Traditionally, businesses have focused on promoting the quality, features and pricing of products rather than the customers experience. Today, there is much more to serving customers than pushing the latest products based on an internally defined KPIs.

There’s a movement to design seamless end-to-end customer experiences, and it’s delivering results.

What is customer-experience design?

A customer-experience design is the relationship between customer, business and every interaction between the two. All these interactions throughout the customer journey should match if not best their expectations.

The journey begins well before the customers first interaction with the product or service; How did they discover it / were introduced to it? What was their experience when first hearing about the product or service? Why did they answer the call-to-action to discover more?

The cornerstones of designing outstanding customer experiences are validated user personas, customer journey maps and experimentation with various prototypes.

Why focus on customer-experience design?

While people will still purchase products based on traditional metrics, an experience builds an emotional connection between the brand and customer. An experience delivers more than just the functional needs of a customer, it addresses emotional, social and personal desire. These experiences provide the brand a competitive edge, strengthens loyalty and increases user referrals.

While products and services make up part of the business, the other part consists of customers. Customers are the end users of the product/service, therefore their ‘journey’ should be looked at in-depth. The customer’s journey involves discovering the product/service, making a decisions to consider it, deciding to purchase, then use in their everyday lives.

Focusing on end-to-end customer experience provides more impact, than focusing and optimizing individual touch-points. Concentrating on a touch-point in isolation can be prone to orphaning, where there lacks a seamless progression to the ‘next step’ for the customer.

Organizations can fall into the trap of focusing more on process than person. The best way to approach customer-experience design is to work with the customers directly, discover what is important to them. These insights are to be integrated into the design of the experiment.

Benefits of using customer-experience design

Companies are realising that by creating unique and rewarding customer experiences, it increases their customer loyalty and satisfaction. They need to address customers’ behavioral and emotional needs as well as their functional needs (what will make their life better).

If you’re considering moving to customer experience-design we recommend looking at the experience of your existing offerings:

  1. How your customer discovers and is introduced to your product or service
  2. Is your on-boarding experience free from unnecessary barriers and obstacles
  3. Milestone moments to reward and congratulate users, do you reaffirm the value your product and service offers while providing a sense of achievement to customers.

Further Reading