What is CX? Why is Customer Experience so Important?


We're all familiar with the term customer service. Anyone who has had an issue with a product or service has likely dealt with the customer service department that provided it. Generally the interactions only happen post sale, for issues or questions about the product.

On the other hand, customer experience encompasses every touchpoint a customer encounters throughout their journey with your company. It goes beyond seeking help; it includes everything from initial awareness to the content they engage with before becoming a customer. It's the holistic adventure.

To illustrate the distinction, consider Dorothy from "The Wizard of Oz." She represents a potential customer, and her journey helps illustrate the difference between customer experience and customer service.

In Dorothy's customer experience, Glinda, the Good Witch, initiates awareness about the Wizard's services. The Munchkins amplify the excitement, and Dorothy willingly follows the yellow brick road. Her journey, filled with positive encounters, builds a solid foundation of awareness and anticipation. There's so much positive reinforcement of her perception of the Wizard by other characters (Scarecrow, Tinman etc) that she's practically a brand advocate before even using his product.

Now, let's delve into customer service. When Dorothy reaches Emerald City and attempts to connect with the Wizard's associates, things get a bit complicated. The associates are vague and Dorothy faces hurdles to obtain information. Although her customer service experience is initially challenging, it takes an unexpected turn as she receives complimentary services and merchandise.

However, the positive experience takes another downturn when Dorothy faces unexpected high costs during her meeting with the Wizard. The Wizard's associates are ambiguous, and the Wizard himself leaves without her, showcasing poor customer service.

In summary, customer experience encompasses the entire journey, while customer service is the specific assistance provided at a specific point in that journey. Now, let's discuss the essential factors that contribute to an outstanding customer experience.

Since practically every component of your service/ product delivery and interactions with your customer can have an impact on customer experience, let’s take a look at the top 5 factors:

To provide an exceptional customer experience, there are some key steps to take:

  • offer self-service support options, as 91% of customers prefer helping themselves.
  • focus on every interaction, including peer reviews, references, blogs, and other content.
  • Ensure transparency in pricing
  • reward customer loyalty
  • consider incorporating gamification elements to engage your customers

Understanding the significance of customer experience is crucial for your business, directly impacting customer retention and acquisition. A happy customer is more likely to stay, and their positive recommendations significantly contribute to attracting new customers. As you invest in enhancing the experience for your existing customers, you'll naturally attract new ones.

This post was originally published in 2021 but has been revised and updated from its previous edition to ensure accuracy and relevance.