“Great customer experience design (CX Design) is about injecting purpose and empathy into everything your company does.” — McKinsey Research
It goes far beyond the terminology to often overlap with the aspects of UX (User Experience) but does not remain limited to it. When mapping a customer’s journey with your brand, it is important to optimize every interaction a customer has with a business, both pre-, during- and post-sales.
Customer Experience (CX) Design is the overall approach to designing products and services with a focus on the quality and thoughtfulness of the user experience. Although more and more companies are becoming customer-obsessed, designing a CX structure haphazardly will only doom your CX goals. Companies can meaningfully engage with customers at multiple touchpoints of their journey by adopting a well-defined CX design structure.Today, businesses use insights to deep dive and ideate different digital experience solutions to steer along with the UX teams and close the gap in meeting customer expectations. The convergence of CX Design and UX can help in transitioning from qualitatively analyzing consumer insights to proactively designing the customer experience.
Related Article: Are UX and CX One and the Same?
Understanding the Relevance of UX in Your CX Design
The adoption of any technology gains momentum only when it demonstrates business profits over a period of time. But at rare times, swift adoption of any technology is categorized by an inevitable crisis or adversity. The rapid proliferation of Low-Code/No-Code platforms is an excellent example of this phenomenon. While Low-Code development is meant for UX/UI developers, No-Code development is as easy as downloading a ready-made app or website template and can be used by business experts to C-level executives to transform their customer experience.
According to Gartner, “By 2024 about 65% of apps will be developed using Low or No-Code platforms, and around 66% of big companies will use at least four such platforms for app development.”During the pandemic, an online portal was developed in less than 72 hours by New York City using a No-Code enterprise. It promotes the city to gather and map data about the impact of COVID-19 so it can communicate with and connect residents to critical services.
Gone are the days when websites and apps were built by developers who constrained businesses in their ability to express creativity. The user interface of any company should essentially depict its visual identity, and hence the UX developer/designer must understand the vision of a company’s CX journey. Low-Code/No-Code platforms change all that. Now, citizen developers and business leaders outside of IT can customize and build data to support both innovation and integration.
What Is Off-Putting in Your CX Design?
Limited datasets, lack of customer insight and siloed thinking are the most common challenges faced by the industry today. In May 2020, a survey revealed that 94% of consumers who give companies a “very good” CX rating are “very likely” to purchase more products or services from that company in the future, while only 18% of those who gave the company a “very poor” CX rating said the same. Hence it becomes all the more crucial to strategically design your CX structure.Now that we have an understanding of the elements of UX design, let's validate the steps you must take to achieve a seamless and unified CX design.
Research: As a part of the development process, research heavily relies on capturing and analyzing customer data through surveys and online monitoring of social media. Your CX design must amplify this process with intricate yet critical inputs on customer insights that help companies create value in uncovering human factors to understand consumer behavior that influences their choices.
Define: By understanding the research, companies gain insight into their customer's needs and wants. This reduces the risk in the idea-generation stage by putting your customer at the heart of the design research process.
Ideate: The next step after knowing the touchpoints of customer interaction is to create a structured technique that can be used to generate and explore new ideas. It involves bringing the best minds in your business to apply divergent thinking, and then converge relevant ideas before narrowing down on designing a solution that best meets your customer's needs.
Prototype: It is important to make your ideas tangible as quickly as possible. When a team of developers is working on an interface to develop a comprehensive solution for better user experience, it should have an overall understanding of the approach and entire system. The first workable version of the solution can be framed into a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) which is innately low tech but matches the necessity of customer appetite and also be viable from a business point.
Deliver and Market
An agile approach to design and development helps CX leaders understand what customers want and deliver to them. It is a test-driven approach that de-risks the risks taken by traditional businesses and provides proof of both concept and scalability. The CX team can measure the performance and continue testing the solution with users to determine how to improve the design. This helps in discovering customer needs, designing solutions and delivering impact will help companies create a seamless end-to-end experience that truly meets customers’ needs. The development of your CX design must put the focus on your customers. Any business whether B2B or B2C can embrace new tech practices to deliver workflow automation that will create, develop and launch enterprise solutions efficiently. This will enable designers to speed up the development process and focus on user satisfaction.
Some companies rarely apply CX design fundamentals. They find it's not effective because they simply fail to measure correctly.
Related Article: UX Is a Continuous Investment for Profitable Companies. Here's Why
My Two Cents: Outside-in Approach to CX Design Matters
According to Forrester Research, more than 50% of companies don’t currently tie CX activities to revenue.
The most fundamental learning in my recent ventures carrying out some digital experience assessments including NDTV India, Veeva Systems, Swann College Australia and research studies carried out with CMO Council? Some companies create CX design with an inside-out approach. It simply means CX teams start to design strategies with confirmation bias around their core competencies and predetermined solutions based on learning from competitors' strategies and designs.
I would recommend companies flip the design to be an outside-in approach. The starting point should always be the need of the customer instead of driving factors to that need.
For instance, if a customer has a horse but he/she is looking for a faster one, companies shouldn’t directly jump on to find stronger horses. The need here is to travel faster, hence the solutions can be very different in reality. Thinking of automobiles, or airplanes now? The point is to deliver promising solutions. Companies should certainly consider the viability, feasibility and desirability of the work to be done.
Well-defined CX design and operational structure leads to lower acquisition costs, deeper customer loyalty, reduced sales cycles, higher revenues, etc. compared to companies are don’t take it seriously.