as the actual products and services”.
It’s essential to understand both a customer’s expectations at every step of their journey with you and why you need to continuously collect their feedback and test your products against what they want.
A good customer experience leads to more purchases, increased satisfaction, and deeper brand loyalty. Done well, it can deliver a valuable competitive advantage.
This requires five things:
• Understanding the needs and wants of your customers
• Evaluating how your business, services and solutions engage with them
• Adopting strategies and solutions that emphasise and optimise their experience
• Comprehensively testing your solutions to meet customer expectations
• Putting your customer first in every decision.
Only then can you develop seamless continuity across every touchpoint within your business – ensuring you can quickly adapt your products (or create new ones) to supply the best experiences for your customers.
Many businesses are already developing such solutions, from mobile experiences to premium apps for brand enthusiasts and augmented reality services.
The question is, how to ensure your products deliver what your customers want and meet their ever-changing needs?
The importance of testing
Testing helps improve the reliability, performance and quality of your products. But it’s also an essential tool for developing a personalised experience alongside user research and customer journey maps.
However, while spending on CX technologies is expected to reach $641 billion by 2022, many organisations simply aren’t focusing enough on testing. “It is very important to make testing a priority, and ensure testing happens throughout every step of the lifecycle,” says Philipp Benkler, CEO and Founder of Testbirds.
To create a solid customer experience, testing is essential. And one well-suited method is crowdtesting, where a diverse, and diversely located, group of end-users tests your digital product using multiple devices.
A crowd tester acts like your customer and can often find problems you didn’t know existed or didn’t think were problems – an essential when talking about CX.
“In the latest years, the customer’s behaviour has changed – we are doing more and more in digital channels instead of physical ones. This development has sped up due to Covid-19, and is likely to continue. In the same pace, smarter and better digital services are appearing and the customer’s expectations of these services have also increased. Nowadays, customers expect that more or less everything can be done digitally, and they do not accept poor service quality. It has become crucial for us a company to focus on user experience in order to understand the customer and their needs, so we can be truly customer-centric and develop services that live up to customer expectations. For companies that do not, the future is not looking that bright. But for companies that do, the future holds huge potential.”Daniel Regestam, UX Team Manager at Swedbank
Crowdtesting, unlike the more process-by-process nature of test automation, can provide a comprehensive end-to-end look at how your product performs – before your product is released and in hours, not days or weeks.
Crowdtesting can augment your in-house QA testers, giving you greater access to a varied pool of users while freeing up resources. Crowdtesting can also be run as either a managed test by using a partner to help run the test, or by doing it on your own with your own testers.
Overall, Crowdtesting’s flexible, human-centric nature makes it ideal when looking for real-world issues. Test automation, which uses software to test your digital products, is best suited to ensuring actual outcomes are as predicted, not in catching human issues such as localisation differences.
It’s most important to catch issues that create a negative user experience. And going by a PriceWaterhouseCoopers report that reveals 32 per cent of customers stop doing business with a brand they love after one bad experience, it’s important testing ensures that doesn’t happen to you.
Covid-19 and beyond
The pandemic has revealed weaknesses in traditional business. Especially for those with little or no digital presence. It’s also shown that being a fast and agile business is best.
Being able to create lasting relationships using tested solutions honed to create positive experiences has become essential, as will be improving your organisational resilience so you can best embrace change, and resist and rebound from any future business disruptions.
To find out how to comprehensively test your solutions so they’re fully optimised, error-free and ready to create a great customer experience, visit testbirds.com/remote.