What is the Difference Between Customer Experience and User Experience

What is the difference between customer experience and user experience?

Like the peanut butter and jelly in your kitchen cabinet, customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) are distinct disciplines. But just as the pantry staples work together to make a mean school lunch entree, CX and UX must work together just as seamlessly for your company to deliver world-class experiences to your buyers.

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is the higher-level overall impression a customer has of your company based on the sum of their interactions with it. Do your associates smile when the customer walks into your store? Are your clerks willing to help the customer find something on a shelf when asked? Is it easy to make a return either in-store or through the mail? Can the customer quickly and easily find answers to their questions on your company’s website? Customer experience is typically measured as customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, or with a net promoter score.

What is user experience?

In contrast, user experience is focused on the customer’s experiences using your company’s offerings, whether those are manufactured products, websites, or mobile apps. For manufactured goods, from art supplies to zippers, user experience is often measured by drilling down into specific feedback associated with customer experience metrics. But for digital products, from Apple watches to online tax preparation software, UX can be measured in quantifiable ways like task time, conversions, and abandonment rate.

What it takes to deliver outstanding experiences at all levels.

User experience experts typically focus their efforts on individual task or transaction level experiences while customer experience professionals create customer journey maps and create plans to optimize the journey for customers.

But just like your grade schooler’s sandwich tastes best when both classic ingredients are commingling between two thick slices of bread, the highest performing companies with the most loyal customers ensure that the user experience and customer experience teams synthesize like peanut butter and jelly.

Levels of experiences.

Whether it’s customer experience or user experience, a buyer’s interactions with your brand and its products and services can and should be considered at three levels.

Individual task or transaction level

At this level, the buyer is attempting to complete a specific task in the channel of their choice. For example, trying to pay a bill online, looking for the score of the baseball game, or searching to see what time a flight will land.

Journey level

At this level, the buyer is engaged in a more in-depth experience with your company that includes several transactions or touchpoints and potentially multiple channels. Instead of simply paying a bill online, a journey-level experience may involve opening up a new checking account, entering payees into the online banking app, paying several bills, and checking the account balance.

Relationship level

Stitching together all transaction and journey level experiences, the buyer forms an opinion -- either positive, neutral, or negative -- about their interactions with your company.

How NICE can help your organization deliver outstanding experiences.

NICE CXone Omnichannel Routing is a contact routing and interaction management suite that allows you to equip your contact center with a platform that delivers proactive service to your customers across 30+ digital channels of their choice. Watch our demo video to see the impact omnichannel routing has on customer experience.

Any digital channel

Your customers are trying to reach you for service on digital channels – even if you’re not there yet. How many SMS text messages go to your call center phone number with no response? Who’s trying to find you on Facebook, Twitter, or WhatsApp and not finding you? Now with CXone it is easy to provide digital-first omnichannel service in all the channels your customers expect.

  • Personalized digital interactions: deliver native experiences in each of 30+ messaging channels, such as rich media, emojis, and other collaboration tools.
  • Simple to Activate: pre-integrated channels make it easy to offer to customers and agents.
  • Easy to Say “Yes”: simple packaging removes barriers to offering all channels to customers and agents.
CXone digital channel
Empowered agents

CXone empowers all your agents to deliver a true digital-first omnichannel customer experience by simultaneously combining all customer interactions in one intelligent inbox across multiple digital channels and voice for agents to select ("pull"), while dynamically prioritizing the most time-sensitive or real-time interactions according to service levels ("push"). All delivered in a single application – complete with full customer context, journey history, and sentiment.

  • Single Interface: one inbox for all digital messaging and real-time (voice/chat) channels – retaining native experience of each messaging platform.
  • Agents in Control: ‘pulling’ work in natural flow, while dynamic prioritization maintains SLAs – and prevents ‘cherry picking’.
  • Customer Card: full customer context, journey and conversation history, plus sentiment.
Holistic management

With CXone, omnichannel interactions are managed holistically, from agents to supervisors and beyond. Integrated workforce optimization, analytics, automation and artificial intelligence across digital and voice interactions ensure complete management across contact center operations.