CX, UX, what X?
A couple of weeks ago, I started a kind of dictionary for web design related expressions and abbreviations, to ease your struggle in the digital market. My goal cannot be really defined as ambitious, because I just want us mere humans (i.e. not IT gurus) to be able to read a piece without googling half of the words, or at least understand the title at first glance.
The noble mission started off by clarifying when a website is responsive and left off with the explanation of CSS, getting across many more topics, such as on-page SEO or usability…just to name a few. Today, I have a new word (probably not the best definition for two characters), I mean a letter combination for you to explain. Here comes CX. We are going to figure out what CX is and how it is connected to UX.
Out of the Xs, you are not new to UX, alias user experience design or user-centered design, I’m sure. We’ve already covered that topic in the article of “What is UX?”. Since practice makes perfect, we can revisit the takeaway of that post: “UX aims to enhance user satisfaction, to make you, as a user, happy and to remove all frustration from any interactions you have with a certain product.”
That’s pretty straight forward. And rest assured, CX is no rocket science, either. CX stands for CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.
Customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction includes a customer's attraction, awareness, discovery, cultivation, advocacy and purchase and use of a service. It is measured by the individual's experience during all points of contact against the individual's expectations.
That is, CX is the overall feeling of a customer, based on every interaction with a certain brand, from the moment of discovering it until completing the use of the product or service bought. The keywords here are every interaction implying a far complex process.
Let’s assume that, you walk on the street and suddenly see the shiny board of a frozen yogurt place (I’ve always wanted to try, but never got to it. Yep, never had any.), and decide to buy a scoop (sorry, no idea how it’s served). You buy it, eat it and enjoy every minute of it, then life goes on. So, where does CX start and end?
Your customer experience, in this case, begins with the moment you lay eyes on that shiny fro-yo sign in the street and lasts until the presumably delicious dessert leaves your digestive system. If during this time, you have a severe brain freeze or afterwards a tummy ache, that’s all part of the customer experience.
User experience, on the other hand, a narrower part of the series of contact you have with a certain brand. As its name suggests, it refers to the interaction you directly have with the product, namely the actual use of it. In the fro-yo example, the UX is your experience of eating it. It may seem less significant compared to the length of the customer experience, but UX is the core, determining the overall level of CX, too.
They are entwined and their success depends on the other. Good UX does not necessarily or automatically mean good CX as well. You may like the fro-yo, but the rude shop assistance has deterred you forever. And vice versa. The shop can have the loveliest and most polite staff in the world, but if the yogurt is tasteless, the chance of you going back there is pretty slim.
The number of options available in the market is too high for any customer to compromise, therefore you have to provide high user experience and high customer experience at the same time.
Have you experienced high UX with low CX or the other way around? Share your story below.