Poor customer experience is costing financial institutions $10 billion in revenue annually, according to an industry report released earlier this year. It’s a staggering figure that underscores how critical it is for financial services firms to delight their customers at every interaction. But, when you consider the industry’s complex, highly regulated environment and the customer expectation for a seamless experience across devices and operating systems, it’s clear that this is anything but a simple task.
Quality. It’s what everyone involved in designing, building, testing, and maintaining software strives to deliver. And it was very much the common thread running through our inaugural Eggplanet conference in London on 6 June.
Billed as the event where continuous quality meets business outcomes and, thanks to an inspiring group of speakers and wonderfully engaged delegates, it didn’t disappoint.
A surge in traffic is in many ways a dream for any website. After all, more traffic means more customers and more sales.
However, you can sometimes do your job too well when your successful marketing campaign brings surges of traffic, causing your website or app to slow down and even crash. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than seeing your website or app fail just when you have the most to gain.
Most blogs and articles just state traffic-induced crashes as something that can happen. But if you don’t understand how high traffic crashes a website or app, how can you expect to avoid the problem?
In a recent Forbes interview on the retail customer experience, Harley Manning, VP and research director of Forrester’s customer experience team, said; “Customer expectations are rising slowly—but faster than brands are making improvements.” He further elaborated that the average score in the firm’s CX Index™ for US digital retailers decreased from the prior year, with no retailer breaking through the 85th percentile to make it into the “excellent” category.
Today’s complex, digital world relies on computer systems and software and downtime is more than an inconvenience—in many industries, it’s a critical failure that can have a lasting, negative impact on customer experience, the corporate brand and the bottom line.
Wikipedia will tell you that “software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product or service under test.” While technically accurate, this definition does not encapsulate all that testing does and how critical the function is in our complex, hyperconnected world.
A recent SD Times article suggested that AI is not delivering tangible testing improvements, cautioning “…customers need to realize there’s probably more hype than reality in most of what test solution vendors are saying.” This sentiment reminds us of the unhelpfully polarized “manual-vs-automated test execution” debate that held back testing for 10 years and we’ve only recently moved on from with the realization that there’s a place for both in testing. It would be catastrophic for the testing industry if we went into another 10 year debate of “AI-vs-non-AI” only to realize that there are strong benefits to AI, but it probably doesn’t solve everything.
These sentiments are unhelpful and dangerous to the testing community. Sure, there are exaggerated claims about the use and impact of AI in some products, but there are also fantastic products that demonstrate that the technology can deliver real improvements today. Below are just a few examples of how AI can help testing now—not several years down the road:
A recent Forbes Insights survey confirmed that there is strong C-Suite interest in artificial intelligence, with eighty percent of CEOs and eighty-five percent of IT leaders pointing to AI as a core component of their digital transformation efforts. While the technology is sometimes—and mistakenly—associated with job loss, AI’s true power actually lies in its ability to augment human decision-making.
In early 2017, US grocery chain Winn-Dixie invested $7 million to improve its website but overlooked a critical component: testing to ensure it was accessible to people with disabilities. This mistake garnered national attention when the retailer lost a federal case accusing it of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The Winn-Dixie lawsuit is considered a landmark case but it’s hardly a unique situation—website compliance suits are on the rise. According to a legal blog tracking these cases, there were at least 2,258 such suits filed in the US alone in 2018—an increase of 177 percent from the prior year.
Businesses want software that delights end users. Customer experience is the priority. But even as the requirement for ever better experiences grows, actually delivering on that requirement is getting harder.