Creating a Customer Experience Strategy: The Importance of UX Design

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. This article will break down how user experience design should be at the centre when creating a customer experience strategy.

Below are some common questions that people have when it comes to understanding experience design and how UX and CX differ, but can work together.

What are Customer Experience Strategies?

Customer Experience (CX) refers to overarching customer interactions with a brand, throughout all stages of the customer journey. So, CX relates to interactions at every touchpoint and how this curates the overall opinion of a brand. Therefore customer experience strategies are plans that a brand makes to ensure positive and high-quality customer experiences at every touchpoint.

What to Consider When Creating a Digital CX Strategy

Creating a solid digital CX strategy is more important now than ever. Customers have an endless list of choices when it comes to brands they choose to engage with, and they hold the power. This shift has completely changed the way that customers view and engage with brands. Therefore it is more important than ever to introduce a considered CX strategy.

  1. Customers have a choice – consumers are more demanding than ever, and this is because they have a choice and hold the power, therefore your brand needs to stand out from the crowd and deliver what truly matters to customers.
  2. Customers want to be heard – people want to be heard and have a relationship with the brands they purchase
  3. Think like a customer – ultimately the biggest consideration when creating a CX strategy is to put yourself in a customer’s shoes, what would you want?
  4. Use data and insight – whilst you can ‘think like a customer’, also utilise data and insight that can be collected through a third party such as a customer experience agency.

What are the Benefits of User Experience Design Within Customer Experience Strategy?

While this post primarily focuses on Customer Experience Strategy and CX Design, as UX Design is a component of the digital experience, investing in user experience design extends beyond just customer benefits alone, it also brings additional benefits such as:

Increased Visibility

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 the CX Ecosystem?

Every company has an ecosystem, most of that ecosystem is invisible to the customer, they will not know most of the 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.

Considering Service Design in Your UX Strategy

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 about 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 business considers all the customer contact points that happen when a customer interacts with a company. As with CX, this means the entire journey is 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, the question of CX vs UX 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 plays their respective roles.

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

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.

We help digital teams design great experiences, make smart technology choices, and deliver successful digital transformations.

Ready to take your customer experience strategy to the next level