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How Low-Code Application Development Is Revolutionising Customer Experience

Paul Arthur, Regional VP for ANZ, OutSystems

In the age of digital transformation, customer experience (CX) is the linchpin of success for organisations across various industries. Companies that excel in delivering exceptional CX are not only able to retain existing customers but also attract new ones through positive word-of-mouth and online reviews. To achieve these goals, organisations are increasingly turning to high-performance low-code application development as a powerful tool to enhance and streamline their CX efforts.

Before diving into the impact of low-code application development on CX, it's essential to grasp the fundamentals of this innovative approach to software development.

Low-code development platforms enable individuals with varying levels of technical expertise to create applications quickly and efficiently. These platforms provide visual interfaces, drag-and-drop components, and pre-built templates that simplify the development process, allowing developers to focus on higher-level innovation to enhance CX.

Accelerating time-to-market and product innovation

One of the primary ways low-code application development enhances CX is by significantly reducing the time it takes to bring new features and applications to market. Traditional software development can be time-consuming, with lengthy coding and testing phases. Low-code platforms enable organisations to build and deploy applications at a fraction of the time it would typically take, ensuring that new CX improvements are implemented swiftly.

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Low-code platforms are also designed to support rapid and continuous improvement. In CX, the ability to make quick adjustments and enhancements is crucial to meet changing consumer demands and stay ahead. To improve, organisations must proactively gather feedback from customers and quickly implement changes to their applications and processes. For example, enterprises looking to launch a customer loyalty programme can use a low-code platform to create a mobile app in a matter of weeks, allowing customers to easily sign up, track their rewards, and provide feedback that can improve the membership experience.

Enhancing seamless customer journeys

Seamlessness is a key component of exceptional CX, and low-code development enables enterprises to achieve this efficiently and effectively. As consumers demand more mobile-first and integrated services in their day-to-day activities, established organisations face greater pressure to shift away from legacy systems and traditional workflows that involve a lot of manual processes and cumbersome paperwork.

For example, supermarket chains often need to manage a wide array of store operations with many constantly moving parts, from inventory stock taking to customer checkouts. One such retailer in The Netherlands digitalised entire workflows by building and scaling an employee mobile application with high-performance low-code, as well as delivered nine digital products in a 12-month period. This consolidated and simplified inventory management for 100,000 staff across over 1,000 stores enhancing staff development and training and significantly reducing the time needed to perform repetitive tasks, allowing them to have more time to serve customers.

Aside from enterprises, government agencies also need to consider CX in their development strategies as citizens become more digitally savvy. Agencies need to adapt in tandem with online processes and workflows, and often require rapid product turnaround times to prevent critical service disruptions. Closer to home, the ACT Revenue Office leveraged low-code to speed up refunds processing timelines by 90%, which also eliminated paper waste and back-and-forth administration by cutting 90,000 paper notices and reducing email trails by 65 percent.

Accessibility is also an integral part of a positive customer experience. Low-code development platforms often come with accessibility features built in or easily integrated. This means organisations can ensure their applications are usable by individuals with disabilities, complying with accessibility standards like the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). By making their digital assets more accessible, organisations can cater to a broader customer base, fostering inclusivity and improving CX for all customers.

Leveraging the best talent and resources

With a radically simplified approach to making enterprise-grade applications, low-code platforms empower citizen developers or individuals within organisations who may not have formal coding backgrounds but possess valuable knowledge about the direct role they play with customers. These individuals can now contribute to application development, allowing organisations to harness their expertise to improve CX.

For example, a healthcare organisation can involve nurses and doctors in designing patient-facing applications using a low-code platform. This ensures that the applications are tailored to meet the specific needs of healthcare professionals and patients. Another important point in the current economy is that traditional software development can be costly, requiring substantial investments in development resources and infrastructure. Low-code development significantly reduces costs by accelerating the development process and minimising the need for extensive coding expertise. This cost efficiency allows organisations to allocate resources to other CX enhancement initiatives, and in many cases allows the organisation to keep up their digital optimisation plans despite economic forces and reduced budgets.

Low-code application development platforms have Artificial Intelligence (AI) embedded in their functionality as well. By incorporating generative AI with an already powerful development platform, applications can be brought online with even shorter timelines and same resources. AI features at the back-end can also add new layers of analysis and greatly enhance the usability and maintenance of applications.

We are in a highly competitive business landscape and delivering exceptional customer experiences is a strategic imperative. Low-code application development has emerged as a powerful tool that organisations can leverage to achieve this goal. By accelerating time-to-market, enabling seamless integration, and making the most of resources, low-code development is transforming the way organisations approach CX. As organisations continue to prioritise customer experience, low-code development is likely to play an increasingly vital role in their success.

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