Delivering a seamless customer experience (CX) has become a top priority for companies undergoing digital transformation initiatives, as 85% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience. However, customers aren’t only willing to pay more for a positive experience–they’ll go elsewhere if their experience isn’t positive. In fact, 33% of customers will leave a brand they previously loved after just one bad experience, and 92% of customers will completely abandon a company after just two or three negative experiences. So, delivering a positive CX has become a major priority for companies that want to retain their current customers while winning over new prospects from competitors.
To assure CX quality for customer-serving technology products and services, established DevOps processes and strategies should be applied to the unique aspects of customer experience software. DevOps for CX enables the delivery of software where the customer’s experience is paramount and quality is imperative. However, there are six major pitfalls in deploying DevOps for CX that customer-serving organizations must overcome.
What is DevOps for CX?
To understand the challenges, we must first understand the purpose of DevOps for CX.
DevOps for CX refocuses the DevOps software methodology on the unique aspects of CX software to enable greater efficiency and quality. The constant delivery of expanded CX capabilities through new software developments and features has become a priority in organizations undergoing digital transformation. But when it comes to software products for CX and customer services, quality cannot be sacrificed for speedy development. At the same time, companies must still meet the demand for rapid innovations and tight deadlines on software delivery.
Customers have higher expectations than ever before. These days, there aren’t any second chances when it comes to a customer’s experience. Social media has empowered customers to broadcast CX failures for the whole world to see. Due to the visibility of CX mishaps and negative customer interactions, a brand’s CX reputation depends on flawless execution from the customer’s first impression.
The customer is always right; so, the customer’s perspective must be the primary consideration in software development and testing. This puts significant demand on the DevOps solutions and processes specific to user experience (UX) design, as well as CX testing and monitoring. Software must be designed, developed and continuously tested and monitored in real-time. Companies need to know all the different ways a customer might use the software to accomplish their goals and quickly identify and fix any potential issues before the customer experiences them.
6 Potential Pitfalls of DevOps for CX
Underinvestment in Executive Sponsorship and Cultural Evolution
For CX transformation initiatives to succeed, they must be empowered by an executive leader who can champion the need to drive cultural change and strategic investments. An executive leader is necessary because CX initiatives typically span multiple departments: Operations, development, marketing, sales and services, for example.
Whether the leader taking on this responsibility is an existing executive or a brand new position will depend on the company’s organizational structure. Some companies assign this duty to the COO, CIO or CMO, while others create an entirely new chief CX officer role so that the leader can give their full attention to the CX transformation initiatives at hand. Regardless of the DevOps for CX champion’s title, they must have a broad authority over budget, people and processes to make their role effective.
Competing and Misaligned Incentives
DevOps is a multi-team effort. Ensuring that the teams’ objectives and incentives are aligned is key to ensuring that DevOps for CX projects are executed harmoniously. Each team should have objectives that fit their team function but do not oppose other teams’ objectives, such as speed or a low defect rate on the development side and high reliability for the operations side. These functional team objectives should be centered around respective business objectives for customer satisfaction.
Unclear Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Adopting DevOps forces organizations to take on a more collaborative mindset. Due to the multi-team, collaborative nature of DevOps for CX initiatives, it’s critical that KPIs are clearly communicated, widely understood, and monitored across teams. KPIs should also be widely distributed so CX can be viewed at an operational level.
Lack of DevSecOps Prioritization
Many organizations fail to recognize the importance of DevSecOps from different aspects of DevOps. Not only must customer data be protected, but larger organizations that operate globally must also ensure they are complying with regional data privacy regulations. Organizations that don’t comply with regulatory requirements risk fines and other punitive setbacks.
You must be able to test security features in production to protect both customers and your organization itself. Unfortunately, security is too often one of the last DevOps aspects to be discussed.
Different Configurations Across CX Delivery Environments
Shifting between development, quality assurance, staging and production is a major source of frustration for DevOps teams, as the environments are often configured differently. As code moves through the software life cycle and different environments, having a consistent approach to the solutions and environments via deployment automation will prevent wasted time fixing bugs that suddenly pop up when the code is moved.
Errors Introduced by Manual or Outdated Processes
Manual processes introduce opportunities for human error, causing delays and defects that result in unplanned work. Performing software testing manually is a sluggish process that not only causes quality issues and delivery delays but also reduces the amount of time developers have to execute any unplanned work or rework that must be done post-testing. Automating the CX systems’ testing results in higher quality and reliability at faster speeds, providing more time post-testing for developers to ensure the product meets quality requirements.
DevOps for CX enables companies to innovate CX rapidly by delivering high-quality software and maintaining exceptional customer interactions. As CX leaders innovate new products and services through software, DevOps for CX practices will continue to be honed over the coming years. In the meantime, following the best practices outlined here to avoid the six major pitfalls of DevOps for CX will ensure customer experiences are maintained at an elevated level.