Here at VASSIT we’ve seen the wonders of DevOps firsthand, so we think it’s great that more and more businesses are getting on board - 27% are now working on a DevOps team, up from 16% in 2014. They've realised DevOps isn't just about improving internal processes, isn't it about time you found out how DevOps can also have a large bearing on customer experience?
We’ve talked previously about how DevOps can benefit your business, but we haven't really explored how it can vastly improve customer experience.
The how is pretty simple really.
Instead of your development team and your operations team working separately, and often seemingly competitively, DevOps builds a culture of collaboration. Rather than managing the two independently, they're treated as one team with the same goal - improving the customer experience.
And it's becoming increasingly important. A recent study by Walker showed that 86% of buyers will now pay more for a better experience, which has led to predictions of customer experience overtaking price and product as the key differentiator between brands by 2020.
Which is great news for all DevOps orientated businesses, with the 2017 State of DevOps report also revealing that organisations who are considered “high DevOps performers” are over twice as likely to achieve or exceed customer satisfaction objectives.
In this blog, we look more specifically at the different ways having a DevOps state of mind can improve customer experience:
Those of us over a certain age will distinctly remember a time when software was released as a physical product and that was that – no patches, no DLC, no updates. Well, not until the next iteration hit the marketplace a year later.
These days things are very different. Software is rarely considered “finished” thanks to fixes, additional content and quality of life improvements, which means new code can be required on-demand and often more than once a day.
Businesses that embrace DevOps are empowered to deploy new code much more quickly than those that don’t, which have been shown to deploy code at an average of 46x more slowly. This is down to the increased interaction between the development and operations teams which enables them to cut out any middle-men.
This means customers get new content, patches and fixes more quickly with DevOps.
More reliable products
Something guaranteed to irk customers is a sharp drop in their quality of service or even worse, a complete outage. Luckily, using DevOps means your customers get a product that’s less likely to fail because there's more communication between programmers and testers - with both sharing goals and targets based on customer experience.
In fact, customers of “high DevOps performers” are shown to be 5x less likely to experience degraded services.
Quicker incident response
No matter how reliable your product or service, things are bound to go wrong occasionally, and you’ll suffer from either an unplanned outage or some degree of service impairment. Whilst this isn’t ideal, it is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to get services running normally as soon as possible.
DevOps is perfect for any business that places a premium on not keeping customers waiting, with a mean time to recover of less than one hour, an average of 96x faster than rivals who don’t use DevOps. This is because both teams share a workflow, so when an incident is reported, development and operations work together to solve it, rather than working separately.
So, it’s also perfect for customers who don’t want long periods of poor service - which we assume is all of them!
Responding to issues quickly is great, but it’s also important that you’re able to swiftly identify the problem and move from a theoretical fix to having code running successfully.
Once again, DevOps has been shown to be of great benefit, with “high performing” organisations getting new code running 440x faster than competitors, which is mostly down to developers communicating directly with testers - instead of working in separate siloes.
What does this mean for your customers?
Customers generally aren’t concerned about ‘mean time to recover’ or ‘critical failure’ statistics, they just want a product or service that functions well when they need to use it. And if things do go wrong, they want the problem resolved as quickly as possible.
That’s exactly what DevOps gives you. By integrating the development and production team, your product or service is less likely to fail and you’re more able to respond to issues as soon as they arise – whether that’s fixing a bug or meeting market demand by adding new functionality.