Customer experience and user experience are similar yet different. You may read this article highlighting their differences to help you understand these concepts better.
Customer, as you may know, is the core of a company’s all marketing activities. All companies, big or small, all their efforts are into maximizing the customer experience. But, if you wonder what customer experience (CX) is and how it differs from another popular (sometimes confusing) term, user experience (UX), you should focus on this write-up.
Through this write-up, we try to enlighten you about the two most commonly used terms, customer experience, and user experience. In this article, we also aim to give you a clear picture of the difference between UX and CX.
Understanding these terms in isolation is crucial to making a detailed customer experience (CX) vs user experience (UX) analysis. Hence, let us begin by defining these two terminologies clearly.
You might come across a question, “why is your experience of using a product.” Well, it is what user experience is. The user experience describes how users interact with a particular product. For example, when composing articles for our blog, we use some company’s product, i.e., a computer. Now, all the computer elements like its appearance, etc., may impact our views about the interaction with the computer.
Applying this concept of product interactions to a digital product (like photo editing software), you may infer that user experience or UX means how you interact with the software and what factors affect your experience with the software. Generally, the following aspects of the digital product impact the user experience.
Below is a pictorial representation of some crucial factors affecting the UX. Now, it is clear that user experience is how a customer feels about a particular product. The question now arises, if user experience also takes into account how a customer feels about something, how is it different from the customer experience. Well, let us throw some light on customer experience to give you more clarity.
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When you use a company’s product (particularly, a digital product), do you only form an opinion about the product or the company as a whole? Well, most of the time, when using some software, a user often judges the company providing it and decides how to interact with it in the future based on his/her experience with the software.
What we mean is, customer experience (CX) is a broader term that focuses on the user’s overall experience with the product and the company offering it. It means that user experience (UX) is also a part of the customer experience. However, along with user experience, customer experience is also affected by a multiplicity of factors. Below we list some of the core ones.
Now, let us view these and other factors impacting the CX in pictorial form. So, that was all for a quick overview of customer experience and user experience. The following figure puts it more clearly if you have any doubt. Now that you are a bit more knowledgeable about these terms, it will be a piece of cake to differentiate between them. Hence, the next section of this UX versus CX analysis focuses on highlighting the differences between these similar yet different terms.
Let us now do a detailed UX vs CX analysis to understand the difference between CX and UX.
The term user experience (UX) was coined by Don Norman sometime around the 90s and, since then, it became immensely popular. Whereas, customer experience is a relatively new concept that originated around 12 years ago and gained popularity in the last 6 to 8 years.
Customer experience is focused on marketing and revenue generation activities, like advertising, improving customer satisfaction, increasing brand awareness, etc. Whereas, the focus of user experience is on making the brand’s products more usable.
The customer experience (CX) has a broader scope since it includes the whole customer experience with all brand touchpoints or channels. However, the user experience (UX) is only concerned with a particular digital product, like an application or website. Hence, UX has a narrow scope.
CX finds its use more in the service industry, like the hospitality sector, where customer satisfaction is the utmost concern. UX, on the other hand, is used more in the software or digital product industry.
5. Survey population
CX surveys take into account a large group of people. And UX surveys focus on knowing the views of a relatively small number of people.
6. Activities involved
Customer experience involves activities like research, customer journey mapping, studying customer experience on the level of relationship with the brand, collaboration with all organization levels to understand the company’s and customer’s goals, etc.
Whereas user experience professionals are engaged in activities, like designing platforms, product research, user persona development, etc. So, above were the key differences between customer experience and user experience. Let us now tabulate them for better understanding.
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|Basis of Comparison||Customer Experience||User Experience|
|Origin||In the 90s era||Around 12 years back|
|Focus||Focused on marketing and generation of revenue||Concerned about a particular digital product|
|Scope||Broad, it includes user experience||Narrow, it is a part of the overall customer experience|
|Industry||Mostly service industry||Software or digital products|
|Target audience||A larger group of people||A small group of people|
|Tasks involved||Research, relationship-based customer experience study, etc.||User experience involves activities, such as platform designing, product research, creation of prototypes, etc.|
Above, we discussed all the differences between CX and UX. You may go through the following section of this CX Vs UX comparison to clear doubts you may have.
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Below we attempt to address all common queries about the differences between CX and UX.
Q1. How do CX and UX work together?
Despite being different, CX and UX are often integrated with each other. Let us take an example to understand how they function together. Imagine some software (for instance, your photo editor) is stuck on the loading screen. Now, you will contact customer support, right? The customer support team (a part of CX) then reaches the UX team to investigate the issue. Hence, they work together to solve customer problems. Moreover, the CX team makes the customers understand the new features introduced in the program by the UX team. Thus, CX and UX ultimately share roles and responsibilities to ensure customer satisfaction.
Q2. Which is an example of a user experience?
Let us consider a cab booking application. Now, if the process of finding a ride, booking a cab, and making the payment is tiring and complicated, you will have a bad user experience. On the other hand, if the application finds rides easily, and has a smooth booking and payment process, you will have a good user experience with the application.
Q3. What are UI and UX?
Simply put, UI refers to the tabs, buttons, toggles, icons, screen, and other visual interactions you have with a website, application, electronic device, or software. Whereas, UX means the whole interaction you have with a digital product and how you feel about it.
Q4. What does a CX analyst do?
The primary function of a CX analyst is to collect and analyze data, particularly on customer service and the customer experience. The analyzed data is then put to some productive use, like ensuring the customer has a better experience when dealing with the company and its products/services.
Q5. What are the key CX and UX metrics?
CX designers use churn rate, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Net Promoter Score (NPS), and Customer Effort Score (CES) as key metrics to measure success. Whereas, UX designers measure success using metrics like app store ratings, customer experiences with the product, and usability testing results.
This article attempted to help you understand customer experience and user experience. We also elucidated the core differences between these terms. We hope you are no longer confused about these two experiences. However, you may drop us a comment if any doubt or question lingers on your mind, we will be happy to answer your questions. And, you may also share your views regarding this article in the comments section, we will love to hear from you.
December 16, 2021
June 22, 2022