The Difference Between UX and CX

The Difference Between User Experience (UX) and Customer Experience (CX)

UX and CX are different, but both are necessary. A business can have an outstanding product or service, but if the visual layout of their website or app falls short, then existing and potential customers are going to be turned off quickly.

Making a good first impression is the beginning of User Experience (UX) but not the end.

Once customers are on board, signed up, and using your services, this is where Customer Experience (CX) comes into play. Every interaction a customer has with the brand, from social media to phone calls and in-person meetings, is CX.

It is a common mistake to use these terms interchangeably. There are similarities, but true professionals know the differences.  

What is Good UX?

Defining the two is crucial for your success. A short and sweet way to remember the differences is: UX is the nitty gritty or usage of your website, app, product, or service…overall ease of use. Are there too many buttons rather than one clear Call-To-Action (CTA)?

We’re talking about visual design and functionality of the website or product, think graphics and layout. Imagine a terrible landing page that has a bunch of menu buttons, multiple CTAs, random photos of varying sizes and an overall disorganized flow of information.

Now, visualize a clear and concise landing page, with no menu buttons. It has a logical flow or storyline to the copy, and just a few beautiful but straightforward widescreen photos, all leading to one CTA button. This is the difference between good and bad UX.

What is Good CX?

It won’t matter if you’ve created great UX if the CX is lacking. Good CX is everything that comes after UX and is a much broader term that encompasses many factors and can overlap with aspects of UX.

Here’s a scenario to illustrate the importance of CX:

A person finds a great restaurant they’re excited to try online. The website is modern, simple and to the point, making them feel confident to take their next date night there.

The person makes a reservation online, which is easy to do and shows up at the restaurant dressed to impress with their date in-arm.

There is no host or clear way to check-in, so they stand awkwardly waiting for help. Eventually, they ask a bartender about their reservation, who informs them to seat themselves.

They finally get seated, and the menu is entirely different from what is online. The Customer Experience ends in dissatisfaction and frustration, despite the initial excellent User Experience from the website.

This could also happen vice versa where a customer has a terrible first impression with an app or website. The customer gets schmoozed after contacting a friendly manager or a talented customer support team. They return to you again with an open heart and become a lifelong fan.

The CX must go hand-in-hand with the UX for any business or brand, whether solely digital or in-person. The CX is the more tangible side of UX. Depending on your business model, one may come before the other, but you need to optimize both for success.

The broad nature of Customer Experience is easiest to explain through real-life examples, such as the restaurant scenario. While User Experience is usually easier to digest and address as it’s more focused on the end-product or end-user interface.

Quick and Easy Ways to Improve Digital UX:

  • Always begin with the customer (and CX) in mind.
  • Try new design layouts for the website or app. Always keep it simple.
  • Test the functionality: have an in-house and outside source test it out and gather feedback.
  • Utilize website tools such as “heat-maps” and track where traffic is clicking and viewing, and where you’re losing them.
  • If applicable, and it usually is, optimize for mobile.

Tips to Quickly Improve a Brand’s CX:

  • Utilize customer satisfaction surveys. If you have a support desk, integrate surveys there.
  • Personalization in advertising and social media, this concept should be in every marketer’s targeting toolbox. Master the voice, look and feel for your target persona.
  • Suggest implementing a quality control department, and have eyes on every aspect of CX.
  • Help monitor and manage your client’s customer service department.
  • Utilize “secret shoppers” and gather feedback on their experiences with the brand and staff.

After all the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to start and run a company, don’t allow it to fall apart due to poorly thought out UX and CX. Large and small brands alike are continually optimizing these aspects of their business. It’s the difference between growth and failure.

Build customer loyalty for their own business, and you will secure a loyal client for yourself. This is an essential aspect of Customer Experience for business.

Even if it’s a 100% digital company, there is still a very human-side to running a business. Remember, connecting with people in a meaningful and productive way will not only keep your brand above water but also make it stand out amongst the crowd.

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