How Quality Engineering Helps Build Flawless Customer Experiences
November 03, 2020

Akshaya Choudhary
Cigniti Technologies

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Customer experience has become the cornerstone for success with enterprises splitting their hair on how to achieve the same without robbing a bank. It can make or mar the prospects of any business venture and should be the focus of any organization. Let us understand its importance with an example:

A big brand decided to move online and offer its products and services in the eCommerce model. The launch of the portal was done with much fanfare and excitement with expectations about customers making the most of the eCommerce portal. However, when it came to the brass-tacks, the venture turned out to be a fiasco with customers shunning the portal. Why, you may wonder? Well, the pages loaded slowly, the payment gateway did not function as it ought to be, and the images were not attractive and visible enough. Result? Instead of improving sales and enhancing brand equity, the reputation of the brand took a nosedive.


When customers interact with a digital product or service, they expect it to work without any hiccup. And should they find one — such as a click, touch, or swipe failing to offer the desired result — they may disown the product or service altogether and settle for the competitor.

Hence, people entrusted with delivering a superior customer experience (developers, QA specialists, and customer service personnel) must make the processes seamless. This should be irrespective of the digital touchpoints used by the customers — smartphones, desktops, tablets, laptops, notebooks, or smartwatches, among others. However, ensuring the same requires thinking differently by using quality engineering. It is an Agile and DevOps based approach wherein the QA process is automated to deliver outcomes like continuous integration, testing, and delivery. In short, digital quality engineering can lead to enhanced CX (customer experience).

As new technologies are incorporated to develop attractive, fast, feature-rich, secure, responsive, and turnkey software solutions, the expectations of customers continue to rise. They want their software applications to be high performing irrespective of the digital devices, browsers, operating systems, or networks. And with the preponderance of so many avenues and systems, the complexity of software systems (and their failure) is bound to increase. To address such challenges, enterprises need to look beyond traditional software quality assurance services and embrace quality engineering.

To deliver enhanced CX, enterprises should be able to meet three requirements:

■ Automate most processes of the engineering value chain.

■ The quality engineering approach to be focused around delivering a great customer experience.

■ Use effective automation tools to build an enabling test environment to further the cause of CX

How Software Quality Engineering Can Enhance the CX

With an increase in the complexities of software applications, especially the ERP ones, software quality engineering can help build a tool-agnostic platform to facilitate software releases. By taking the Agile and DevOps approaches, QE services can help enterprises to design, build, and test software applications, quickly and consistently. In fact, the AI-enabled tools can detect glitches that are preventing the delivery of great CX, quickly. AI can leverage tools such as chatbots and social networking accounts to analyze and verify if the applications are functioning as expected. To execute and verify customer experience testing, a holistic digital quality engineering process should address a range of issues. These include automating the value chain by incorporating Agile and DevOps methodologies. To drive an effective CX, QE services should consider the following types of testing:

Compatibility: It validates the seamless run of any software application across digital mediums comprising laptops, smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and desktops. For example, a fixed deposit policy can be initiated on a smartphone and completed on a notebook without any hiccups.

Usability: In this type of testing, aspects like error rates, task times, and human-computer interactions are looked into. For example, is the customer getting the information he or she asked for or the CTAs on the webpages are easy to follow? Also, there should be a visual consistency across pages in situations such as the Black Friday sale. Here, the navigation for an eCommerce portal should be fast and seamless across web pages to achieve great CX.

Accessibility: According to the World Wide Web Consortium’s accessibility guidelines, there should be inclusiveness in offering web content to the users. For example, a mobile app should have features like alternative text (describing objects on the screen), visible focus indicators (enabling a customer to use a keyboard rather than a mouse), and good contrast ratios.

Performance: In this quality engineering approach, tests are conducted to verify whether the features and functionalities of a software application perform to their optimum when subjected to a certain traffic load. For example, an eCommerce portal needs the fastest load and response times from its digital assets during peak demand. In the absence of performance testing, the load threshold will remain unknown leading to system crashes.

Security: Security has emerged as the biggest challenge confronting the digital ecosystem. And unless system vulnerabilities and glitches are dealt with during the development and testing process, the consequences can be disastrous — for all stakeholders. For example, an eCommerce app with a payment gateway should disallow the autofill option for passwords and other sensitive fields. If such practices are incorporated in the value chain, the risk of security breaches and any non-compliance with regulatory protocols can be eliminated.

Conclusion

By implementing enterprise quality engineering, organizations can detect and fix flaws or glitches in the software application before it is delivered to the end customers. It helps to design an application with minimal scope for glitches thus saving time, effort, and cost in rework. In the competitive business landscape of today, software quality engineering can help enterprises to rationalize the cost of operations, eliminate errors, and deliver superior customer experiences, quickly and consistently.

Akshaya Choudhary is Content Marketer at Cigniti Technologies, an Independent Software Testing company
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