User Experience vs. Customer Experience: What is the Difference?

Do you understand the difference between user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX)? If you don’t, you might be leaving money on the table.

When you run a business, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the new vocabulary that you have to learn. ROI, CRO, EOD, FTE, IMO, KISS, MoM, MTD, OOO, POC, PTE, PTO, SMI, SMART, TLTR, TL;DR — it’s a never-ending barrage of new words and fancy acronyms for everything.

You might have heard of the terms user experience and customer experience, but you probably weren’t aware that they don’t mean the same thing. And if you aren’t understanding them correctly, you may be missing out on building solid strategies for both.

Let us show you the difference and how they each impact your overall business strategy.

User Experience vs. Customer Experience

Before you can understand the differences between the two experiences, you need to understand what each one is by itself first.

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

The customer experience is the overall experience your customers have with your brand. The CX includes every point of contact they could have with your company — from marketing to sales and on to customer service.

Your customers can interact with your company through social media, your website, email, phone number, and physical locations. Your business success depends on your ability to provide an exceptional customer experience.

If you make it difficult to contact you or purchase products, they won’t keep coming back. They will shop with one of your competitors instead.

What is User Experience (UX)?

The user experience comes from your customers’ interactions with your individual website, apps, or products. You can provide an excellent customer experience and still have a poor user experience with one or more of your products or touchpoints.

Let’s Look at Some Examples

Good Customer Experience with a Bad User Experience

Your company runs a successful eCommerce store, and your customers are required to create an account when they place an order. One of your customers, Janet, buys a product from your site and follows the instructions to create an account.

When she tries to type in her email address, Janet@gmail.com, she gets an error saying, “unknown email format.” Janet is frustrated that she can’t create an account and finish checking out.

She finds a number for customer support on the product page and gives them a call. The customer service representative on the phone is exceptionally polite. She contacts the technical support team, and they determine there was an error on the website.

Email addresses have to be typed in all lowercase, or it won’t accept it. The representative stays on the line while Janet types the email address using a lowercase j.

Success!

Janet is now able to complete the signup process and place her order. This is a perfect example of a bad UX with the customer account creation process but a good CX with the support team.

Janet had technical difficulties with the form that caused her UX to be terrible. The customer service representative was able to help diagnose the problem and make it right for her. This made her overall experience with the company a positive one.

Bad Customer Experience with a Good User Experience

Let’s look at the reverse and see what a good UX would be like with a bad CX. This time, Janet wants to purchase a new dress from your shop. She enters her payment information, creates an account, and checks out with 1 click via Amazon Pay. Everything works perfectly. Janet is given a success message and receives confirmation of her order through email.

Two days later she receives the dress in the mail. It arrives damaged, and it’s the wrong size. She just spent a lot of money and now she can’t even wear it. Janet is furious and she calls support for help. After hours on hold and several excuses – she finally gets a replacement order created that will ship immediately.

So far, her user experience with the website and placing an order has been excellent. She had no problems using the site to find the product she wanted to purchase and placing her order. In this case, Janet was provided with an exceptional UX, and she was thrilled she could complete her purchase quickly with Amazon Pay. However, the state of her package when it arrived and the poor customer service she received led to her overall CX being a bad one.

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How to Improve User Experience

By now, you should have a clear understanding of the differences between CX and UX and how they affect each other. To create a seamless customer experience, you need to consider both and make sure you go above and beyond to exceed your customers’ expectations. There are several things to keep in mind to make sure your UX helps improve the CX.

Make Checking Out Simple

Providing your customers with multiple payment gateways allows them to pay for their purchase with the method that suits them best. Integrating services like Amazon Pay or Apple Pay makes the checkout process way faster, and your customers love checking out with well-known and trusted payment gateways. Just having them as an option helps to inspire trust in your customers, so they feel good about spending their money with you.

Make it Easy to Provide Feedback

Feedback from your customers can be vital information to have. If something isn’t working correctly, they can tell you. Maybe there is a specific part of your website or app that is confusing, and instructions aren’t clear. Providing a form, email, or number to call for feedback can make you aware of potential sore spots that could be hurting your CX.

Keep Your Navigation Simple

Whether it is on your website or your app, the navigation needs to be intuitive and straightforward. Your customers should be able to find the information they are looking for quickly and effortlessly. If it takes them too many clicks, they are likely to bounce and go to a competitor’s website instead.

Check Your Load Times

If it takes too long for your web pages or apps to load, you will lose customers. People are impatient, and 47% of users expect a page to load in 2 seconds or less. If your page is taking longer than that to load, your visitors will likely leave without ever seeing the page or app they were trying to look at. Do a speed test and make changes to increase your load time.

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How to Improve Customer Experience

You should focus on more than just the UX if you want to provide the best possible CX. Take a look at every point in your business flow that a customer would come into contact with you and your brand. Analyze your processes for each one and think about how your customers will experience them all.

Streamline any processes that are taking too long, identify and correct any problems with CSR or other employees your customers interact with, and listen to any feedback they provide. Stay humble and be willing to admit when something doesn’t work.

Reply to Comments and Questions

Don’t ever leave your customers hanging. If someone leaves a comment or question on your social media page or comment forms, make sure you reply. Letting them know they have been heard shows you care about your customers and are there to help.

Provide a Seamless Experience

Your digital media, print advertisements, and physical locations should all reflect the same message and branding. Be consistent with your color choices, fonts, and use of images across all platforms.

This lets the customer know they are in the right place and makes you look more professional. You build trust when you look professional, and the seamless experience is excellent for your CX.

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Consult an eCommerce Specialist

It can be time-consuming to think about every little detail and implement every little change that is necessary. It’s easy to overlook something or skip activities that you don’t have time for.

Let us help! Schedule a meeting with one of our eCommerce Specialists, and we will work with you to help you provide the best possible UX and CX.