What does customer experience have to do with website design? – Snook Digital

What does customer experience have to do with website design?

First things first. What is customer experience?

Customer experience (CX) has become a main focus for many organisations looking to differentiate themselves and create a competitive advantage. CX has grown as businesses strive to acquire customers and enhance brand loyalty.

But what does it mean and how can it be defined?

“The entirety of the interactions a customer has with a company and its product. Understanding the customer experience is an integral part of customer relationship management. The overall experience reflects how the customer feels about the company and its offerings. Surveys, feedback forms and other data collection techniques help a company to determine the customer experience”. (Business Dictionary, 2016. Source: http://cxpert.com.au/what-is-customer-experience/)

In short, customer experience is about every customer interaction and every touchpoint. It is defined by the customer – not a company – over the customer’s lifetime.

Today, websites are often the first and the most frequently visited touchpoint, and new technology enables us to create the experience we want our customers to have, and that is why CX is so important to understand when considering web design.

One of the main principles of customer experience is brand experience.

Like customer experience, brand experience is about the experience a customer has with your brand through a number of different touchpoints.

Brand experience refers to all of the touchpoints a company has with people, including – but not limited to – advertising, marketing, PR, packaging, Point-of-Sale, retail display, software, online and Internet- related services, and the physical spaces where people work. (Source: https://quizlet.com)

Brand experience is typically focused on marketing communications and sales-based interactions, whereas CX takes a wider sphere of influence across every interaction.

Websites, among other purposes, are a marketing communications tool and therefore understanding the importance of brand experience (and how it can be improved through online interactions) is key to designing a successful website.

Now, this is where User Experience (UX) comes in …

User experience is the term which is most common and synonymous with website design and development. It can be defined as: “The quality of experience a person has while interacting with a specific design. Unlike brand experience and experience design, which refer to explicit and concrete things, user experience is contextual and malleable” (Knemeyer, 2008).

In short, UX is about a customer’s experience – a specific single touchpoint that is therefore more easily shaped.

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The biggest challenge to experience designers (of a website) is that you cannot control the final outcome. It’s therefore important to ensure you understand your customer, stay true to your brand values at every interaction, and follow a user-centric web design process to develop your website.

How do customer experience (CX), brand experience and user experience (UX) impact each other?

Many user experiences shape and inform the brand experience, and the brand experience a customer has over their lifetime shapes and informs the customer’s experience.

Website design and development are all about customer-centric thinking – that is putting the customer at the heart of every decision made in terms of prioritising functionality and page design. It’s important to remember that it takes time and consistency to create and maintain a positive customer experience because every single interaction counts.

Why is Customer Experience so important?

CX is important as it impacts on the decision-making process of customers at every level. A great customer experience can leave customers feeling positive and keen to engage with a company/brand again and again. The better the CX the higher the repeat purchase and retention rate.

Research shows that 55% of consumers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience (Source: enhancier.com). Note the word ‘guaranteed’, customers are no longer satisfied with just being promised a good experience.

Overall, delivering a great customer experience has been shown to deliver a considerable measurable return. Show us one business that wouldn’t want this?

Bill/Zsike/Nathan: April 2021