Customer experience and user experience sound the same, but are they different?

The short answer is yes. Customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) have originally evolved from a customer focused approach, but each are different in their own right. Let’s have a closer look at each field and how you can easily apply some experience thinking to your business.

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is how the person experiences a brand. This includes the complete end to end experience of the customer, from initial awareness of the brand to being a loyal customer.

What is user experience?

User experience is how a person experiences a product. This includes digital products such as apps and websites but also physical products.

What is the difference?

There may be some confusion around these two fields because they have evolved from the same idea of designing an experience. This idea is more easily explained by looking at a customer journey. The below customer journey shows how a customer interacts with a brand on the path to purchase. When the customer interacts with digital products it forms the user experience. The journey as a whole forms the customer experience.

User Journey Map

Why you should care about customer and user experience

Why you should care is simple. Customer experience and user experience are both user centred processes that cross between traditional marketing and the digital landscape. An opportunity to easily integrate should not be missed.

What you can do right now

You’ve already got customers and users, so there’s no reason not to start now. Getting your digital and marketing teams talking will open doors and reveal new opportunities to delight your customers.

  • Talk to your web team before launching a campaign
  • Create feedback loops
  • Smooth friction and enhance highs
  • And finally, share the wealth of knowledge

Consistency across multi channel campaigns will create a smooth customer experience and reduce drop offs rates. Ensure that your website or app continues the experience from offline media and that the functionality helps them achieve campaign goals efficiently.

The customer service team sits on a gold mine of new feature requests, software bugs and missing content issues. Create an easy feedback loop where user feedback goes back to the relevant team. If there’s an issue that gets fixed, feed that information back to the user. This will enhance the user experience, make the customer feel valued and complete the loop.

When a customer is frustrated or confused it creates a low point in their experience. This is when user experience can step in and help smooth the customer experience. A great example of this is Uber’s help section in their app. By presenting this information to the user in a timely and relevant setting, it could save the user from becoming frustrated and also streamline processes for the customer service team.

Uber Feedback

Don’t forget that the customer experience and user experience share a common goal. Each field has a unique view and skill set that can be applied to making a customer happy. And a happy customer equals good business. Sharing knowledge and creating collaboratively will ultimately produce more customer centred experiences.

Now that you know the differences between CX and UX, take a walk in your customer’s shoes. Could the experience be improved, and could your user experience enhance the customer’s experience even further?

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