Customer Experience and Developers

Whether reasonable or not the requirements for more and more developers to enhance their skills and mastery of every element of the developer stack has become more prevalent. Increasingly job specifications encourage greater cognizance of the entire stack, coordinating business acumen with general wider picture thinking. It’s alleged that Facebook only hire ‘Full Stack’ developers, whether valid or not the importance of wider knowledge and customer experience cannot be downplayed; whatever the detail.

While the debate about being truly ‘Full-Stack’ can rumble on, this article will set to outline the many advantages of integrating Customer Experience (CX) into the Developer and Operations suite, highlighting why the demands of delivering great customer experience is a business wide task. Here are the key takeaways as to why you should pay more attention to incorporating CX throughout development.

It aligns departments, business goals & strategies

Everybody has their ‘day job’ to do, that’s a given. However, by just concentrating on the task at hand, teams can often operate largely as task focussed individuals getting things done but missing crucial pieces of the puzzle. For example, fixing bugs or building features without understanding business requirements can impact on the quality of the end product. Likewise, for non-technical business owners; asking for drastic overhauls, radical turnaround times and fancy interfaces without knowledge of or at a least a solid level of technical understanding, only leads to frustration on both sides.

While it may seem arduous and a difficult task at first – proactively taking the time to integrate key departments and stakeholders is of greater long-term benefit. By aligning CX with development and becoming more actively involved in the discussion, specification, scope and delivery of work you can break down silos and leverage knowledge for the better.

Successful organizations benefit from decreased time to resolution, a reduction of bugs, improved communication and greater work satisfaction. By working together as smart individuals you will incrementally add greater value to the overall Customer Experience which can equate at a business level to increased bottom line value.

Experts feed into development exactly what the customer needs

It may seem obvious to most but knowing what your customer wants and needs is critical to delivering a great online Customer Experience. In reality, lines can often become blurred with development and operative tasks at hand. What may seem like sound logical reasoning for development may not always be the most impactful solution for the customer. This is where enlisting those most involved in customer experience and corroborating with real data from your customer experience analytics software comes to the fore. By engaging experts you’ll become acutely aware of customer behaviour and will unearth insight from both a customer and development perspective.

Many organizations are already adopting this premise; shifting to agile methodologies and engaging key stakeholders throughout the planning and development process. The goal being to minimise the back and forth, deliver a better product, in quicker more iterative steps.

Time is saved and a better brand & customer experience is delivered

By breaking things down and considering the wider CX picture you not only minimise the risk of delivering non-beneficial features but you also save time for development and wider growth.

By leveraging the expertise of those in related departments and likewise these departments garnering a better understanding of the development process you will begin to operate in a far more efficient manner. This not only helps from a business resourcing sense but on a personal level more time is afforded to work on innovative, rewarding projects.

The digital strategy is redundant without good execution

Forrester’s 2017 report “Bridge The Gap From CX Strategy To Digital CX” states that if this is executed effectively , digital CX wins hearts and minds. However, this can only happen if you avoid working in silos, frustrating internal stakeholders and annoying users. Without proper deployment , the digital CX strategy is useless.

Done right, digital CX can help sales go up and support cost go down. DevOps teams need not become experts in Customer Experience, but increasing the breadth of knowledge beyond the “stack” can reap the rewards.

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Paul Walter

Paul Walter