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Should I get to know customer experience testing?

It's time to add some new testing tricks to your repertoire. Expert Gerie Owen offers advice on customer experience testing.

The short answer is yes. Customer experience, the result of the interaction between the customer and the organization...

throughout their relationship, is of prime importance to an organization's digital strategy because it is a major component of the J.D. Power score. But more importantly, if the customer experience in an organization's digital channels is not top notch, the organization is sure to lose customers.

Therefore customer experience testing is one of the most important components of website testing. To perform customer experience testing, the tester must understand the customers, including not only demographics, but also their intentions when interacting with the website. And there are likely to be many different customer profiles to understand and test.

Customers want simple navigation for logging in, establishing and managing their accounts, and locating information. Error messages must be clear and help must be contextual to the customer's current action. Customers need to feel like they are in control and they expect their experience to be seamless across all digital channels.

The mobile channel has changed the way in which customers expect to be serviced. Customers expect to be able to use your website from anywhere and from any device. This means that mobile websites must be field tested across multiple device, platform and browser combinations. And because not all customers will update to the latest versions, the application must be backward compatible.

And although customers may not expect channel parity (i.e., the ability to perform all functions through all channels), they will expect a seamless customer experience across all channels. Customers will compare your website and other digital channels with those of your competitors. If your competitor provides a better customer experience, customers are likely to move on.

Next Steps

How to measure user experience

What are the key user experience skills?

Gather requirements to ensure effective user experience

This was last published in October 2015

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What are your best strategies for customer experience testing?
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To what extent is user experience testing the same as usability testing? Are they synonyms or is one a subset of the other.
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Looking at competing products, company/product image as well as user personas often help in customer experience testing. I have also seen great results from user testing - having testers or other team members observe users of the program.

I also like to think of robots as users of the program: how does your web app look for the google search engine? How about preview functionality (just paste a link to your site is pasted to facebook or slack)?
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