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Creating A Better Customer Experience

By Leanne Howard | Business Agility Practice Director

INSIGHTS // Articles

22 Oct 2019

#CustomerExperience|#Digital|#Transformation

INSIGHTS // Articles

#CustomerExperience|#Digital|#Transformation

By Leanne Howard

22 Oct 2019

Business transformation has the potential to impact every facet of business, not to mention the customer experience. If you consider how each interaction a customer has with a brand influences their feelings about a company, it is a sensible focus to have.

A quality and engaged customer experience is a desired outcome for all products and features, the first time, every time. When it comes to products, a quality customer experience includes ease of use, speed, convenience, personalisation and secure automation on any device.

It is the lifecycle practices of agility, quality engineering, automation and continuous improvement that are the enablers of customer quality, delivered at speed and scale.

Image: Three people sitting outside on steps in front of a building. Left person is using a notebook PC and centre person has a smartphone. Title: Creating A Better Customer Experience

Why transform?

When asked about how organisations measure success of agile transformations, respondents in the 13th State of Agile report indicated the largest measure of success - having remained the same over the last few years - was customer/user satisfaction at 52%.

If organisations are being disrupted or are doing the disruption, then they are doing it to either gain more market share, or to preserve the customers that they have. There may be any number of reasons for a business to consider undergoing a transformation, but the customer is one of the most compelling reasons.

There have been significant advances in technology that have been for the benefit of the customer, such as the growth in mobile devices, e-commerce shopping, and the personalisation of the consumer options. In fact, many businesses cite customer experience as their top priority for transformation.

How transformations impact the customer experience

In the Harvard Business Review survey, 72% of respondents said they expect the shift to digital to create closer relationships with customers.

Ways that your customers could benefit include:

• Online data availability

This makes it more convenient for customers to find the information they want quickly, and reduces the need to speak with an employee, thus lowering business costs or diverting staff to value add activities. For example, many online retailers allow customers to save past purchase history so that they can rapidly create shopping lists from common weekly buys on the company’s website.

• Automated solutions

Many processes and customer experiences are now automated. In fact, in one survey by Accenture, 84% of respondents said they preferred interacting with computer-based applications rather than human advisors due to their 24/7 availability. 68% of respondents also said that automated applications were faster to engage, and 64% said they communicated more politely.

• Content specific to an individual customer

The more relevant your offers are to each of your individual customers, the more likely they’ll be to buy your products. That’s why many companies now use customer data to provide personalised content and recommendations. But no matter what you’re hoping to accomplish, tailoring your content to individual users can go a long way in getting them to take action.

• Understand your customer needs

Business owners and marketers now have access to customer data through analytics. If you use it to find new insights into your customers’ purchasing preferences and habits, then you can use it to improve your offerings and develop more effective marketing campaigns.

It is essential to be transparent about the data you collect. Today’s consumers know that their personal data is being collected — and 87% believe it’s important to be able to control and review it.

• Value is the priority

The goal is to create a better customer experience. Be sure that each step you take benefits them in some way. Don’t create features without first understanding what value it is to the customer.

If your company’s transformation centres on helping and engaging customers, it’s much more likely to help you reach your customer experience goals.

Accessible and secure

When it comes to how the customer experience can be impacted, it is important to highlight two sound quality practices that prevent, rather than detect, defects. Namely, accessibility and security.

Accessibility and inclusivity are often overlooked, yet they form critical components of web and mobile applications. Just consider that 15% of the world’s population, or 1 billion people, experience some form of disability, whether visual, hearing, physical or cognitive.

Defining requirements for inclusiveness and accessibility should be conducted from the onset of a product initiative. Today, only 0.02% of pages are accessibility error-free, yet 88% of screen reader usage is through mobile. It is therefore not surprising to note that lawsuits related to accessibility grew by 181% from 2017 to 2018.

Cybersecurity is a wide-ranging set of technologies and practices designed to protect business and customers from attack and unauthorised access. Industry reports estimate the cost of a security breach to average $3.92 million.

What’s most worrying is that 92% of web applications have security flaws, and a typical web application may contain 33 vulnerabilities. With users becoming more demanding and aware, it’s no surprise that more than a quarter (29.6%) will uninstall an application because of real or perceived security issues.

Agile Manifesto

One of the reasons why business agility underpins transformation is its focus on the customer.  Here are several of the manifesto values and principles that help to illustrate this:

Customer value is one of the manifesto statements that we value more. This is in the context of the contract that we have with a customer.

This allows for flexibility to ensure that we are responding to what the customer wants rather than what may have been written in the contract, at the start of the engagement, when we knew the least about what it was that was going to add value or what the customer needed.

The first principle states, “our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through the early and continuous delivery of valuable software”. Whilst this talks about software, it can of course read delivery of any outcome or product, and not just software.

It cannot get much more explicit than the customer is the highest priority, but also the fact that there should be continuous delivery.  That is not to say that you have to delivery everything all in one go - in fact, you want to get the minimum viable product out to your customer so that you can get that fast feedback loop.

The fourth principle asserts, “business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project”. This clearly means the whole team.

Everyone on the team should have the same view of what the customer wants (features) and what quality means to them. There should be frequent discussions on what the real requirements are, and the team should then provide solutions, often in the form of prototypes or Business Driven Development scenarios, which are built collaboratively.

Conclusion

Over the past decade, technological advances have had a substantial influence on how businesses interact with customers.

This digital transformation shows no signs of slowing down, which is driving whole business transformations. Digital divisions, often within an organisation, are the ones leading, or at least the first area to undertake, the business transformation.

Those organisations that embrace transformations have the opportunity to create even better experiences for customers. With business agility putting the customer front and centre, and the greater use of business intelligence allowing the collection of customer data, this will help you more effectively serve each of your customers.

Contact us today to find out how we can deliver solutions that aid you in your own transformation.

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