In recent times, we have seen a marked change in customer experience. What stands out significantly is that the (or even a) customer’s interaction with their business is through a variety of platforms — social, mobile, the cloud.
As testing managers of today, we have to change with the times without compromising on our principle mantras that is to be: Agile, Faster, Cheaper, Better.
So let’s assess what has changed.
Customer experience does not limit itself to just an interface that’s painstakingly developed, tested, regression tested, and moved to production. It covers a gamut of aspects including the processes, the systems, the people, and of course, the different screens a customer uses. It is this overall experience that the user has with the various interfaces that makes or breaks a new or existing customer’s relationship with the organization — one that has been acquired, and or maintained at a fairly high cost. And we, as tester’s are at the forefront of it — holding up the mirror to our stakeholders on how their users’ experience will be.
What’s more, the mindset of people giving us the business have changed as well. While the need to get to market faster, cheaper is still high, our abilities to quickly help decide whether a product is fit for release is being tested as well. Additionally, clients want smaller and more focused teams, which essentially means that team members need higher skill levels that were earlier siloed in organizations. Thus, getting the right people, equipping them with the required skills, and breaking organizational silos is vital for organizations today.
So, the most important question to ask ourselves is this: Do we as testers know enough about our customer’s problems and are aware of the reasons changes are being made? More often than not, when I speak to testers, I find that they are not aware.
Some of the other aspects that we should focus on :
Do we know our users’ journey end-to-end, giving us the ability to extrapolate what may be potential issues downstream? Knowledge of the process also helps us understand how user behavior can change as they progress through the process.
Do we know what are the customer touch points that are important to the business? Identifying those that are vital to the business, ranking and testing them to make sure that they hold up is what should be key.
Do we know which parts of the organization, systems, and processes are a part of this customer experience? If so, are we involving these parts in our testing?
As we go further, we shall focus on specific customer experience areas, and look at how these can be best tested.
Diwakar Menon, Founder – Last Mile