It is one thing to deliver a great product, but can you back it up with a total brand experience?

Industry research leader (Gartner) predicted that by 2016, 89 percent of companies would expect to compete mostly on the basis of customer experience (CX). The problem is that most organizations either lag in their customer experience strategy, or worse, don’t have one at all.

Whether consumer or business, it’s no surprise that for a product to take off it needs to work efficiently and be designed well. Despite being critically important aspects of delivering a great product, they aren’t the only factors that lead to success. To truly deliver an experience that will optimally serve the user and brand over time, both user experience and customer experience strategies must be put in place.

Because customer experience and user experience (UX) are often implemented side by side or in a phased approach, the lines tend to blur on the inner workings of each. It’s important to realize how vastly different they are and how they work in tandem to create an optimal experience for the end-user as well as the company tapping into their methods.

User Experience

UX focuses on the specific optimization of either a device, interface or screen and the interactions that occur within. User experience takes into consideration a user’s perspective, interactions and emotions resulting in their direct engagement with the product. It’s not enough for a product to just look good, it must work for the user – accomplishing their needs. User experience can be engaged at any time and should be implemented on an ongoing basis.

Customer Experience

Customer experience is a much more personal aspect of the brand experience. Though user patterns and satisfaction aspects are explored in UX, customer experience is the actual interaction between the company and its customer. Inclusive of the entire lifecycle of this relationship, CX begins with the initial discovery and draw between brand and user, continuing through to the cultivation of brand advocacy. Customer experience encompasses all aspects of customer service and engagement with the main goal being the extension of loyalty and trust to the user by the brand.

The old saying goes ‘if you build it, they will come‘ – this adage rings true for the implementation of user experience. Acting as an introduction to the customer, the first impression is everything. Here, the importance of user experience cannot be stressed enough. Designed to deliver a seamless, useful, intuitive – even delightful experience – a non-customer can, in this process, become a loyal follower.

When embarking on a UX endeavor, a company must determine whether they are ready to deliver and back up the actions that the user experience will bring. From having a product ready to ship, a dependable customer service department, reasonable (or free) shipping rates and quick response time are all seemingly small details that can make or break a company’s future – even with great UX in place. Developing a customer experience strategy will ensure the UX aspect is able to do its job, leading users to conversion and keeping them happy for a long time to come.