The Difference Between CX and UX

Customer Experience (CX) Design is the process of holistically reviewing all interactions that a customer/client has with a brand, and then optimising your business’ communications and processes to increase the value of a customers’ experience. Harvard Business Review defines CX as being made up of three categories:

  1. Customer Journeys
  2. Brand Touchpoints
  3. Customer Environments

Unlike advertising, SEO, direct marketing, web development, sponsorship, PR, or any other agency style of marketing services, CX design is not about achieving temporary goals such as “raising awareness” or “optimising conversion rate”. Instead, CX Design’s goal is constant: to understand what the customer needs and how a business can satisfy those needs within the scope of resources available.

Unsure how are UX and CX different? Here’s an excellent article to explain the difference.

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Like the concept of a brand, “customer experience” is something that exists, no matter what level of attention a business pays to it. Often ignored by businesses such as Telstra (who favour advertising and digital marketing), a focus on customer experience is what has enabled disruptor companies like Etsy, Uber, AirBnB, and Google to become global powerhouses without using advertising or digital agencies as their primary marketing and communications crutch.

Customer experience is not, of course, a new concept. In Australia, brands like David Jones and QANTAS enjoyed a high level of customer loyalty and the premium markups that accompany them for years by focussing on providing excellent customer experiences. Why then, is “CX” a thing only now?

CX Design is Why Disruption Occurs

Look at the successful startup stories from around the world, and you will notice one common trend: their overall customer experience offered is better than the incumbents in the industry. Uber did not grow through creating original or creative campaigns; it grew through creating a better customer experience than taxis and copycat competitors. Similarly, Atlassian did not grow by hiring the best sales representatives in the world; it grew by listening to the needs of its customers and building solutions that are great to use.

Brands have woken up to the idea that by having a CX strategy, they are more likely to invest in creating assets that increase customer loyalty and spend as opposed to expenses that increase customer interaction. Whereas agency services are only looking at optimising brand touchpoints, CX services are seeking to optimise the customer journey, service environment, and the brand touchpoints so that brands can own a more scalable and sustainable marketing model.

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Tom Uhlhorn runs TINY, a Customer Experience Design Firm based out of Melbourne, Australia. His background is in digital marketing, marketing strategy, and brand strategy.

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