“Today, 89% of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer experience – up from just 36% in 2010.” Forbes
The digital economy of the 21st century is driven by rapidly-evolving customer demands, and organizations are using cloud computing and agile methods to help them keep pace. As cloud computing catapults software deployment, agile methods accelerate software development to deliver value faster to customers. Together they share the same underlying goals: enable innovation and increase efficiencies while focusing on the customer experience, business agility, and cost reduction.
Agile methods make up the foundation for DevOps, which reduce development cycles from months to weeks, and along with cloud computing, minimize obstacles and gaps between prototyping, development, and deployment. Organizations – big or small, new or old – are able to deliver new functionality to customers at record speed, thereby expediting more features and products to their customers. Across infoedge’s customer experience practice, three features of this shift to the cloud stand out:
Newer, digital native companies thrive on the cloud:
Amazon: A leading cloud technology provider, within a year of its own move to AWS, engineers were deploying code every 11.7 seconds, resulting in reduced outages and costs, less customer frustration, and higher satisfaction.
Netflix: The company went from shipping DVDs to video streaming in its commitment to providing a seamless global service. Engineers are now making 1000s of code changes daily and viewers can stream shows on tablets or phones from anywhere in the world.
Facebook: After its cloud infrastructure migration, its accelerated development lifecycle enabled bi-weekly app updates to provide customers with constant, rapid mobile app refreshes of targeted ad content.
Etsy: The company made the switch to the cloud to generate a better search experience for its 33 million users. It went from four-hour full-site deployments 2x a week to a more agile approach, releasing over 50 deployments per day in a fully automated pipeline.
Traditional companies also see success from cloud adoption.
Nordstrom: When its customer mobile app team underwent a DevOps makeover, releases went from 2x per year to monthly and deployment time dropped from 3 months to 30 minutes. Its focus on continuous integration and continuous deployment also resulted in less bugs and higher throughput.
Walgreens: Its recent strategic partnership with Microsoft, the Boots Alliance, aims to migrate its infrastructure to the cloud, and deliver customer-focused applications to improve healthcare delivery across the United States and the United Kingdom.
Customer experience is the number one priority.
Customer experience management may be the single most important investment a brand can make in today’s competitive business climate. A good one generates more revenue, with 86% of buyers willing to pay up to a 13% premium for a great customer experience. It consists of a (1) strong omni-channel strategy and (2) continuous user testing.
The omni-channel experience is the ability to access what you want, when you want, from any device you want. Customers now have an expanded network of communication channels – social media and email, along with customer portals and mobile apps – to seek near immediate answers. “Companies with the strongest omni-channel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omni-channel strategies.” according to Aberdeen Group. Meeting customer expectations on demand, across omni-channels, is the new normal and the cloud enables organizations to create integrated experiences for their customers.
Agile cloud computing also accelerates user testing. As new software features are deployed faster, customers provide their feedback sooner, and developers can incorporate that feedback to create more relevant end products. This continuous feedback loop enables developers to test their ideas quickly and make adjustments as needed, which is critical to innovating and improving the customer experience. As such, cloud-based solutions add business value earlier on in the development process and propels customer learning.
Leveraging agile processes and the technologies provided by cloud computing empower organizations to be more responsive to customer needs. There are numerous ways to enhance the customer experience – moving apps and data to the cloud is only the tip of the iceberg. Our experts at infoedge LLC work with large organizations to implement technology solutions that will help you convert customers, generate more revenue, and increase customer retention. Contact us to learn more about how we can put customer experience at the forefront of your digital transformation.