There are so many acronyms in the business community that we tend to tune them out. But as the world becomes increasingly digital, two acronyms are receiving a steady amount of buzz一particularly in the recruiting community: UX and CX.
UX and CX touch virtually everything we do: where we focus our eyes, how we use a keyboard, how we open or turn on a physical product, how we engage with customer service, and一most importantly一how we form an opinion about a brand.
With so much riding on the user and customer experience, you’d think that UX and CX teams would work together, brainstorming new ways to make the buying, enablement, and usage processes more seamless. Yet as a recruiter operating in this space for years, I know that UX and CX don’t always work as closely as you think.
Below, I explain how I interpret UX and CX, the gap between the two, and how bridging that gap can ultimately improve a company’s bottom line.
UX stands for “user experience” and refers to the way users interact with and understand a product. A “product” could be a website, software, physical product, or an app on a user’s phone.
No matter the type of product, users want it to work intuitively. It’s a UX designer’s job to figure out how to make that happen一typically with a great deal of behavioral research and A/B testing.
If they succeed, users will be far more likely to complete desired actions, like making a purchase, downloading a whitepaper, creating a new widget, or consuming a product if you work for a CPG brand.
CX stands for “customer experience”, and represents the sum total of customers’ perceptions and feelings about a brand as a result of all their interactions with it. Unlike UX, CX isn’t about driving one action; it’s about leaving a good impression at every step of the customer journey.
As such, CX touches far more than a singular “product”, encompassing everything from company ads to the look and feel of storefronts, product packaging, customer support, and returns.
You can think of the customer experience as a string of user experiences that, together, give people a holistic perception of a brand as a whole.
For example, an eCommerce company would use UX designers to create its website. UX designers would research how users interact with the site and use A/B tests to determine how fast people should scroll, the best placement for buttons or text, and generally making the site behave as the average user expects.
CX teams, on the other hand, would monitor user sentiment end-to-end, identifying where “products” could be improved. This could translate to changing specific elements of the website, like the checkout experience, or adjusting other aspects of customer interaction, like customer service employee scripts, modifying chatbot answers to FAQs, or simplifying the returns process.
The more companies can optimize each user experience, the more they can foster a positive customer experience. And when customers have a great experience, they will be more willing to purchase or recommend products.
When UX and CX work together, companies see an improvement in customer acquisition, adoption, and retention一KPIs that play a key role in a company’s viability. Yet as critical as this connection is, I’ve noticed that many companies keep UX and CX functions separate. Often, the UX team sits in the product org, while the CX team sits in customer success or marketing.
While this setup can work for some companies, I find that the division between the two teams can lead to miscommunications and silos that prevent brands from giving their customers the best possible experience.
I’m no expert, but it seems that the folks I recruit for UX roles can benefit from working directly with CX professionals and vice versa.
UX designers are experts at collecting valuable user data that CX could leverage. Both teams are also highly creative, meaning that brainstorming solutions as a joint group can produce more potent and powerful ideas. And the resources each team has available to them could help the other. For instance, brand audits, customer complaints, case studies could help UX employees, while user interviews, user flows, and other user research could enhance CX’s work.
Now, I’m not saying that UX and CX necessarily have to work on the same team, but establishing solid communication channels and sharing resources could have a dramatic impact on both teams’ end results, boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Companies are beginning to realize that investing in the customer experience at every point in their journey is crucial. But you can’t just rely on gathering the right consumer data and creating an environment where UX and CX work in harmony.
You need top UX and CX talent to accelerate customer acquisition, adoption, and retention, and recruiting for these roles can be tough. However, an experienced recruiting firm like Planet Technology can help you source the talent you need to deliver an incredible customer experience.