So you've made the transition from manual to automated testing, or are well on your way, and your team has the opportunity to think about quality as a strategy beyond testing. With more agency and time to focus on strategy, QA has fully morphed into QE and plays a significant role in driving quality across the entire SDLC, supporting a better customer experience that differentiates your product from the competition. But even a fully data-driven testing strategy is unlikely to cover the full end-to-end user journey, resulting in test coverage gaps and potential pain points for customers. The average user isn’t thinking about a site or app in terms of pass/fail. So how can QE cover the entire customer journey - and all potential pain points?

The cost of poor customer experience

A full 65% percent of consumers say a positive experience is more influential than advertising, making the customer experience not just an important aspect of user retention, but also a critical part of marketing and growth. And the influence extends beyond e-commerce brands; sectors like banking and healthcare ranked at the top of purchasing decisions decided by experience.  

The same study also found that efficiency, convenience, and ease of use features like simple payments are valued by over half the consumers, all of which can be improved and managed with an effective testing practice. Fine-tuning testing efforts to streamline the customer experience is a simple way to prevent revenue loss and amplify your best marketing asset: happy customers. 

Meeting in the mobile

Research shows that 52% of all web traffic is from mobile devices, while desktop traffic has steadily declined. Roughly the same amount (50%) of customers will abandon your site if it isn’t mobile-friendly. For both consumer and enterprise facing companies, being able to communicate with prospects and customers on mobile web apps is crucial to success. 

Whether mobile is the center of your customer experience or new territory, there are some essential elements build a positive mobile user experience: 

  • Visual: is the page easy to navigate and consistent with your brand?
  • Functional: do all page elements work as expected? Is it possible to complete all user journeys?
  • Performance: is the mobile experience fast and consistent across mobile browsers like Chrome, Safari, and Firefox?

To elevate your testing strategy to reflect the needs of priorities of your customers, you need data that breaks down their preferences and habits. Google Analytics, for example, will report the specific device and screen resolutions of your users, making it easier to prioritize the user experience that will have the biggest impact. 

Once you understand the needs of your customers, you can begin using mabl to create automated tests that continuously monitor your site at scale. The mabl Trainer adapts to various devices and enables your entire QE to test across multiple formats from the same solution, so test coverage is maximized across mobile and desktop. To make the process even easier, simply take the existing mabl tests trained for desktop applications or websites and duplicate them by editing the copied test steps as necessary. Not only does this dramatically shorten the time needed to start mobile testing, but also helps ensure that the user experience is consistent across mobile and desktop - a critical feature when users start a transaction on one device and complete it on another. 

Making the most of email 

Speaking of mobile, 46% of users on your mobile site are likely to have started their customer journey in an overlooked and often under-tested place: their inbox. With 3.9 billion email users worldwide, chances are that your customers and prospects expect to connect with your company through newsletters and updates. Legacy test automation lacks the ability to test critical customer interactions that happen outside your application or website, leaving serious pain points that could convince potential customers to abandon your site before making a purchase. 

As a next-generation test automation solution, mabl features Mailbox, an easy way to test registering a user account, receiving a verification email, clicking a link to verify the address, and asserting that the email has been verified. The Mailbox service generates a unique email address that your application can send emails to and can then interact with using the mabl Trainer. 

Mabl Mailbox enables testers of all coding levels to test email the way your customers actually navigate them. This includes following links from emails for more complete end-to-end tests, validating attachments and their metadata, and even capturing screenshots to track visual changes. And since all of the work put into testing an email is useless if your email service provider fails, mabl validates that by alerting you when an email fails to reach the mabl-generated test email, further replicating the full customer journey and ensuring that all pain points are addressed before your users notice. 

Consider just how many emails you receive each day and how you interact with each message: are you clicking links? Downloading attachments? Analyzing infographics? These types of small, but meaningful, connections with readers make email a powerful tool for your organization to update customers and persuade prospects. But without thorough testing, email can quickly turn into an annoyance. To unleash the full power of quality engineering, test automation solutions need to imitate the complete customer experience as much as possible, even when key interactions are outside traditional testing parameters. 

The bottom line

At the end of the day, the best customer experience is one that your customer doesn’t have to think about as they navigate through email, mobile, and desktop pages. Though traditional test automation tools have forced QE teams to simply think of quality in terms of pass/fail, that framework lacked the ability to test the full customer experience, creating serious risks for brands in a digital-first world. 

To meet the high expectations of consumers, QE teams need test automation tools that enable them to create a holistic testing strategy that focuses on the needs of their users. For the 2021 quality engineer, data-driven testing is best described as combining empathy with evidence to improve the product and customer experience. 

Ready to see how you can test some of those critical user journeys? Sign up for a free trial of mabl today!