CX 101: What is CX?

CX 101: What is CX?

CX 101: What is CX? 2560 1696 Lis Hubert

Welcome to the series CX 101, where we answer common questions about Customer Experience and how it fits into your organization.

Caring about the customer experience isn’t new; it’s been part of business for centuries. The field of CX, though, is still a relatively new one. And, depending on who you ask, you’re likely to get an entirely different definition of what CX is.

So, let’s start by examining what CX means to three different groups of people: CX professionals, organizational leadership, and the customers themselves.

3 Definitions of CX 

CX from the CX perspective

Someone in CX will explain their field like this:

“CX is the customers’ total experience with a company. It includes all their interactions and touchpoints, and it spans different departments – even when there’s a dedicated CX team. CX is also everything we do to ensure a good customer experience. It’s the tools and processes we use to shape every customer interaction.”

This is a completely correct definition. As a matter of fact, it’s two definitions:

  1. What the customer experience is across time.
  2. The methods used to achieve a positive customer experience. This is properly considered CX management, but many organizations use “CX” and “CX management” interchangeably.

It’s important to emphasize that CX is not a singular interaction, although every single interaction can affect a customer’s experience. It’s the sum of all their interactions and how the customer thinks and feels about the company. It happens over time.

CX from the leadership perspective

Company leaders – who probably are not CX professionals themselves – tend to have a slightly different take on CX. They might see it as the steps their company takes to ensure a good relationship with their customers. Ultimately, good CX means more revenue and customer loyalty because a record of good experiences leads to high customer satisfaction and engagement.

This is also a valid definition of CX. It just focuses on the outcome (engagement and satisfaction) and the business impact.

CX from the customer perspective

Most customers rarely think about CX. But if you were to ask them about their opinions of a brand, the answer would focus on how that brand made them feel. Were they frustrated because they couldn’t get what they wanted? Delighted because a salesperson really connected with them and solved a problem? 

Over time, these experiences will crystalize into an opinion and an emotional reaction to that company. So, for customers, CX is all about perception and feeling.

By the way, did you know that some of your customers could be your co-workers? Check out this article on internal and external customers to learn more.

The goals of CX

However you define it, CX initiatives have the same general goals:

  • Eliminate frustrations. Make things work better.
  • Make complicated things simple.
  • Create positive feelings and experiences around the brand.
  • Improve the user experience so that customers don’t go to the competition.
  • Ultimately, ensure the business thrives.

And CX initiatives, programs, teams, departments, and management are all ways that organizations use to meet these goals.

If you’d like to dig into the details of this subject, we recommend the following articles:

Up next: What is UX?

It’s easy to get UX (User Experience) confused with CX, especially in today’s digital world. In our next two articles, we’ll talk about what UX is and the differences between UX and CX. See you there!

About the author

Lis Hubert

Lis is an acclaimed design and strategy thought leader, writer, and speaker with extensive expertise in Digital Strategy, Customer Experience, Information Architecture, and Design Thinking.

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