Customer Experience (CX) vs User Experience (UX)

Earlier in my career I used to consider User Experience as the overarching umbrella over all other disciplines within the design arena. However through the years, I realized that overall Customer Experience is a vital part of our design thinking process.

For example, when we go to a highly rated restaurant, it’s about the food but also about the way it was presented and the experience, and ambience that goes along with it and that’s what the customer experience is all about which keeps the customers coming back for more.

So now how does all this translate to an online website/standalone application?

My last project involved new feature development to launch a new product line along with our existing set of cloud-based solutions. We did a lot of user research and collated all the data which would answer our questions of ‘what, why and who’ to create a user profile. I created some initial proof of concept which was very well received. This was just the initial MVP product and we still had many features in the pipeline for the upcoming releases. We went through all the stages of design thinking (Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype and Test).

When we wanted to launch the product into the market, we found that the we could not effectively educate the users of the new products we were launching, since they were receiving too many mails from the organization. We wanted some exclusivity in advertising the new services, but we couldn’t. This is where the CX kicks in. To stop inundating the user with multiple emails or surveys from our business, we had to rethink our launch strategy and stager it with other significant releases.

Therefore, the aim must be to develop an integrated model, a comprehensive “experience management”. Both CX and UX must work together for a business to succeed. Customers today do no longer just want a service or support but an experience and seamless integration between various applications within their product lines.