We’re Bringing Customer Experience Optimization to Product Teams

Jean-Yves Simon
October 14, 2019
7 min read
Flagship.ioNewsWe’re Bringing Customer Experience Optimization to Product Teams

Long gone are the days when customer experience optimization was a luxury. In the current digital age, customers interact with brands in multiple ways whether it’s through the website, social media channels or mobile apps.

In other words, companies can no longer just rely on delivering great products; instead, they should ensure they provide their customers with a great customer experience from the moment they start engaging with your brand until the moment of purchase.

Therefore, customer experience optimization is one of the essential foundations for survival in an increasingly competitive market to drive revenue.

This means product managers and teams have to not only deliver the best products but also deliver the best experiences to their customers to guide them down the purchase funnel from the moment of awareness to the moment of conversion. Put simply, whatever products product teams release to the market, customers should always be at the heart of the process.

Customers are now and should be at the heart of everything a company does. Therefore, providing visitors with an optimized experience from the second they enter your site is essential to get them to convert and achieve customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What is customer experience optimization?

Customer experience optimization (CXO) is about creating the optimal experience for every user, every time. With tools like experimentation and personalization, focusing on optimization helps companies streamline their funnels and customer journeys to achieve bottom-line KPIs faster—and more efficiently—than ever before.

It largely centers around understanding your target customers and providing the best possible experience for them along the entire customer journey across all touchpoints. The best experience of course depends on who your target audience is when it comes to their needs and interests.

Therefore, extensive research needs to be done to understand these customers to provide optimal and relevant experiences tailored just for them.

Whether it’s nurturing a lead to qualification, encouraging a checkout or a fuller cart, or driving the adoption of new features, digital experience optimization can streamline goals for any type of organization with digital assets (and hopefully, that’s everyone).

Here are some tips to help you optimize the customer experience:

  • Start with optimizing your online presence: Every aspect of your online business should be optimized. It should provide you just the right experience for consumers to seamlessly navigate through your website from the moment they first visit till the moment of purchase.
  • Understand your customers’ journeys: Gather data about your consumers’ behavior, preferences and needs. The more you understand the customer journey, the better you will be able to implement improvements while removing frictions along the purchase funnel, which will ultimately improve site performance.
  • Improve your personalization efforts: All the data you gather will help you gain a deeper understanding of your customers and deliver an experience that tailors to their unique needs. Personalizing the digital interactions a customer has with your brand will go a long way to achieve long-term customer retention, satisfaction and loyalty.

Deliver the best customer experience with feature flags 

The main goal with using feature flags is that they allow you to decouple deployment from release.

This means that you can create personalized experiences for different user segments. In other words, feature flags allow you to develop features to match the needs of a specific group of users. You can then hide this feature behind a flag and disable it for all your other users. 

Let’s see more specific scenarios where feature flags can help you to deliver better customer experiences:

  • Experimentation

Feature flags enable you to carry out server-side A/B testing. This means teams can run more sophisticated tests tied to the back-end beyond the scope of UI or cosmetic changes usually done with client-side A/B testing. 

For example, you may want to test a new checkout flow and measure its impact on revenue. Visitors can then be split into two variations, enable the feature for one of the variations and measure its performance. If it performs well, then the feature can be rolled out to all visitors. 

  • Gradual (progressive) rollouts

Feature flags can significantly reduce risk during release. That’s because teams are in the driver’s seat when it comes to choosing who gets to see new features. 

Through progressive rollouts, teams can make their features visible to certain users by putting the features behind a flag and enabling (or disabling them) for certain user segments. This way, teams can monitor how users react to the new feature and make sure no issues come up before releasing to a wider audience. 

Furthermore, progressive rollouts give teams the opportunity to collect feedback from these user segments and optimize their products accordingly to ensure they’re only delivering the releases that offer the most value and best customer experiences.

  • Get faster and better customer feedback

If feature flags are great at one thing, it’s getting fast and valuable feedback from your most relevant customers. 

For example, feature flags can help you set up beta tests. This is especially useful if you have a feature you’re less than confident about. Feature flags enable you to turn on this feature for a select number of users who you know are more than willing to give the feedback you need to optimize your products before going for a wider release.

  • Managing entitlements

Feature flags enable teams to manage entitlements, which is especially relevant for SaaS organizations that offer different features according to the plan users are subscribed to. 

Therefore, you can easily build a permissions platform to build and manage entitlements through feature flags where you can dictate who has access to which features. This means you can offer different experiences for your users, resulting in an overall better customer experience as you’re essentially enabling certain features and matching them according to the customer’s needs.

How Flagship helps you optimize and improve the customer experience

AB Tasty is the best-in-class experience optimization platform that empowers you to create a richer digital experience. For years, AB Tasty has helped marketers deliver winning experiences to their customers with experimentation, personalization, and user insights. We’re excited to announce a foray into a new type of experience optimization—the kind that happens in the codebase.

Flagship platform interface

Flagship, a solution by AB Tasty, is a feature flagging platform that was created for product teams and developers to manage, optimize and experiment with their features while minimizing risk of a negative user experience. Our platform comes with an easy-to-use UI, and includes a use case library for product teams to streamline repetitive processes and deploy faster. 

Why Flagship?

The development of Flagship took place in tandem with extensive user research, as well as our own usage of the platform for certain features in AB Tasty (drink your own champagne, as they say). During this months-long process, we noticed in our interviews that product teams and marketing teams have entirely different workflows when it comes to optimizing the experiences of their users. 

While marketing teams can be laser-focused on conversions, product teams have KPIs that begin way before a traditional ‘conversion’ may happen: feature adoption, usage frequency, bug count, and many other KPIs that can be intertwined with the code deployment itself.

Therefore, we built a platform designed around enabling risk-free deployments with easy-to-use methods like feature flags, progressive deployment, and rollbacks.

To share a full list of capabilities, Flagship enables product teams and developers to:

  • Run deep, back-end experiments on any device and on any digital channel by leveraging server-side testing
  • Personalize the digital customer experience by rolling out to specific personas
  • Significantly minimize risks associated with new feature releases with rollbacks, feature flags, and progressive deployment
  • Maintain on-time feature rollouts and avoid lost revenue due to delays
  • Ensure customers’ feedback is quickly integrated into product workflows and decision-making

Our VP of Product, Jean-Yves Simon couldn’t have said it better: 

“Today’s consumers don’t differentiate between browsing on a brand’s website or mobile app, engaging with their IoT devices and using their web application. All of these touchpoints contribute to the overall customer experience, which is why it’s essential that Product, Tech and Marketing teams work seamlessly together to continuously experiment on, optimize and personalize these interactions. That’s what we’re offering our present and future clients with Flagship.”

Experience optimization is happening—everywhere

As we've discussed, customer experience optimization is on the rise, as more companies are realizing the huge value to be gained from optimizing the buyer journey in tandem to today’s unprecedented investment in top-of-funnel traffic.

As we’ve seen first-hand, experimentation is the tip of the iceberg in creating fully-optimized experiences that win and delight customers. With Flagship, we’re bringing our experimentation expertise into the world of product development—and enhancing it with all the tools a developer could need to deploy winning experiences.

To get a demo of Flagship and see how it can help your product team deliver winning experiences, request one here.

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About the author
Jean-Yves is Senior Vice-President Product at AB Tasty. He's a business oriented Product leader, specialized in SaaS with deep expertise in MarTech and AdTech platform & Apps. He's a curious person who enjoys working with (and challenging) great engineers, and always willing to do what it takes to help the field grow the business.

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