Agile methodologies are the key to delivering flawless customer experiences, according to Aussie startup Cyara’s chief technology officer Luan Tran. In an exclusive interview with Which-50, Tran said the customer focus was driving the shift to agile but Australia is lagging.

“A truly agile business is one that listens to its customers and quickly moves to improve and fix issues based on the customer feedback they receive,” Tran said.

Cyara is a SaaS platform founded in Australia that allows businesses to test and monitor their customer experience channels. Last year the company secured US$25 million in series A funding and their clients include Google, eBay, Toyota and American Express.

Tran said companies like Netflix, Amazon, Uber, Apple and Samsung are examples of  companies who have gotten agility right and respond well to customers, “The common thread is that they are mostly disruptors.”

But many Australian organisations are failing to keep pace, due to a lack of talent and sluggish NBN rollout, Tran said.

“We are falling behind in many areas; education needs a major investment to help better equip future talent with the right skills and an entrepreneurial spirit.”

While Australia may be struggling overall, there are some local standouts. ANZ’s restructuring is an effort to become more agile and the Commonwealth Bank mobile app is a good example of agility in action, Tran told Which-50.

Agility and the ability to respond to customers quickly is becoming a necessity in today’s marketplace, Tran said, and those that excel will enjoy a competitive advantage.

“Reducing the time to delivery and increasing the quality of customer experience technologies can be the differentiating factor that retains customers and draws new ones to an organisation,” Tran said.

“Ultimately, adopting agile methodologies will be the key to delivering flawless customer experience.”

Measuring Agility

According to Tran, judging agility comes down to three questions:

  • How well does your company respond to user complaints/feedback?
  • How quick is decision-making when responding to changes and competition?
  • How predictable are your efforts: What is the team producing versus the work estimated?

For those found lacking and looking to become more agile, the customer imperative can be a good rallying point, Tran said.

“In an agile environment, designers, developers, testers, DevOps, and production maintenance personnel need to look at how the customer journey is constructed, what tests are appropriate, how to develop customer stories, and what is and isn’t working in production.”

Agility is not solely a technology problem or the task of one department – “all departments are responsible,” Tran said.

“You don’t need to be a technology department to be agile. Combining organisational goals to ensure a seamless experience for customers across each digital touchpoint ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction.”

Chatbot AI

Customer service chatbots are an example of leveraging AI to improve agility and ultimately deliver better customer experiences, Tran said. Their use is becoming more commonplace and Tran sees them eventually reaching ubiquitous levels.

“As AI improves users will not know if they are communicating with a chatbot or a real agent. The strategy of automating and reducing human costs will be a driving factor for companies to ‘front-end’ these types of initial enquiries.”

They aren’t a silver bullet though and are just a part of a greater agility mix that “ensures a seamless experience for customers across each digital touchpoint ultimately leads to increased customer satisfaction”.

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