When you first start to plan any marketing strategy, you often try your best to imagine how your campaign will be received. Questions such as “How will this best reach our target market?” and “What is the best way to get our message across?” will likely be running through your head. Now, in 2018, there are one or two more questions you should be asking, including “What is our user experience like and how can we improve it?”

In this article, we will cover how user experience fits into customer engagement marketing in 2018. Along with that, we will discuss the merits of both UX design and focusing on the customer experience, as well as the differences between these two approaches. By the end, we hope to have guided you through how best to optimize both your user experience as well as the larger customer experience for your audience. This way, you will be well equipped to take on the age of the ‘experience’ that find ourselves in today. Let’s get started.

user experience

The age of the ‘experience’

Over the last few years, companies like Amazon have revolutionize the customer service industry to the point that consumers are now more interested in a positive customer experience with a company than actual products or services. In fact, according to ThinkJar Research, 55% of customers are willing to pay more for a guaranteed good experience, with the operative word here being ‘guaranteed.’

For years, large brands have been able to get away with the promise of a good user and customer experience without the need for follow-through. Now, with social media and online reviews, brands have to invest in the customer experience in order to stay competitive. Otherwise, their lack of follow-through can end up severely damaging their brand reputation. With this in mind, let’s take a further look at how UX and CX fit together to make this possible.

UX vs. CX: What’s the difference?

Now, if you aren’t already familiar with the differences between UX and CX, User Experience is all about the interactions customers have with your product, while Customer Experience encompasses everything about your relationship with the customer. For instance, if a phone has good UX, then it is easy to use, but good CX would mean that when you call customer service to ask about your phone, that is an easy process as well.

While focusing on the user experience is important, whether you are developing a mobile app or creating a physical product, without the larger context of CX you can only go so far. However, if you can approach the user experience design of your product with knowledge of how it will affect the way customers interact with your brand, you have the chance to stand out from the crowd.

User Experience basics

You may still be wondering how user experience and customer experience work together. In order to better understand this, let’s take at some UX design basics and see how they can be applied to improving the customer experience. Two of the main UX principles are to be contextual and be human. This means that whenever you are developing an experience, you want to walk through how it will affect the user within the context of the situation.

The same goes for planning out the customer experience. From the time that they show interest in your product until you hopefully win their business, you should be thinking: how would I want to be treated? This empathy puts you into the place of the end-user and allows you to tap into what your customers want. That being said, user engagement metrics and other analytics should be used, not just your gut feeling.

Empathy and the end-user

It will be this empathy for your customers that sets you apart from your competition. As more companies invest in customer experiences, those who can provide value to their customers through each interaction with a brand are the ones that will be set apart. Organizations need to begin investing in marketing automation and other programs that seek to make customers’ lives painless and efficient.

Not only that, but once you begin to make customer experience a focus, your audience will come to trust your company. As you develop this trusting relationship, customers will be more willing to share their thoughts with you as well as participate in new programs. By putting them first, you are flipping the paradigm, something they will come to appreciate as they see the value you provide.

Customer experience marketing

In the end, this is what you are aiming for with customer experience marketing: to create an environment where customers want to be a part of your brand. For far too long, companies have been focused on products instead of experiences, but as user experience continues to show customers how much better they can have it, this will continue to change.

For your own company, try to analyze each aspect of your offering and find areas that can be improved. The best time to get started on a strategy like this is right now. Thankfully, there are plenty of tools like SMS marketing now available to you that can be used to optimize the customer experience. Take advantage of these tools whenever you can, that way you can take things into your own hands instead of playing catch-up with your audience.

How to get the most out of both strategies

As we wrap up this article, we wanted to leave you with some final advice on how to get the most out of both user experience and customer experience design. It all begins by taking time to get to know your customer, what they need, what they want, and what the value. Each of these will tell a story, one that you can address on a micro level with UX, and a macro level with CX.

By optimizing, tweaking, and perfecting your customer experience, you are setting out to be the exception. This won’t be easy, but once you start to see how your customer retention efforts are affected, you will see that your investment will be worth it.