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Introduction

Customer Experience (CX) is what drives success for software products especially SaaS solutions. The way your product is perceived in the market by its end users is what determines its success or failure. As per Gartner, over 70% of product development leaders are struggling to keep up with CX standards that increase customer satisfaction and ensure organizational success. A deep understanding of the paradigm and subject matter expertise can help product development organizations build software that is business-friendly and help improve Customer Experience in the long run.

When developing a customer-facing software solution, the end-users’ overall experience is of paramount importance to business retention and next stages of software development. Customers and buyers today are increasingly aware of the many options available to them. People want unified, smooth, continuous interactions with minimum navigations, which puts technology at the core of these experiences. From a brand perspective, technology can provide deep insights into what customers expect from their interactions. For most organizations, a customer-centric IT strategy must go far beyond simply setting up a workflow solution. Read this blog to understand the various ingredients that make up a good Customer Experience.

Product Ecosystem – Each Touch Point Must Be Balanced

Various organizations don’t stop building solutions when done with one use case. An ecosystem of solutions is what drives value for your company as a whole. With all your touchpoints in the ecosystem, CX-driven development must be balanced and not lose focus when new touchpoints are being integrated into your ecosystem. Think Google with its various touchpoints – Google Books, Google Movies, Google Play, Google Pay, etc. The end-user experience for all of these applications is largely the same and is made possible by a solid foundation that ensures compatibility and uniformity in experience – no matter how unique the situation and different from the other.

A lot of organizations struggle with this uniformity across all touchpoints in their ecosystem. This happens because unique solutions leverage different technologies, and demand varying user flows. Uniformity becomes a challenge if you have a narrowed-down technology resource pool that has to do everything together and keep up with market demands. The solution to this problem can be working with technology partners that can help an organization minimize the difference between the demand for varying user flows and the uniformity in the Customer Experience. While an organization focuses on Customer Experience requirements and uniformity, the implementation of discrete UI/UX and development requirements can be delegated to your technology partner. This also enables you to not slow down when touchpoints are being constantly integrated into your ecosystem.

Product Architectures

Does your product architecture support your Customer Experience requirements? Your organization needs to be absolutely certain that the CX parameters and standards you decide on are supported by your architecture. If your architecture is monolithic, and the CX standards that you have decided on require dynamic changes at regular intervals of time – say quarterly or yearly – your business might suffer because of the difficulties involved in integrating dynamic changes on a monolithic architecture. The above example, however, is simplified to highlight the very precise issue. Architecture decision is not as black and white as dynamic or static, it all depends on your product offerings.

Product architectures have evolved over time and are accommodating intermediary layers between the ones we are already used to. Reference Architectures are one of the ways to go about figuring out template solutions to your business requirements. You can reach out to a technology consultant or innovations service provider that can help you with reference architectures to build your product on. So, what are some examples of these architectures?

1. Microservices Architecture
Microservices are something that can give you a lot of dynamic freedom in your product features. Microservices ensure that all feature integrations are independent of each other. This means that disconnecting one feature does not mean issues cascading into the rest, and each microservice can be addressed independently. This enables a product developer to freely and quickly work on each feature depending on iterative requirements, and deploy or retract them as and when required.

In contrast, the static monolithic architecture, or even dynamic but connected services architecture leads your product features to be dependent on so many parameters that changes and resolutions take much longer than they should.

2. Back End for Front End (BFF)
Back End for Front End (BFF) architecture puts an intermediary layer between your front end and back end. What’s the point of this? BFF mitigates the need for you to build new code restructuring your architecture when new clients are added. For example, if you currently have mobile and desktop clients that have communication frameworks set up with your servers, adding a tablet client will require you to deploy a new communication framework between the tablet’s front end and your backend (server).

However, if you have an intermediary layer between the front and back end (BFF), the BFF can take care of this communication framework, instead of the need for a new service at the backend. Each time, you will only have to set up this framework in the BFF and not restructure your architecture with new services at the backend. Your product development will probably require an architecture that is vastly different from any of the architectures mentioned here, and they will determine your Customer Experience with regards to turnaround times, service latencies, and a lot more. Figuring out a suitable architecture for your product is a very important step in your Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) that is coherent with your Customer Experience.

Leveraging Open APIs

Coming back to uniformity across touchpoints in your product ecosystem or even a single touchpoint, familiarity in some processes enhances the Customer Experience and is hence beneficial for your business. For example, payment portals across touchpoints should look the same in an ecosystem. There is no point in having payment portals that differ from touchpoint to touchpoint, a process that can potentially frustrate the user that has to get used to so many different ways of payment for different products in the same ecosystem.

If a common feature exists across all touchpoints, you would be better off leveraging an API integration on all the products in your ecosystem. This application could be your own, or it could be developed and deployed by your technology partner. A positive Customer Experience is greatly dependent on familiar, satisfactory experiences. Hence, leveraging a well-developed API that can be used across applications in your product ecosystem can contribute greatly to your Customer Experience.

Conclusion

If you are looking for expertise in any of these areas and want to develop products with Customer Experience in mind, reach out to Pratiti Technologies. We are an outsourced product development and custom software development company with rich expertise in building solutions keeping customer experience at the core of our well defined and unique craftsmanship model. We specialize in solving business and end-user problems through innovative digital product development capabilities. Our unique craftsmanship model keeps the end-user in mind while crafting solutions. To drive Customer Experience (CX) driven product development, contact us today.

Nitin

Nitin Tappe

After successful stint in a corporate role, Nitin is back to what he enjoys most – conceptualizing new software solutions to solve business problems. Nitin is a postgraduate from IIT, Mumbai, India and in his 24 years of career, has played key roles in building a desktop as well as enterprise solutions right from idealization to launch which are adopted by many Fortune 500 companies. As a Founder member of Pratiti Technologies, he is committed to applying his management learning as well as the passion for building new solutions to realize your innovation with certainty.

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