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When I worked in product management at the start of my career, the saying about product development was "cost, quality and schedule: pick two" with the implication that there is an inverse variation between getting product shipped quickly and cheaply, and therefore quality can suffer. Or, if you want a high degree of quality and to ship it fast, it is more costly because it requires more resources. Thankfully, that saying is no longer true.
With a DevOps approach, you can get speed, high quality and cost efficiency at the same time. However, you cannot get to a DevOps approach in your systems development lifecycle (SDLC) without test automation. One of the last frontiers for enterprises to apply DevOps a approach is within the contact center and the associated customer support systems. If done correctly, embracing automation and customer experience (CX) testing has a major positive impact on the entire business.
Organizations who practice DevOps know that enterprises can leverage automation for contact center testing and monitoring so they can use teams' time and skillsets more efficiently, improve overall quality and increase customer satisfaction. This approach works seamlessly with a DevOps model, reduces human error and frees up valuable time for employees to focus on more critical tasks. If your company is unsure about whether adopting automated CX testing is valuable to the business, there are key benefits that you should know about when making this decision.
Once your DevOps team has implemented an automated system for CX testing and monitoring, there are a few indicators that will help you measure how much value this technology is providing the business. Below are four signs that your enterprise's automated CX assurance software is creating more efficient internal processes that ultimately reduce friction for the customer.
1. Glitches are No Longer Escalating into Larger Scale Incidents
Automated CX monitoring enables companies to proactively discover technical issues and fix them before they turn into bigger, company-wide incidents that can potentially cost customers.
For instance, if a retailer's automated text message system isn't working, customers won't receive text message updates about their order status, and as a result, they will all start to follow up with your call center asking where their orders are. Without a timely response or resolving the issue immediately, this event could negatively impact customer experience and even damage customer retention.
2. Faster Operations at Scale
To be successful in providing ROI for the business, contact centers must operate with efficiency and speed so they aren't keeping customers waiting a long time for help. However, this becomes difficult when contact centers are experiencing a massive spike in call volume. A 2020 Drift and Heinz Marketing report revealed that 46% of customers expect a response within five seconds or less when using a chatbot, 43% expect the same using online live chat and 33% when using a phone or video call. In fact, the need for immediacy has grown in each category across the board, averaging an increase of 25%.
Since contact center agents cannot always provide a response within five seconds or less, self-service systems are critical, and automated call center testing ensures that self-service systems operate at peak efficiency.
3. A Cascade of Savings for Your Contact Center
It's not cheap to operate a contact center. The contact center budgets run into the nine figures at some Fortune 500 companies when taking in payroll, systems, software, buildings, etc. However, the good news is that you can reduce yours costs by automating repetitive tasks such as CX testing. Unlike humans, automated technology doesn't get tired, doesn't need lunch breaks and mitigates risk of human error. The time and resources that were previously responsible for repetitive tasks can now be reallocated to focus on more critical tasks that require human interpretation and interaction.
With better-quality systems, including self-service applications, customers can resolve most of their issues with self-service apps so agent-assisted interactions are much smoother. All these factors lead to the business' CX program operating more efficiently.
4. Customer Experience is Uplifted to a Profit Center
One of the major benefits of automating contact and call center testing is up leveling CX without the need to manually test thousands of different test cases. This means that enterprises can be more efficient and improve the quality of testing and customer experience. Forrester's 2020 Customer Experience Index reports that even a minor improvement to the quality of a brand's customer experience can add tens of millions of dollars in revenue. By continuously testing and making improvements proactively, the contact center will no longer be a cost center, but instead it becomes a center of profit for the enterprise.
Keeping Up with a Moving Target
Developers are feeling more pressure than ever to work faster and meet shorter release cycles to deliver more value to the customer. For instance, if your update ships in six weeks but your competitor ships in two, your business will always be at a perpetual CX disadvantage. By reducing the amount of manual testing a team performs, you can improve the enterprise's CX efficiency, tighten up release cycles and ultimately, shorten time to value for customers. Not to mention, it decreases the risk of introducing human errors and improves the overall quality of your brand.