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Before trying to understand customer experience design, you must first have a clear understanding of what customer experience, or CX, is. Customer experience refers to a customer’s perceptions and feelings toward a business or brand as a result of their interactions with the organization and its products/services.
Customer experience design, or CX design, is the process of optimizing customer experiences at all touchpoints within the customer journey, and therefore involves the optimization of CX before, during, and after conversion. The focus of CX design is on the implementation of customer-centric strategies at every step of the conversion journey so as to build a strong customer-brand relationship.
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Customer journey encompasses every interaction, or touchpoint, a customer has with a brand. To enhance CX, organizations must not only provide a good product, but must go further to provide a good overall experience to customers.
To create an effective CX design, it is important to maintain seamless, consistent, and positive interactions through all channels. This includes in-store interactions, online interactions, telephone interactions, and any other channel through which there is an interaction between the customer and the brand.
Brands can achieve this consistency by providing customers with an omnichannel experience rather than a multichannel experience. With a multi-channel approach, every different channel of a brand is isolated from the others. This results in a customer experience that is inconsistent and unpleasant. An omnichannel approach, on the other hand, will ensure that the different channels are not siloed from one another so as to provide a seamless and consistent customer experience.
Let’s take a look at a few key advantages of leveraging CX design correctly:
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Customer experience design and user experience (UX) design are similar concepts and are therefore often confused with one another. However, it is important to note that they are indeed two distinct concepts. The focus of UX design is on enhancing the experience of using a product. CX design, on the other hand, focuses on enhancing the entire experience of interacting with a brand at every different touchpoint within the customer journey.
CX aims to provide customers with a positive and consistent experience by ensuring that business goals and strategies are incorporated into every interaction a customer has with a brand.
Now that you have a fair understanding of what customer experience is, we can delve into how CX design strategies can be created and implemented:
The first step in creating a CX design strategy is to understand your customer. This will allow you to understand their wants and needs so that you can tailor CX to their expectations. These are a few ways in which you can get to know your customers:
Once you’ve fully understood your customer, you can move on to the next step which is to map out the customer journey. A customer journey map is a useful tool that provides a visualisation of the entire customer journey and every touchpoint within it. It also pinpoints customer needs, pain points, and opportunities within the journey.
The final step is to create a CX strategy to help you elevate customer experience; a plan that is tailored to your customers’ needs by considering their expectations as well as any pain points they may have experienced within the customer journey. You can dedicate a team of creative employees to brainstorm ideas for the development of customer experience design.
It is important to note that customer experience design requires you to be proactive and agile so as to keep up with customers’ changing needs and wants. It is, therefore, a continuous process that does not end after the development of one great CX strategy.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of brands that leveraged CX design strategies to enhance customer experience:
Ecobee is a Canadian home automation company that specialises in creating smart thermostats, temperature and occupancy sensors, smart light switches, and other similar electronic devices. Ecobee leveraged a design-led strategy to enhance customer experience by focusing on aspects such as aesthetics, features, and usability. They decided to place added focus on another aspect, “design”, as they believed they may have neglected it. They redesigned their thermostats, making them black and “squaricle” in shape in an attempt to present their product as practical, unobtrusive, and high-tech. They also added a feature that allowed their thermostats with sensors to work over Wi-Fi so that the device can moderate the temperature depending on where the user is located, rather than where the thermostat is located.
Swedish multinational IKEA is one of the most successful home furniture companies in the world. IKEA leveraged design thinking in their Home Smart Line (technology-infused furniture) with the goal of designing a solution that would allow for the wireless charging of mobile phones.
They launched an immersive process where they created simple prototypes of the furniture and conducted extensive home-testing. This allowed the company to see how the concept would fit into consumers’ everyday life and the ways in which it would influence their current habits and routines. The home testing, in conjunction with other methods of testing, allowed IKEA to create the world’s first line of furniture with integrated wireless charging capabilities that can be seamlessly assimilated into consumers’ homes and their daily lives.
Customer experience design, or CX design, refers to the process of optimizing customer experiences at all touchpoints within the customer journey.
Customer experience design helps brands ensure that every touchpoint within the customer journey is considered so that customers experience positive and consistent interactions with the organization.
Some advantages of CX design are;
The focus of user experience (UX) design is on enhancing the experience of using a product, while the focus of customer experience (CX) design is on enhancing the entire experience of interacting with a brand at every different touchpoint within the customer journey.
A great example of a company that incorporated CX design to elevate customer experience is IKEA. IKEA created the world’s first line of furniture with integrated wireless-charging capabilities. They did so by leveraging CX design strategies to understand how this new innovation can be successfully integrated into consumers’ daily lives.
A customer experience design strategy can be developed using the following framework;