What is Customer Experience (CX) Anyway?

Many people have many different definitions for what Customer Experience (CX) is. Personally, I like standardized definitions, and save the creativity and innovation for the solutions. Thankfully my definition aligns with several other experts out there, so I think we're getting there. 

I like to keep things simple. I don’t like fancy words for things that should be small words. I don’t like pages of power point slides that could be said in one. And because I like things simple and I want people to be able to answer the question, “What is customer experience?”, here is my CX one-liner (or at least it's one line on my screen).

Customer Experience is simply the perception people have of their experiences with brands.

It’s a big bucket. It includes things like the ads people see or hear, the greeting people get when they walk into a store, the process they go through to buy a product or service, and the experience they have once they buy it. More importantly, it’s the feelings and emotions they have when they interact with those things. Do they feel happy or frustrated? Valued or put-out? And my favorite: did their perception of the brand match the value they got when they purchased? These are not things that product managers can make up or CEOs can dictate. These are real emotions that real people have when they engage with your product or service every day.

That's what it looks like from the consumer's perspective. How about from inside your organization? The discipline of customer experience (CX) has become critical as products become commoditized and brands are struggling to find ways to differentiate themselves. Consumers have more choice than ever, and research consistently shows that dissatisfied customers just walk away. Once their perception fails to be met in their experience, the jig is up.

How well do you know your customers?

Organizations have responded by creating jobs to manage the customer experience, but research shows these are still limited in scope, but for a few hundred companies. At many others, CX roles are growing up out of grass roots movements to strengthen the experience in parts of the business, like Customer Service and Marketing. The best way to start becoming more consumer-centric is by learning more about your customers. It doesn't matter if your in a B2B or B2C organization, or if your role is in research or something else. Simply step outside (literally or figuratively) and listen to your customers. Ask them questions. Pay attention to what they're saying. Are there things that aren't working as well as they could be? Are there common pain points across different customer types (did you notice that there are different types of customers)? It's amazing what you'll hear when you stop to listen.

How do you define customer experience inside your organization?

Follow the InSpeier blog for practical tips to keep your customers satisfied, engaged and coming back for more, as well as innovative strategies for gaining more insights about your customers, creating journey maps, and measuring your customer experience.