Let’s Park The Semantics Of ‘Customer Experience’ Or ‘User Experience’

Human resources, CRM and social media concept - officer choose person represented by icon.
SHARE
THIS



Is it “customer experience” or “user experience”? What’s the difference? In this opinion piece Michelle Gilmore, Design Director and Founder at Neoteny examines the distinction between the two.

I’ve been asked a seemingly simple question one too many times of late, it comes in a few varieties:

  1. ‘What’s the difference between user and customer experience?’
  2. ‘Should we call our team user of customer experience?’
  3. ‘Should I be a user and customer experience designer?’
  4. ‘Do I need a user or customer experience designer for this project/in my team?’

Neo_Team_Michelle_Happy_800

My answer is varied also, it has short and long form versions, some direct and others resembling late night rants, depending on my frame of mind at the time. Here’s my position on this trending and therefore concerning topic of discussion…

At an academic level, the distinction is clear:

  • Customer experience – refers to the response that a direct consumer of a product or service has during or after an interaction
  • User experience – refers to the response that any user (internal or external) of a product or service has during or after an interaction

The difference is customer experience refers to only customers. User experience is inclusive of all users, be they customers, internal staff members and/or third parties.

The difference is not one to be made at a job title level – if you’re (a designer or product manager) only advocating for the customer, you’re forgetting about the people who will actually development, maintain and evolve the product or service. Dangerous at best.

The difference is not to be made at a business unit level – a customer experience unit creates the same problems that any internal facing vertical silo does, customers don’t live alone, without interaction with brands, their assets and staff. Customers live out in the world, just like you and I and they interact with you and your staff. Thinking about them in isolation to the internal operations of the business is just naive and inefficient.

We used customer experience because we needed to get organisations to think about the customer and make their experiences a priority. They have not only done that, they’ve over corrected and now think that a customer experience department or philosophy will save them or give them a competitive advantage. It won’t.

  • How about we park the semantics and get on with created and improving on great products and services for those who own, work within and use them?
  • How about we use an evidence and objective approach to make decisions and include all user types throughout product and service development stages?
  • How about we start to be taken seriously by the business world because we can show results, rather than get caught up in label debates?

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

31ST:SECOND Designworks Salary

Latest News

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom
  • Technology

Twitter Lifts Revenue 74% On The Back Of Advertising Boom

Twitter has just experienced its fastest growth in revenue since 2014, with the social media platform benefiting from increased interest from advertisers. Revenue was up 74 per cent YoY, according to the company’s Q2 results, reaching $US1.19 billion ($1.6 billion) from $US683.4 million ($925 million) 12 months ago. The strong results came in the same […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Wild Turkey Whisky Campaign Stars A Smouldering Matthew McConaughey

Wild Turkey has announced the launch of its new global creative campaign and platform, ‘Trust Your Spirit’, featuring the brand’s creative director and spokesperson, Matthew McConaughey. The global campaign and platform ‘Trust Your Spirit’ is to encourage people to be bold, unapologetically themselves, and stay true to who they are. The global tagline and ethos […]

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Optus Teams Up With TikTok To Launch Sign-Language Campaign

Telecommunications company Optus has announced it will launch the world’s first TikTok sign-language activated filter. Featuring Optus ambassador Ian Thorpe, Optus will unveil a branded effect that shows TikTok users how to say key phrases in Auslan sign language, including ‘How are you?’ and ‘It starts with Yes’, through the hashtag challenge #SignYes. Optus will […]

Heckler Appoints Charu Menon To Partner
  • Advertising
  • Media

Heckler Appoints Charu Menon To Partner

Heckler has announced the promotion of Charu Menon to Partner, Singapore, making her the first female member of the Board.

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF
  • Campaigns

Bapcor Debuts First Campaign With AJF

Asia Pacific’s leading provider of vehicle parts, accessories, equipment, service and solutions, Bapcor will launch its latest campaign, ‘The unseen parts of every Australian journey’ this weekend.

Professional microphone in radio studio
  • Advertising
  • Media

Podsight’s Benchmark Report Shows Podcast Advertising More Effective Than Other Digital Channels

Podsights has revealed new insights into the effectiveness of advertising in podcasts, tracking global and Australian podcast advertising trends. This is the first Australian report to be published since ARN partnered with Podsights to set the standard for best-in-class podcast advertising measurement. The report includes additional analysis and follows a series of Measurement Masterclasses held for […]

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life
  • Campaigns

NGEN’s Charity Cup Raises Over 175K For UnLtd Charity Gotcha4Life

NGEN’s 2021 charity cup has raised over $175,000 for UnLtd charity partner Gotcha4Life. Gotcha4Life is a not-for-profit foundation raising awareness and funding to provide educational workshops and innovative programs that build mental fitness in individuals and communities. While Sydney and Brisbane completed the Charity Cup in June, before Covid restrictions hit, the final leg in […]

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge
  • Campaigns

Biennale Of Sydney & Cicada Innovations Launch Sustainable Materials Challenge

Australian tech incubator Cicada Innovations and Biennale of Sydney are launching the ‘New & Sustainable Materials Challenge,’ in an effort to create a more sustainable future. The works of chosen material-makers will be showcased to millions of Biennale audiences, exhibition partners, and exhibition makers globally. The Challenge is open to any Australian and UK startups, […]