QA: Customer Experience Testing - A step by step
approach for Digital businesses

Customer Experience Testing is an essential ingredient for a successful business. Quality Assurance teams know that well enough, and if you are sceptical about the same, MIT’s Eric Von Hippel and his study on the relationship of superstar customers with the company might change your mind. The study proved that maximum company innovations were a result of customer feedback and building on it – in fact, 60% of innovations were of this nature.

With digitalization having pervaded all of our lives, now Quality assurance is just helpful, but integral to processes – for engineers as well as the digital media teams of a company, organization or business. This is because the findings of a customer experience testing can go a long way in helping teams optimize content and carry out email marketing, amongst other key functions.

A successful approach to a customer experience strategy would be to start by knowing your customer’s behaviour. Knowing their intent, mindset, socioeconomic status, their post-purchase reactions and transactions could go a long way in designing and iterating the customer experience.

Customer Experience Testing: A step by step approach

  • Live the customer journey

    Understanding the end – customer persona is as important as understanding the target market. A customer journey map tracking each transaction, online or offline, resulting in a definite goal helps customer experience testers by leaps and bounds, by enabling the testers to understand the core points to be focused on while collecting feedback. This may include functional factors, accessibility, layout, security, data privacy, among other elements. It may be noted that these may also differ according to demographics. Hence, a journey map by the customer experience architects proves to be extremely valuable.

    Once the testing team starts living the customer journey and begins seeing the world from a customer’s point of view, results become accurate and realistic. Keeping in mind the fact that 85% of companies working toward a better customer journey report an increase in revenue, this is worth a shot.

  • Assessing the maturity level

    To quote James Harrington from The Improvement Process, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t understand it. If you can’t understand it, you can’t control it. If you can’t control it, you can’t improve it”.

    Maturity assessment is crucial. The four major factors when measuring maturity levels of an organization are its people, processes, data and technology.

    Maturity here is the ability of an organization to develop a project and deliver it in a timely manner while maintaining its quality and healthy experience. Ability to record, store and process data in order to analyze the customer’s behaviour also plays an important role while measuring the maturity of an organization.

    But why is it truly necessary? The answer is - because an organization should be realistic when setting end-user goals. Measuring the interactions between various stakeholders of the business, like the IT department, marketing teams, finance teams and the like help understand and direct the course of action to be taken and the end-user persona to be understood more coherently.

    There are 5 basic levels of maturity upon which an organization is ranked. These are:

    • Controlled: Moderate performance in the market.

    • Proactive: Does reasonably good.

    • Agile: Is a strong company that follows market trends.

    • Market Leader: Defines market trends.

  • Execute the strategy

    Customer experience architects often manage to build strategies that are good on paper. However, when it comes to execution, the teams tend to take it lightly, when in fact this step requires careful planning and strategy.

    The user survey analytics and social sentiment analytics need to be on point and frequent. Emphasis must be placed on the architects that are responsible for defining the exact customer experience journey. Biting questions such as the how, when, where and what of all sorts of testing (for instance, crowd testing, A/B testing, sentiment analysis, etc.) are answered by the customer experience architects and needs careful consideration and weighing of all possible factors.

    Here’s how the flow of execution can be managed against a rather common scenario.

    Ordinarily, users post their feedback on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Their negative comments are often available as public posts – in fact, 95% of people tell others about a bad experience through a social media channel! Tapping these sites for data and then performing sentiment analysis on this data can provide excellent results. These results can be channelled back to the testing team and eventually the engineers/product developers. Crowd testing – often known as beta testing – also proves to be a good method of testing. If your development team is confused between two features, an A/B testing strategy can be taken to choose the desired feature.

    While performing the aforementioned strategies before the launch of a product is pretty popular, digital companies usually forget to carry these steps post-launch. And this is a fatal mistake. Why? Because with time, priorities change and updates are necessary.

    Only 19% of business organizations have a working customer experience testing team, and that explains the reason for the Unicorn club (companies with a valuation of over $1B) being so small. Customer experience enhancement is a one-shot way to success, something that every organization must focus on, sooner rather than later.