Is Customer Experience the New User Experience?

Posted on
August 17, 2020

You may have played the word association game before. Someone says a word and you say the first word that your brain associates with their word. For example, a person says boxing and you say gloves.

Sometimes customer experience and user experience are used interchangeably instead of just being associations. It turns out that they’re actually separate and it’s important to note the differences between both. Realizing how heavily they can rely on one another is vital to the success of your marketing strategy.

Round One: Knowing the Difference

This illustrates good UX, bad CX

What’s the difference, anyway? 

User experience (fondly known among marketers as UX) is the measurement of how customers interact with a product, app, or website. UX is typically gauged by things like abandoned carts, click-through rates, etc. 

Customer experience (nicknamed CX by her closest friends and family) focuses on how a customer relates to your overall brand, shopping processes, etc. It primarily assesses customer loyalty, referrals, etc.

In a nutshell, UX is boxing and CX is gloves. They can and should work perfectly together, but are overall defined on separate terms. Imagine user experience and customer experience on a Venn diagram with one on the left and the other on the right. The intersection in the middle is where the magic happens. Striking the perfect balance of customer experience has been a focal point in the marketing realm the past few years, but is customer experience the new user experience?

UX and CX, are they the same?

Round Two: CX vs. UX

Small and large businesses alike have been focusing heavily on funding a better customer experience. 


  • Better branding
  • Higher paid advertising
  • Expediting shipping processes
  • Establishing more recognizable branding
  • Expanding shopping options such as shoppable ads

Some highlighted notes of growth in the user experience area have been:


  • Implementation of chatbots
  • Offering additional payment options
  • Mobile-friendly websites
  • App development
  • Drip email campaigns
  • SMS campaigns

Now that we see a laundry list of the areas that CX and UX are rocking the marketing world, can we judge them fairly?

The truth is that even with these two lists we can see where harmonious overlaps would take place. For example, the implementation of a great chatbot would lead to better UX and CX. The customer would appreciate the helpfulness of the chatbot and it would reflect positively on the brand’s recognition and overall customer satisfaction. There are examples of where an imbalance of CX or UX would leave a business in a pinch to make changes quickly.

Let’s say that an airline has a wonderful user experience. Their website is mobile-friendly, customer service is easily available, and the app is user friendly, etc. The airline allows customers to check-in online in order to bypass the long lines at check-in. 

Then, there is the airport experience where customers will interact directly with the airline employees and where the long-lasting impression of the brand will be established. Even if the mobile or online experience was great, the short-tempered employee, lack of options, and miscommunication will outweigh that previous positive impression.

Round Three: Striking a Balance

Even with such an emphasis on CX trending, UX still needs just as much of your team’s time and budget. Customer experience isn’t the new user experience, but it is a great huge chunk of the puzzle. 

How can your team strike a balance of excellent CX and UX?

  1. Make sure that your developers and marketing teams are working closely and continuously together. Developers rely on the stats and marketing teams rely on developers.
  2. Come to a mutual understanding. Customer retention is both an art and science. Creating the perfect CX and UX requires flexibility and openness.
  3. Make it easy for customers to leave feedback. Customers are busy, but they’re more willing to talk than you think. How can your team provide customers with the chance to chat?
  4. Build relationships. There’s nothing like good old fashioned customer interaction. Get to know your audience and what they want or need from your business.

Round Four: That’s a KO!

Want to knock out the competition? The answers are in the numbers. Think of creative ways to get the conversation rolling with customers. PUNCHY gets that every business is different, but we also want you to know that you can strike a balance in your marketing strategy starting today!

Posted in
August 15, 2020