How many times have you opened an application only to find a bug is stopping you from using it properly? How many times have you complained to your friends about an app or service, or heard them complain about one to you?
I’m willing to bet the answer isn’t “never.”
The modern customer demands software that works. You can offer free web conferencing all you like but if the service doesn’t work, people won’t use it.
The days of accepting buggy web apps, services that don’t work as they should, long load times, and other problems are long gone. Consumers want responsive software, and if they don’t get it, they aren’t satisfied.
If customers aren’t satisfied, they won’t use your product. It’s that simple.
Luckily, there’s a solution for this – and that’s DevOps. This is the practice of uniting the software development department of an organisation with the IT department. In a process called continuous delivery, both sides – Devs and Ops – work together to cut the systems development lifecycle.
DevOps makes use of automated monitoring to take data about how users engage with apps, feeding it back so developers can use it to add new features or remove redundant ones. This increases the rate at which updates release and bugs get fixed.
Whether you’re providing a mobile games app, a call recording service, an ecommerce site, or any remote business, DevOps can help by improving the function and features of a system. But when it comes to consumer satisfaction and experience, it’s a game changer in an increasingly competitive market. As well as improving things for the consumer, it can support the work of customer services.
Let’s take a look at three ways that DevOps processes and methods can boost customer satisfaction. We’ll see what those methods are and how they relate to customer satisfaction. Why is this important? Quite simply, you can’t underestimate the relevance of customer satisfaction.
- 84% of companies report a rise in revenue after improving customer experience
- 78% of customers have chosen against a purchase due to bad customer experience,
- 77% of consumers say poor experience makes their quality of life worse
With that in mind, let’s see how DevOps can make customers more satisfied.
1. Software Quality
The customer is always right, and customers demand high quality software that works. Whether it’s watching customer support videos, using a banking app, or ordering food, customers want the process to be easy, fast, and bug-free. The user experience should be as smooth as possible.
If it isn’t, customers will switch. They’re well aware that the market for apps and software has numerous competitors for every service. Customers also aren’t afraid to pass on negative comments to their peers about bad user experience! Fortunately, customers are also willing to pass on positive comments about a good user experience.
DevOps can improve software quality in two ways, both of which lead to a better quality product. This holds true whether your service is something for remote team engagement or employee operations, like collaboration tools or customer-facing software that needs a good user experience for the public. Improvements in both leads to increased satisfaction.
DevOps methods and practices harvest data using application performance management, constantly feeding it to developers. Rather than wait until the end of a software development cycle, developers see what needs improving on a regular basis. DevOps achieve this through automated sorting of data, a form of artificial intelligence.
Furthermore, this form of automation can also give developers really useful data about customers. Changes in the behaviour of customers or new information about the way they act can help developers improve the product continuously, rather than the traditional way, in stages or phases.
Ultimately, this means increasing the quality of life of customers who use your service. Customers want your service to be tuned exactly to the way they want to use it. Even if they don’t notice small changes, the speed and utility of the service can still improve. That is how continuous delivery provides customer satisfaction.
Catching bugs before they appear
Everyone who uses modern technology has encountered bugs, some of which can range from minor inconveniences to downtime that makes software completely unusable. Bugs have a huge impact on customer satisfaction, as does their resolution time. A recent survey showed that the happiest customers have their bugs fixed within 1-8 hours.
Automated testing is one of the main features of DevOps practice. Continuous and automated testing catches bugs in the development process before software releases. Even if you can’t catch bugs before they appear, you can fix them quickly with continuous integration/continuous development. That is only possible by implementing DevOps practices.
Customer retention is critical. Increasing customer retention by 5% can raise profits anywhere between 25% and 95%. The best way to keep customers is to have a quality product – and the best way to improve your product’s quality is by keeping it bug-free. Customers are much more likely to stick with a product or service that they know is reliable, after all.
Nobody wants to see this longer than they have to.
2. Innovation and Delivery Cycles
Innovation is the key to attracting customers and keeping them satisfied. It doesn’t matter if your product is an auto attendant or cold calling software. Bringing something new to the table that provides a creative solution is incredibly important.
It’s not enough to create an exciting product – innovation also has to be constant. Customers expect constant updates and improvements to make services better.
Manual releases represent a traditional way of doing things, but real innovation comes from a high rate of change. DevOps is the key for this. Using this framework, every change is smaller, and implemented more quickly. Not only does this mean that the turnaround on new products is faster, it also means changes to those products come more quickly too. The key to this process is the streamlining and automation that DevOps practices provide.
The automated testing, removal of routine and repetitive and irrelevant processes leads to concentration and focus on what matters – improving the product.
Customers crave innovation. Workday is an example of a company that centres its practices around innovation. The result? They recently recorded 98% customer satisfaction. We know the importance of customer satisfaction and customer experience.
The faster the delivery cycle, the more innovative a service can be. DevOps practices work directly to improve the delivery cycle and create innovation.
(Source: Opex Software)
3. Lower Costs
It’s obvious that lower costs benefit everyone. After all, cost is a major factor in consumer satisfaction. Nobody wants to feel like they’re paying for a service that doesn’t satisfy them.
DevOps can lower costs to both the service provider and the consumer. 50% of companies reported lower costs and rise in revenue from implementing DevOps. One way that it does this is to catch errors before they become cause downtime quickly and efficiently. Downtime happens to everyone – the Zoom outage this year shows that. By reducing the amount of downtime, you can reduce costs incurred from a service being unavailable.
It also works in the same way by lowering the change fail rate. The practice of having many small and regular software releases means you can correct failures in code on the next release. Larger and scarcer software releases take longer to fix and can’t adapt to changes that might happen during the development cycle. These slow fixes have one key result: lost revenue.
Ultimately, this all comes back to customers. A more efficient service makes customers more satisfied, and a cheaper service makes customers more satisfied too. In turn, this reduces abandonment rate and improves conversion. No customer wants to pay for service that’s expensive and often fails. No matter how good your customer experience framework, people won’t stick around for a bad product.
DevOps is the future
(Source: Grand View Research)
In recent years, customer satisfaction has really come to the forefront. Competition in software, apps, and services is increasing in every field. Even something like a predictive dialing system needs to be competitive and deliver satisfaction to every customer.
DevOps can bring about a complete change in the culture of a company. It’s not just a set of practices to make things better, but a method that puts the consumer’s satisfactions and demands at the centre of a company’s activities. Ultimately consumers appreciate regular bug fixes, innovations, and lower costs.
Yet introducing DevOps won’t just build a solid advantage in customer satisfaction today. It will build experience and practices for the future, too. DevOps is only going to get more relevant to customer satisfaction, as customers start to take the solutions it provides for granted.
After all, the competition is truly intense. 81% of Americans believe that American businesses are either meeting or surpassing expectations for customer service. DevOps plays a critical role in developing consumer satisfaction. The companies that refuse to implement it will pay the price.
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