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Should “Customer Service” be considered a function of user experience?

Recently I've seen the term Customer Experience (CX?) popping up in a lot of places. This is a term that I have not been aware of before, and I'd like to know more about it.

  • What is the relationship between CX and UX?
  • Are there any specific areas that for instance CX covers that UX doesn't, or vice versa?

As far as I understand, Customer Experience is the experience of being a customer of a company. This long-term experience is a chain of distinct User Experiences - experiences customers have when interacting with one of the company's touch points (app, website, kiosk, customer service on phone, frontal sales ,etc). In other words, a good Customer Experience is achieved by creating good, cohesive, (user) experiences in every interaction with the customer.

If you think of User Experience as only relevant to digital interactions, then Customer Experience obviously includes other types of interactions (phone, face-to-face, store layout etc.). But if you regard User Experience as a holistic methodology for both digital and "analog" experience, than the only difference is scope - User Experience is focused on a single interactions, while Customer Experience looks at the entire customer lifecycle.

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According to Wikipedia: Customer experience (CX) is the sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods or services, over the duration of their relationship with that supplier. From awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, cultivation and advocacy. It can also be used to mean an individual experience over one transaction; the distinction is usually clear in context.

While: User experience (UX) is the way a person feels about using a product, system or service. User experience highlights the experiential, affective, meaningful and valuable aspects of human-computer interaction and product ownership, but it also includes a person’s perceptions of the practical aspects such as utility, ease of use and efficiency of the system. User experience is subjective in nature, because it is about an individual’s feelings and thoughts about the system. User experience is dynamic, because it changes over time as the circumstances change.

Bottom Line: I think Customer Experience is not limited to human-computer interaction.

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