Using DevOps to address CX challenges

By Alok Kulkarni, CEO and co-founder, Cyara
Tuesday, 25 January, 2022

Using DevOps to address CX challenges

Never before has there been greater emphasis on the customer experience (CX). The pandemic has dramatically altered the way customers engage with agencies and companies, pushing CX front and centre.

What is DevOps for CX?

DevOps for CX refocuses the DevOps methodology on the unique aspects of CX software to enable greater efficiency, faster pace of delivery and higher quality of output across customer-serving technology products and services.

Challenges to consider

The delivery of enhanced CX capabilities through new software developments and features has become a priority in organisations undergoing digital transformation. But when it comes to software products for CX and customer services, quality cannot be sacrificed for speedy development. At the same time, companies must still meet the demand for rapid innovations and tight deadlines on software delivery.

A brand or agency’s CX reputation depends on a seamless execution of the customer’s journey — from their first interaction through to their very last. The customer’s perspective must be the key consideration in software development and testing.

Organisations must understand the different ways a customer might use the software to accomplish their goals, while also being able to quickly identify and fix potential issues before the customer experiences them. Ultimately, software must be designed, developed and continuously tested and monitored in real time.

6 best practice tips for a successful DevOps for CX deployment

To ensure a successful DevOps for CX deployment, consider the following:

1. Invest in executive sponsorship and culture

For CX transformation initiatives to succeed, they must be led by an executive leader who can champion the need to drive cultural change and strategic investments.

This leader is necessary as CX initiatives span multiple departments from operations to development and marketing to sales and services. Depending on the company’s organisational structure, this duty can fall to a COO, CIO or CMO or a chief CX officer role.

It’s important that this leader has broad authority over budget, people and processes to make their role effective.

2. Align objectives and incentives

DevOps is a multi-team effort. Ensuring that the teams’ objectives and incentives are aligned is key to ensuring CX projects are implemented harmoniously. Each team should have objectives that fit their team function but do not hinder other teams’ objectives, such as speed or a low defect rate on the development side and high reliability for the operations side. All functional team objectives should be centred around customer satisfaction.

3. Set clear key performance indicators (KPIs)

Adopting DevOps methods forces organisations to take on a more collective mindset. The multi-team, collaborative nature of DevOps for CX initiatives makes it critical that KPIs are clearly communicated, widely understood and monitored across teams. KPIs should also be widely distributed so CX can be viewed at an operational level.

4. Make DevSecOps a priority

Security is often one of the last DevOps aspects to be discussed and many organisations fail to recognise the importance of DevSecOps. Not only must customer data be protected, but larger organisations that operate globally must also ensure they are complying with regional data privacy regulations. Organisations that don’t comply with regulatory requirements risk fines and other punitive setbacks.

It’s essential that you test security features in production to protect both customers and your organisation itself.

5. Ensure consistency across CX delivery environments

Shifting between development, staging and production is a major source of frustration for DevOps teams, as the environments are often configured differently. As code moves through the software life cycle and different environments, having a consistent approach to the solutions and environments via deployment automation will prevent wasted time fixing bugs that suddenly pop up when the code is moved to a new environment.

6. Reduce errors by automating processes

Manually testing software is a sluggish process that not only causes quality issues and delivery delays but also reduces the amount of time developers have to execute any unplanned work or rework that must be done post-testing. Automating the CX systems’ testing results in higher quality and reliability at faster speeds, providing more time post-testing for developers to ensure the product meets quality requirements.

DevOps for CX enables companies to innovate CX rapidly by delivering high-quality software and maintaining exceptional customer interactions. As CX leaders innovate new products and services through software, DevOps for CX practices will continue to be honed to ensure customer experiences are maintained at an elevated level.

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