According to design thought-leader John Maeda, Customer Experience, or CX, “is a term that roughly encompasses marketing, product, support, design, and HR (employee experience).” The CX perspective sees every touchpoint in terms of an overall customer journey. CX best practices encourage businesses to differentiate in terms of product, the overall value created for a customer and to communicate through an open, continuous feedback loop enabled by real-time research and social media interaction.
CX is a broad field with an open, evolving landscape. Here are some key areas of CX knowledge for creative business leaders and potential opportunities for creative job seekers considering CX or CX-adjacent creative careers.
As a design discipline, CX is similar to, yet distinct from, UX, or User Experience design. Per the Interaction Design Foundation, “CX design and user experience (UX) design are sometimes used interchangeably because both are concerned with the overall experience of using a product or service… CX design tends to adopt a broader view than UX, and has a slightly more commercial focus.” Designers focused on CX may work closely with those in UX, may have similar skills, or may shift back and forth from one field to another. These days, CX design is becoming a distinct and powerful discipline with its own tools, values, and vocabulary.
CX strategy is the overall game plan for pursuing optimal customer experience in ways that are appropriate for the objectives and values of a business. It aligns CX prerogatives with larger business plans, determines how investments of time and money will be allocated for CX, maps and connects all relevant touchpoints, and creates harmony between internal resources and customer expectations. For those who love to discover how many different puzzle pieces fit together to form a bigger picture that fosters customer loyalty and delight, CX strategy provides an exciting overhead view.
There are many tactics, tools, and techniques for implementing CX strategy on the ground, where the rubber meets the road. Every consumer touchpoint provides an opportunity for comfort-building maneuvers such as email personalization, experimental growth hacks, and the classic elements of great customer service, all of which involve many moving parts that have their places in the greater scheme of Customer Experience and business success.
Culture and Leadership
Great CX must always begin at the top. Mutually rewarding end-to-end customer journeys should resonate with strong, well-defined, harmonious corporate values and missions. To make all this work, great CX requires committed and enthusiastic understanding and leadership in incorporating customer feedback, building from a place of empathy, and envisioning business endeavors in terms of a journey and a process. CX and company culture are interdependent, and they’re everyone’s job, especially those in trusted positions of leadership.
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