Will the importance of CX only increase? That’s a safe bet. So how does a business get to Apple, Disney or Amazon-level CX? Reliability is a good place to start.
Reliability—in the context of a digital-first business—is the ability to quickly identify and resolve issues before they reach the customer. Reliability is a critical demand of both consumers and enterprises as they pursue digital transformation, especially cloud migration and automation.
Achieving reliability may sound rather straightforward, but many factors in DevOps often work against reliability. For instance, many DevOps teams focus solely on technical performance metrics but turn a blind eye to CX metrics like churn rate or net promoter scores (NPS). Some business leaders fix this with advanced AI and machine learning technology, but too often those solutions don’t live up to expectations enough to provide a return on investment (ROI).
Observability, on the other hand, is an approach that collects and analyzes data on every component of a system, application and infrastructure—from performance to security to accessibility. This information allows DevOps teams to glean insights on the reliability of actions performed within a unique business environment, such as an interactive voice response (IVR) system or a contact center.
Gartner defines observability as the evolution of monitoring into a process that offers insights to speed innovation and enhance CX. To establish digital observability, DevOps teams should consider the following components.
Enable Automated Testing of Digital Technology Functions
Every day, companies are losing revenue due to a lack of customer experience observability. Forrester reported that more than $1 billion in potential revenue is being left up for grabs. This is largely due to poor comprehensive customer experience technology investment decisions. As DevOps teams work to deliver new CX innovations—like personalized VR shopping experiences or advanced AI-based chat support functions—they do their best to foresee potential flaws or bugs. However, flaws will inevitably creep in. That’s why consistent observability is crucial. Observability helps DevOps practitioners see these issues quickly and gives them optimum time to respond before it becomes a costly threat to customer experience.
To provide this level of observability, data must be available, accurate and analyzed in real-time. This requires automated solutions because the faster a data set can be analyzed, the more value it will deliver. Automated testing tools work by generating thousands of synthetic omnichannel interactions to test the customer journey from the outside-in—from the network through IVRs to digital apps and routing systems, all the way to agents at their desktops. Automated testing of elements such as connectivity, responsiveness, quality and functionality can help DevOps teams ensure quality is achieved throughout the entire CX development life cycle.
Determine How Test Data Will be Used to Improve Reliability
Detecting issues early also requires precision and intentionality that answers questions like: What data will be collected? Who will own and examine the data? Why does that data matter to our business? Being able to analyze, organize, manipulate and share test data helps DevOps teams have greater ownership and oversight over information that’s constantly coming in.
DevOps organizations benefit from using a platform that centralizes all voice call test data for the entire team so that nothing is missed, and the data can cover a wide array of use cases. Typical test datasets might include information on factors such as customer persona labels (for example, Gold, Silver and Bronze customers or labels by Line-of-Business), order status or payment methods. A centralized monitoring and testing platform allows DevOps teams to create and import comma Separated Values (CSV) files to create a test dataset for a specific IVR and then use it to test the organization’s other IVR systems to save time by not re-creating it manually. It’s also important for internal teams to be able to track who is modifying test data, when it’s being modified and which test cases are using specific datasets.
Dedicate an Executive Champion of Customer Experience
Eighty-four percent of businesses that focus on improving CX report an increase in revenue. Executive investment in CX is critical here and considering the ROI, should not be a difficult sell. To go even further, businesses should consider establishing a leadership role that is responsible for proactively addressing CX and reliability.
For CX digital transformation initiatives to succeed, they must be led by an executive leader who can champion the need to drive cultural change and strategic investments. Appointing an executive to this role will ensure that CX initiatives aren’t siloed from DevOps teams, but also from the rest of the enterprise, including sales, marketing, operations and more.
Some organizations choose to create an entirely new chief CX officer role so that the leader can give their full attention to CX transformation initiatives, processes and technologies. Others, depending on the company’s organizational structure, may decide to appoint these responsibilities to the current COO, CIO or CMO. Whatever the decision, the digital transformation leader must have broad authority that covers budget, people and processes in order to be effective in their role.
Focusing on observability within customer experience technology will help organizations improve their reliability as a brand. With greater observability and automated testing capabilities, DevOps teams will be empowered to innovate faster and deliver higher-quality solutions that will improve customer interactions and solidify brand loyalty for years to come.