What is customer experience design?

Customer experience design (CX design) is a discipline that focuses on designing optimal customer experiences at each point in the customer journey, from the first touchpoint to beyond conversion. With CX design, teams think about how they can remove obstacles for customers and streamline their interactions with a brand every step of the way.

The goal of good CX design is to ensure customer satisfaction and create stronger relationships between customers and brands. If a customer is happy with each exchange they share with a brand, they’re more likely to return or continue the relationship.

CX design vs. UX design

CX design is often conflated with user experience design (UX design). However, they are two different things.

  • CX design focuses on improving every single interaction a customer has with a brand. Its purview includes brand reputation, customer service, value, advertising, marketing, and product delivery. CX designers look at each of these aspects, both individually and as a whole, to evaluate the customer experience and how it can be improved.
  • UX design, meanwhile, focuses more on the experiences that people have with a digital product. This makes it a component of CX design. More specifically, UX designers spend time evaluating and refining digital elements like information architecture, interactivity, content strategies, visual design, usability, and accessibility.

What’s common in both disciplines is the need for empathy. Designers have to put themselves in the shoes of their customers to understand what barriers exist, where they may be, and what can be done to make things better.

What are best practices for CX design?

Most markets are saturated with competing organizations doing slightly different versions of the same thing. As such, having an optimized and engaging customer experience design can be a competitive advantage that helps your company stand out. Savvy CX designers succeeding in their spaces do the following:

  • Put personalization first. Tailored experiences are in big demand from customers. Today, a customer experience that doesn’t have some element of personalization is bound to fall flat. Your CX design should be centered around facilitating these custom experiences.
  • Create memorable experiences that extend across channels. People are looking for digital interactions that are equal parts delightful and unobtrusive. This is a balancing act, but getting it right can help your brand stay top-of-mind for customers. Users experience additional value if the experience is available on their preferred channel.
  • Ensure customers feel in control of the relationship. Whether they’re looking to solve issues on their own, or have a 1:1 conversation with someone on your customer support team, customers want to feel like they have a choice. Design the customer experience with their agency in mind.
  • Measure your performance. You won’t know what’s working and what isn’t if you don’t test different approaches or ask for customer feedback. Establish a set of metrics for each touchpoint, and create customer surveys that give you insight into how customers feel engaging with your brand.

More than ever, the customer experience is a vital component of a brand’s success. As such, taking the time to carefully craft your customer experience design is always going to be worthwhile.