Customer experience strategy - 5 questions for beginners

You may already be familiar with user journeys and other customer experience strategy related research methods but if you are thinking about your users experience and how they interact with your product or service you are likely also thinking about experience design. The following are common questions we tend to find that people are asking experience design.

What is experience design?

There seems to be a lot of overlap between people talking about customer experience (CX) design and user experience (UX) design. Whilst there are many similarities, to clarify, when talking about Customer experience design one is referring to the entire customer journey, this includes online and offline experiences and references a much broader scope than UX. With UX design, the focus is on making the usage of a particular product better for the user.

When designing a customer experience strategy CX design is an iterative process which means that ideally this is not a once off scenario, each round of iterations suggests there is conceptualization, generating a prototype, there is testing and a review process and the process begins again from there.

See our CX Director Barry’s take on Experience Design here.

What are the benefits of user experience design within customer experience strategy?

Whilst this post is more around customer experience strategy and cx design of which digital experience design and UX design is a component, user experience design is not merely something which benefits the customer, investing in this brings about other benefits.

Increased Credibility

Bluecorona recently did a survey indicating that almost half of respondents surveyed indicated the website design and experience to be a major factor contributing to the perceived credibility of the website.

Increased Sales

It stands to reason that if people can’t interact with your side easily it is less likely that they will conclude a sale. Almost think of it like if you turned your local tesco into a maze, how many of the customers would be able to find what they were looking for and then of those how many would even make it to the till.

Increased Loyalty

If a business has a great user experience (and customer experience), then it is highly likely they will return again. A recent Gartner report on customer experience strategy indicates exactly this, that a great experience will heavily influence their decision to return and to refer.

What is meant by CX ecosystem?

Every company has an ecosystem, most of that ecosystem is invisible to the customer, they will not know most of processes that are happening within that ecosystem. There are multiple levels and multiple players within these systems, these could be suppliers, distributors, employees, agencies and partners as some examples, all of which contribute to the final experience of the customer when they consume the product.

Ideally, when considering customer experience strategy, your cx design should be guided by principles that should articulate exactly what those experiences should feel like and then you can begin to make use of effective governance to  manage these areas of concern.

What is service design?

Service design is related to both Customer experience and user experience design. Service design is about taking a service and making sure it meets the needs of customers or users of that service.

Generally speaking service design aims to ensure that designs are based on a clear understanding of the purpose of that service, the needs of the customer are taken into account, that the system as a whole is considered rather than piecemeal components and that the service is creating value for the customer.

Have a look at the Design4Services page for more on service design principles.

What is a customer experience pyramid?

CX is aimed at exceeding customer expectations, as such businesses look for ways of testing how their organisations have approached customer journeys and testing that to deliver better customer loyalty.

There are currently different views of what comprises the customer experience pyramid, The Gartner CX Pyramid suggests that the pyramid is made up of the following five stages:

  • Stage 1: Communication Level – Furnish customers with the information they can use via the right channel at the right time.
  • Stage 2: Responsive Level – Solve the customer’s problem quickly and efficiently – meaning, balance both business and customer goals, measures and strategies.
  • Stage 3: Commitment Level – Listen for, understand and resolve customers’ unique needs.
  • Stage 4: Proactive Level – Provide experiences that resolve needs before customers ask.
  • Stage 5: Evolution Level – Make customers feel better, safer or more powerful.

When thinking customer experience strategy, businesses should be assessing their capabilities to ensure they know what’s expected by their customers, tailoring their customer journey maps to drive customer behaviour and measuring any CX efforts with the right metrics such as adoption, perception and financial objectives.

What is end-to-end user experience?

The concept of an end-to-end user experience tends to be very similar in thought to customer experience design in that a businesses is considering all the customer contact points that happen when a customer interacts with a company. As with CX this means the entire journey not limited to a specific persona, experience or product.

Once you have considered all the contact points in the journey you can then consider the actual journey itself, think of the journey as every potential path a customer might take from the moment they first contact your company to the actual purchase and beyond.

Finally, consider all the environments that that customer interacts with, both virtual and physical, online and offline, in-store and elsewhere. If your business was a restaurant, have you considered the experience when the customer arrives and has to find parking, how about when they wait in the queue for example?

What is more important: UX vs. CX?

Surprisingly, this question comes up more often than you would imagine however asking whether UX is more Important than CX is sort of like asking whether you foot is more important than your leg, they both work hand in hand to achieve an objective but each play their respective roles.

As explained further up this article, the difference is that UX is part of CX and is more focused on specific usability of your product or website. CX tends to deal with the entire customer journey and includes many more considerations and touch points.

Both Are Important

CX is important as it is concerned with designing a customer’s interactions in a fashion that meets their needs and requires ample research and evidence to drive those decisions

UX is important as the right experience means that your customers are more likely to find what they are looking for easily and will ultimately affect their perceptions and decisions.

To conclude, it is possible to have great UX and terrible CX and also its possible that within your myriad of touchpoints some of your customer might be happy with your CX whilst some might not be with your UX and thus you can’t really say one is more important than the other, rather that these two school of thought work hand in hand to achieve the greater goal of a better customer experience.

We hope this helped you get your thinking started around CX, Profound has been handling CX and UX projects for some really big brands and we would love to help you with yours. If you would like a no commitment, no cost, high-value session with our team to assess your needs contact us today.

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