User Experience vs Customer Experience: Breaking Down the Differences

Steve Grant

Managing Director

Steve is a founder of Figment, a multi award-winning UK-based SEO agency helping clients connect with new customers online to achieve healthy and sustainable business growth. Having advised over 200 business owners, Steve combines a strong commercial background with Figment’s innovative SearchRank 360™ approach and specialist team to deliver simple, cost-effective results. His ability to lead by example and inspire his team is a testament to his unwavering commitment to excellence. As a former Apple consultant and first-class Brunel graduate in Multimedia Technology and Design, Steve brings a unique blend of technical knowledge and marketing strategy to create tailored SEO campaigns that deliver results. Outside of work, Steve is a devoted family man, accomplished jazz pianist, and talented artist. With his friendly and professional approach, Figment's founder is not only an industry expert but also a true asset to any business seeking to make its mark in the online world.

User experience and customer experience. Is there a difference? Absolutely there is. And the importance of considering both in web design is vital.

A web designer will be adept at incorporating features aimed at enhancing user experience (UX). A good web designer will also know how to bring in the wider context of customer experience (CX), allowing for each stage of the customer journey, from researching options to comparing pricing, from trying a product right through to dealing with customer service in the event of an issue. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.

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What is User Experience?

User experience takes in the experience with a particular product, such as a website or an app. But it could be any product. In web design, we look at the likes of visual impact, together with how easy it is for users to navigate the site and find what they need, together with the new all-important core web vitals such as page loading speed, interactivity and visual stability. These core web vitals form part of the new ‘page experience’ ranking signal, which influences search engine rankings. Something any SEO agency in London will tell you is incredibly important.

Our objective with website user experience is to ensure a positive journey to purchase.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience has a wider scope. It goes further than the experience with the website or app, taking in all the channels and touchpoints that a customer will come into contact with.

CX covers how things like customer service, the sales process, brand reputation, advertising, pricing and product delivery are perceived.

It’s essential to ensure the strategies of a business are aligned to the overall customer experience, because it’s what influence satisfaction, and therefore sales and reputation.

UX and CX in action: a working example

It’s easier to see the difference between UX and CX using a working example.

You create an online account with a retailer that sells spectacles. But when it comes to inputting your prescription and size details, and virtually trying on your frames, you find the process confusing and you feel you’re going round in circles. In the end, you get so frustrated that you use the online chat facility to seek advice. The customer service assistant quickly attends to your issues, explaining step-by-step how to upload the necessary details, and how to use the virtual fitting feature. They even give you a voucher code for 10 per cent off your first order.

This is an example of negative UX, and positive CX. The website hadn’t been very well thought-out, making it a poor experience. But the situation was resolved because the other aspects of the brand – the online help and discount – were good. It can work the other way around, however.

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A negative user experience can be allayed by a positive customer experience.

This time, you want to book a table in a restaurant. You use the online booking feature. It’s intuitive, easy to use and super-fast. You’ve booked your table in minutes, and have your confirmation email. You’re looking forward to your meal. A great user experience.

However, when you get to the restaurant, the story is a different one. There is no one staffing front of house, and you are left waiting for some time before anyone acknowledges you. When someone finally does speak to you, they are less than polite, then usher you to a table that’s not yet been cleared. You’re not asked what you’d like to drink, and you have to remind the waiter that you haven’t yet seen a menu. A very poor customer experience.

These examples demonstrate that good UX and CX must go hand in hand if you are going to achieve total customer satisfaction. Consistency is vital, because both UX and CX form part of the overall brand experience.

How to use UX to improve CX?

User experience is one of the strongest influencers of customer experience. So, from a web design point of view, there are various strategies we’ll bring in to make sure the UX is a positive one. Here are some of the most important:

  1. Easy contact – making sure it’s easy for users to get in touch. Plenty of highly visible calls to action, tap-to-call phone numbers, simple contact forms, live chat pop-ups and contact details prominently displayed.
  2. Fast route to purchase – a streamlined journey from the point of landing on the website right through to finding the right products, adding them to the basket and checking out.
  3. Simple interaction – functionality and interactivity that’s been fully tested and works like a dream so that the user doesn’t face any frustrations.
  4. Fast loading – pages that download quickly so users don’t have to wait around for what they need.
  5. Visual stability – page features that don’t move about causing users to inadvertently click on the wrong link
  6. Mobile friendliness – a site that is easy to use on a mobile device
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In web design, there are various strategies that can make sure the UX is a positive one. And many of them will influence SEO too.

Balancing UX and CX in web design

It’s so important to balance both user experience and customer experience in website design. And when it comes to SEO, both are important too. UX for the page experience ranking signal, and CX for brand reputation, another ranking signal.

Combined knowledge of UX, CX and SEO really does make a marked difference for the overall success of any online marketing campaign.

At Figment, we offer expertise in all aspects of online visibility. As a web design company, London businesses rely on us to get them results, and we have a proven track record of success. Why not talk to us today to discover how we could help improve both your user experience and customer experience?

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