UX vs CX: What’s the difference between customer experience and user experience

UX vs CX What's the difference between customer experience and user experience

Do you differentiate between CX and UX? These terms are still often confused. This distinction is especially confusing to people who have never dealt with UI/UX design and development services. In this article, we’ll figure out when to use UX and when to use CX.

UX vs CX

Originally, the term UX was intended to describe all interactions between users and an organization. But since the term was coined in an era when the computer was the main form of interaction in the digital world, some have begun to interpret it more specifically: UX is the experience of a single interaction, rather than an ongoing relationship between a client and a company.

The term CX is used to describe the totality of a customer’s interactions with a company over a long period of time.

Whether you use the modern term “customer experience” or classic “user experience,” it’s important to keep the key in mind: there are multiple levels of interaction, and each one is equally important in providing the best experience for your users.

When to use UX and when to use CX: 3 levels of user experience

If you consider the relationship between the client and the company throughout his life, then you can decompose such an experience into three levels:

  1. The level of individual interaction reflects the experience that the user received when interacting with one device to perform a specific task.
  2. The user journey level includes the user’s experience all the way to achieving a specific target (the customer can use multiple gadgets and pursue different goals).
  3. The level of long-term relationships refers to all points of contact between a person and a company throughout the relationship between them.

To provide a good user experience at each of these levels, it is often important to consider completely different things. Let’s consider this in more detail.

Individual interaction level

The individual interaction level is what we usually think of when we hear about UX. At this level, developers create specific cases of interaction between the client and the company to fulfill its tasks.

Most UX designers work at this level: they design the interfaces of a website or app. However, the user in this case can gain experience not only through digital channels but also in the physical environment. Here are examples of such interactions:

  1. Contacting support by phone
  2. Receiving money at the bank
  3. Applying on the website of the insurance company

Each of these interactions provides the user with a distinctive experience that is only a small part of the relationship between the company and the client. When designing at this level, the principles, guidelines, and patterns recommended for each channel should be used.

Journey level

One more stage of user experience is the journey level. The user’s journey is the entire process a customer goes through time to reach his goal. Various devices and channels of interaction can be involved in this process (for example, web, desktop or mobile applications, mail, online chat, and telephone).

Technically, a user journey can consist of just one interaction if the user’s goal is achieved by solving one task and no other related interactions are required. But more often than not, the user journey involves a series of interrelated steps toward a common goal.

For example, filing a claim on a website is just one level of user experience in a series of interrelated iterations that together make up the entire user journey to receive an insurance claim. This includes receiving a confirmation email and a receipt in the mail.

Providing a good experience at the journey level is often challenging and requires much more attention to integration and coordination of steps than is required at the level of a single interaction.

Such tasks may include the following:

  1. Ensuring consistent messaging across multiple channels.
  2. Creating a seamless omnichannel process.
  3. Ensuring integrity in appearance, feel, voice and intonation when interacting.
  4. Technology integration at the back end allows customers to seamlessly switch from one channel of interaction to another without compromising the user experience.

The level of long-term relationships

The most extensive area of ​​user interaction is the level of relationships (the same customer experience). At this level, we focus on the life experience that occurs between the individual and the organization.

At this level, we evaluate not just individual interactions or user journeys, but the totality of all contacts between the client and the company.

Here are some examples:

  1. General experience in learning, buying, using, and receiving technical support for the product;
  2. Experience in subscribing to software as a service platform, its use, troubleshooting, and receiving information letters from the organization when canceling a subscription;
  3. Cumulative experience in studying and purchasing an insurance policy, interacting with the insurance company through phone calls, agents, and the website throughout the entire period of the policy.

The level of relationship with the insurance company would include every journey and individual interaction, from the very first meeting throughout the life of the policy.

To provide a holistic user experience at the level of a long-term relationship, a quality experience in the previous two stages is required.  It’s not enough to just do a good user experience at the level of individual interaction and journey to get a good experience at the relationship level.

A quality relationship-level experience involves effectively bringing together components from a wide range of interactions: key customer journeys, advertising campaigns, sending emails, product and service offerings, the call center workflow, and supporting smooth transitions between different interactions and journeys.

Final thoughts

Building user experience should be carried out at all levels of interaction. It should be noted that a big script is made up of many small ones, and each of them can work fine, but only testing the entire chain will let you know what actually works or doesn’t work. If you want to create a quality product and perform the right user experience design, it is best to turn to Dworkz professionals. Based in San Francisco and New York, the company designs, develops, and maintains web and mobile applications.

Written by Joshua Galyon

Joshua is a senior editor at Snooth, covering most anything of interest in the world of science and technology. Having written on everything from the science of space exploration to advances in gene therapy, he has a real soft spot for big, complicated pieces that make for excellent weekend reads.

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