Imagine your car breaks down on the highway, and you call your insurer for help. A friendly and courteous agent (not an automated interactive voice response system) takes down the details, has your car towed to your preferred garage, and dispatches a cab to take you to your destination. How nice would that be? How about if this were handled by a conversational AI bot powered by Alexa?
In today’s digital age, customers don’t just buy products and services – they experience a company’s brand through numerous digital interactions. Digital success pivots primarily around getting the customer experience right, the first time. This is where quality assurance (QA) becomes synonymous with brand assurance. QA must ensure the underlying business processes and technologies are capable of powering an exceptional (if not distinctive) customer experience.
After all, your experience with that Alexa-enabled digital agent might have turned into disappointment if the insurance company didn’t receive your policy details, or if the car didn’t make it to the right garage. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work that needs to occur to create such a seamless experience, and much of it only works correctly with proper bot training and testing.
What It Takes to Assure a Brand
Elevating quality assurance to brand assurance requires an end-to-end approach to quality – from software changes, to the way customers interact with the brand. Assuring brands through QA brings very clear imperatives to the fore:
- Get quality right the first time. Agile/DevOps have redefined software development as a continuous, iterative and collaborative process. QA must follow suit, building continuous feedback loops to help developers achieve the highest quality, the first time.
- Accelerate speed to value. Because monolithic QA structures of the past are slow and cumbersome, they must give way to an orchestrated approach to quality that emphasizes speed. An ecosystem of partners and communities can accelerate the pace of innovation, and build agility into the overall software development process.
- Focus on customer journeys. Reimagining QA to ensure a streamlined and seamless customer journey is a great way to enhance the customer experience, and your brand. One way to move in this direction is to tie QA outcomes to net promoter scores. For instance, in the case of a car breakdown, if Alexa is aware of your preferred garage, you are more likely to be satisfied with the experience, and be a promoter for the insurer.
AI to the Fore
Digital-driven approaches have decisively shifted the goalposts for QA, and speed makes the difference. Whereas automation has until now been the key accelerator, the addition of AI has imbued automation with continuous self-learning and improvement and made it pervasive, which can help QA teams step up to the speed challenge. Moreover, by augmenting human judgment to address QA complexities, AI can make the brand-assurance proposition real.
When a leading U.S. life insurer wanted to accelerate its launch of new products and features in a highly competitive marketplace, we worked with its QA team to deploy a bot that combed through the underlying business process changes and recommended optimal tests. The bot helped reduce the tests by 50%, which accelerated time to market for the insurer.
It’s work like this that has earned us Leader and Star Performer status on the 2018 Everest PEAK Matrix for Enterprise QA Services. By focusing on end-to-end QA, augmented by AI-driven bots, any business can realize brand assurance.
Learn more by reading our white paper “Business Assurance for Voice-Enabled Digital Assistants.”