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Defining the Customer Experience (CX)

Defining the Customer Experience (CX)

By Samantha Garner, GoForth Institute


Customer experience is the sum of all experiences a customer has with your business. Customers receive some kind of experience when dealing with your business, whether it's positive, negative, or even "meh." To your customers, your businesses' ability to deliver a positive experience each and every time will set you apart from your competition. Research shows that customers do business with companies they like, so the more positive experiences a customer has with your business, the more they’ll continue to do business with you!


How to define the customer experience

To define your customer experience, it’s important that you know what your customers want and need. What pains are you solving for them? Primary market research should be conducted early on with your target market to make sure you know what customers are looking for, what their pain is, and what’s missing. Once you have an understanding of what your customers need, you can visualize the best ways to satisfy those needs through customer experience. 


Delivering what customers want

A Harvard Business School study of large companies in the US found that over 70% of business executives believed their companies delivered on their customer experience design. But when the researchers asked the customers of those businesses, the story was quite different. Only 8% of customers felt they had the experience they were looking for. Yikes!

Why the difference? Sounds like the big companies weren’t communicating with their customers — either they were designing the wrong customer experience, or they weren’t delivering the experience properly. In any case, the customer walks away with a less than positive impression and the business loses future sales potential. 

Designing a great customer experience is only one part of good CX — you must actually deliver on that experience, and then measure your CX satisfaction to make sure you’re delivering a great experience for your customers. Then - ask the customer if they had the experience you wanted them to have. 


Samantha Garner is GoForth Institute's Director, Communications.  Contact Samantha by email: samantha@goforthinstitute.com

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