March 23, 2017

Why the difference between success and failure is called UX (part 2)

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Malin Bergqvist

User Experience Designer, Tieto

In the ever-changing world of unlimited offers, the consumer’s expectations are rising. It is not always enough to be the best at one specific task; now your overall image and brand come into play. To meet the rising expectations of the modern customer, you have to exquisitely orchestrate all of your offers and channels to form a holistic experience in the bigger picture. But how?

We started this journey by exploring the benefits of making user experience (UX) a core part of your business. Now it is time to look at its evolution, customer experience, and how it leverages your business even further to get to the forefront of the customer’s mind.

The wider perspective through CX

Customer experience (CX) is a term that’s increasingly on people’s lips. So what’s it all about, and how do we approach it?

Imagine you’re a customer. You expect the same experience and treatment no matter if you interact with a company through phone, computer, traditional mail or in their physical store, right? The sum of all your touchpoints with a specific brand forms your experience and impression of that company.

CX aims to align your business strategy with the customers’ experiences and therefore covers every touchpoint between the customer and your business. It’s all about orchestrating the overall experience of your company. It could be defined as: “how a person perceives (and is affected by) your business as a result of interaction (or anticipated interaction) with it."

To form a holistic experience, CX creates consistency and relevancy across the customer journeys, thereby forging sustainable relationships with your customers. Think of it as the first tentative steps of a relationship:

  • It’s all about getting to know each other
    You wouldn’t cut straight to the “Let’s make a baby together!”-phase (i.e., traditional pushy marketing and sales) before you even know the person. Rather, you’d acquaint yourself with the individual (your customer), understand their needs and explore how you would fit together.
  • Serve without expecting a return (on investment)
    You wouldn’t enter the first date without giving something of yourself for free (i.e., expecting a definite return on all investments). Rather, you’d show who you are and what you value, and if this matches with the expectations of the person (your customer) you get commitment and engagement in return.
  • Support and you will be supported
    You wouldn’t leave your partner hanging. Rather, you’d support them (the customer) in their journey, especially when they’re faced with challenges, and in return you too will be supported and gain advocacy.

CX helps your brand to form a natural and sustainable relationship to your customers, moving away from the traditional “push and sell” marketing towards “engage and serve” through extraordinary experiences.

The power of unity

So, how do UX and CX come together? 

They unite through the customer journey, where CX covers the overall experience and UX focuses on specific scenarios. Let’s elaborate:

When interacting with a brand, you either like it or you don’t. The breakup point might be due to:
1) difficulty and frustration when performing a specific task (UX)
2) an inconsistent experience when moving across channels (CX).

It doesn’t matter if it’s UX or CX that fails. Even the most minor hitch can cause your overall experience to fail and leave the customer searching for better alternatives. It’s crucial that each and every facet of your business works together. Good holistic CX ensures a sustainable relationship with your customers, whilst good UX ensures clear communication and interaction in specific situations. You can’t have one without the other - the true power lies in their combination.

CX as the overall experience of the business, with UX as its building blocks.

Time to get started

With digitalization, customers have unlimited options and unprecedented power in the marketplace. They’ll go where the best service and experiences are. How can you make sure that you’re their destination?

Make the combination of UX and CX a core part of your business, not an “add-on”, and reap some of the following benefits:

  • Know your customers: Be relevant and you will attract more
    To create extraordinary experiences for your customers, you need to understand the journey they’re on. Become the brand of preference by being relevant and steer your business towards a future that combines your customers’ needs with your business values.
  • Unify your business: Consistency is the key to trust and commitment
    Review all touchpoints you have with your customer. Understand which current interactions are not working and where the overall customer journey might be failing. A consistent experience and customer journey affect how your brand is perceived, creating trust and increasing your customers’ willingness to commit.
  • Utilize your key business strengths: Claim your space as a market competitor, now and in the future
    Analyzing your offering through the UX- and CX- perspective allows an insight into how the customers perceive said offering. Is a major overhaul needed, or just a few tweaks? During analyses, skilled CX/UX-experts detect low-hanging fruits as well as future opportunities and unique selling points. By helping you to aim higher and reaching the full potential of your business you become a strong competitor on the market.

To survive on today’s market it is vital to distinguish your brand and create sustainable relationships with your customers through engaging experiences. Involving both UX and CX in close collaboration places you in pole position and enables ultimate opportunities to leverage your business. So let’s get started!

We’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re looking for guidance on how to orchestrate consistent and intriguing customer journeys, then drop us a line!

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