User Experience Vs. Customer Experience

User experience and customer experience are more often than not used interchangeably. However, these 2 concepts are not exactly similar. Let us discuss both of these terms in detail to know how they are different from each other.

Customer Experience is more of an umbrella term in itself. Customer experience is a larger concept as compared to the user experience. It has been gaining importance of late and finding a place in managerial vocabulary. However, just like it is very difficult to define terms like “design” and “creativity”, interpreting this phrase is not that simple. Customer experience is the experience that a customer has whenever they interact with a certain company or brand. It defines the how the relationship is between a provider and user of the product. It is the product of an interaction between an organisation and a customer over the duration of their relationship and comprises of customer service, advertising, brand reputation, sales process and product delivery. Customers respond differently to direct and indirect contact with a company. The overall experience reflects how the customer feels about the company and its offerings. Customer experience is the one thing that could effectively differentiate you from your competitors. Better the customer experience the more customers you retain. But, not many people engage in its practice. Why though? Simply because it is a very complex process. Creating a great customer experience requires enormous amounts of collaboration across groups in a company that often work independently. Working together can be a herculean task if you are very used to working singly and that’s what makes the framework for customer experience so challenging.

A company looking to improve its customer experience needs first to understand the layers that this concept is made of. Firstly, the client’s journey needs to be analysed, touch points need to be provided to support their journey with the company, and lastly, an in-depth study of the ecosystems integrated with the products and services that the brand offers needs to be conducted to devise a customer experience strategy. All these, if followed in the right direction, will definitely give best results to the companies.

User experience refers to a person’s perceptions and responses resulting from the use or the anticipated use of a product, system or service. What is the difference then between user experience and customer experience? User experience is a subset of customer experience. In essence, if you added up the sum of all knowledge on each individual user experience, you would be able to explain your customer experience. Examples make everything comprehensible. Say you download a new software. However, when you access it, you find it to be very confusing and difficult to operate. This would mean a bad user experience. However, they have a helpline, and an operator explains to you step-by-step as to how to run the software. This would mean a good customer experience. So while user experience may be one part of customer experience, it is very essential and cannot be overlooked.

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