Not so long ago, the customer journey used to be quite simple, and most of all, linear: a consolidated progression from awareness, research, purchase, to retention. Customer’s visited brick and mortar stores which gave brands the opportunity to deliver a face-to-face sales pitch. If clients had a post-purchase problem, companies were typically able to discuss it with them to come to a suitable solution. Word-of-mouth reviews were literally passed verbally among friends, family, and acquaintances.
Today’s customer journey is no longer linear. It is now full of twists and turns, with multiple touch points along the way, offline and online. Whether it is B2B or B2C, customers are jumping back and forth throughout the different phases, and they have a whole new set of expectations when it comes to interacting with different types of brands.
Digitalization has profoundly changed the picture and will continue to shape the “new normal”. In depth understanding of quickly-changing, ever-evolving customer needs and expectations is therefore crucial to success.
First of all, we have to focus on understanding what drives value for customers, which may or may not be related to new technologies. Being able to adapt to these new needs and expectations, evolve further and create more value, along with understanding where areas of future growth may lie, will define the success or failure of any business.
Not long ago, companies were focused on how the offline and online experiences they offered to their customers could complement each other. Maybe the website was intended to attract customers, and the store would provide the personalized touch to ensure sales conversion. The idea was to use both channels together as tools to increase customer satisfaction. Exclusive use of online channels were intended only for millennials and the digital-savvy.
However, 2020 allowed us all to see just how much we can accomplish online. People worked from home exclusively, ordered groceries and cooked meals online, and even celebrated weddings and holidays over the internet. The COVID situation has clearly accelerated the transition of consumers towards online purchasing. Today, we are all inclined to say that a business’s online presence has a predominant role in building the customer experience.
Elements that were considered marginal only a few years ago are now turning points to engage your audience, ensure conversion and build trust. You must have a smooth experience across all devices, a website that loads quickly and a responsive customer care team available on multiple messaging apps. These are just a few of the factors that influence today’s customer experience.
Now, more than ever, the consumption of digital content is expected to be smooth, fast and reliable from a variety of devices. The ability to release applications and enhancements more quickly can determine the success or failure of any business.
Quality assurance for digital services has become business critical to retain the current customer base and increase global revenue. Your app and website are now equivalent to your store location. A poor-functioning app is essentially a reflection of your brand.
Unfortunately, technological complexity has increased the number of variables that may impact the performance of your service. It’s imperative that it works seamlessly from phone to tablet to laptop, from an old Android to a brand new iOS device, from LAN cable to 5G.
Companies can get an edge over the competition by embracing automated solutions to test apps and services in any location, on any device, at any time. Automated testing allows you to accommodate the growing list of testing requirements to ensure a high-performing online experience. Comprehensive quality assurance can not only improve the end customer’s experience, but also shorten time-to-market, increase productivity and turn customers into advocates.
In addition, automated testing has the ability to execute the same action in the same way every time. You can even utilize automated testing to check the functionality of the front-end interface 24/7 and have it trigger an alarm in case of failure. This enables you to locate the root cause of any problem before customers are impacted.
Specifically, in terms of an e-commerce business, the benefits are direct and meaningful. Immediate detection of issues in the purchasing process has a direct impact to the bottom line. And besides ensuring a delightful online experience for your customers, you are now able to focus on improvements to decrease abandon rates, increase conversion rates, and identify opportunities for upselling.
The customer journey isn’t what it used to be; technology is playing a key role in the experience and customer expectations are evolving. Businesses that want to be competitive need to be ready to adapt. By adopting automated testing, you can quickly respond to changes in technology and exceed expectations with a flawless and optimized online customer journey.