From UX to CX – Improving the Customer Experience

For many years I’ve been talking about user experience, to the point that some people don’t want to show me their new gadget because they don’t want my comments on the user experience. Similar to the concept of “User eXperience” in software design, the “Customer eXperience” is a marketing term with a commerce weighting that refers to the intangible outcomes of a customer’s interactions with an organization.

The interactions cover:

  • The customer’s journey
  • The ways the customer interacts (or wants to interact) with the organisation
  • The environments the customer experiences (for our customers, mostly social media)

When writing my talk about Customer eXperience, I started feeling that the process for us was influenced a lot from my experience coaching software teams doing their DevOps better. Just as DevOps is a series of practices that automate and enhance collaboration between software devs and IT pros, providing a good Customer eXperience can be achieved through automation, integration, tools, and finally, collaboration between the customer and the business.

You can see some good examples of easy to implement customer experiences on SSW’s website, firebootcamp’s website, and many of our customer’s websites. These widgets greet customers. If the customer responds, a customer service agent is notified (in our case, Joanna and Penny in Australia, and Tiago in Canada) and can continue the conversation. The notification lets the customer service agent know which website the enquiry has been sent from, and even the path they followed to access that website. If the customer service agent cannot assist, they can easily create a ticket for the appropriate person to help out. For us, all of this is tracked in Zendesk.

A lot of the material on CX I’ve read has broad statements that are easy to agree with but for an IT guy who likes things to compile, it isn’t very specific. One of my favourite parts of DevOps is the focus on metrics. Therefore, my favourite part of CX is gathering metrics, such as tracking customer behaviours to learn what makes them happy. These metrics are vital to being able to adapt to suit customers’ wants and needs.

For example, it is important to let the customer contact you the way they want. Young people don’t find it sufficient just to use email – you need to offer contact options the way they like it. That could be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Snapchat. Joanna tells me that one of her favourite changes when we got Zendesk is it gives one single view. This way, we can easily respond to dozens of customers at once, and never miss or overlook a contact.

I recently gave a presentation on SSW TV about how we are improving the experiences of our customers by using a variety of techniques and tools. I’ve already mentioned Zendesk above, but you’ll have to watch the video to see how hot HotJar is. Some of the other topics I tackle in this presentation include the changing nature of communication, the difficulty of tracking email metrics, and the benefits of a ticketing database.

I’d love your feedback on the good, the bad, and the ugly. We all want to improve the customer experience.