User Experience and Customer Experience: what’s the difference?

UX and CX: everyone talks about them. But how can they actually help your business?

20 September 2018
  • Customer experience
  • CX
  • +2

The concept of CX has spread widely over the years among the marketers

Team Conflux

Condividi l'articolo
20 September 2018
  • Customer experience
  • CX
  • +2


For some years, everyone has been talking about User Experience. Not all, however, attribute the same meaning to UX.


There are different definitions of the term, introduced about 30 years ago in the debate between various types of “experts”: in the field of user experience, various disciplinary paths converge and, above all, the contexts to which the concept can be applied are extremely varied and numerous.


Speaking of user experience, in fact, the reference is made to a “holistic and multidisciplinary criterion with regard to design, in which aspects such as information architecture, interaction, content design, graphic design, usability, and accessibility converge towards the final product or service”.


In recent years, however, there have been widespread and affirmed concepts and terms that go beyond the boundaries of the single touchpoint and that seek to investigate how the relationship between a person and a brand develops over time and on different occasions of interaction.

To make this different approach more evident, in a perspective that also refuses to focus on a specific touchpoint, the concept of Customer Experience has spread in contrast to the User Experience.

timeline interesse nel tempo

The concept of CX has spread widely over the years among the marketers, engaging with the business metrics, such as the cost of acquiring a customer, rather than the interface performance metrics (“How long do I spend on the site?”,”How many errors do users make when filling out a form?”).


However, it often happens that UX and CX are confused or overlapped. And companies may wonder: is it worth investing in CX or UX? On which aspect should we pay more attention to improve the results of our business?


To answer these questions, it is necessary to clarify and distinguish the two concepts to make them work together better.

User Experience: what is User Experience?

The User Experience includes all the aspects of user/customer interaction with a company, its services, and its products.

In the sense used by those who want to separate UX and CX, the UX focuses on the points of contact with a digital interface.
It aims to include the totality of end-user perceptions as they interact with a product or service.


To give examples: the design for good user experience can help the customers of business find the information they are looking for rapidly and quickly on a site. For this reason, the concept relating to UX includes all that concerns of effectiveness, efficiency, emotional satisfaction and quality of the relationship with the company that supplies the product or service.

“the design for good user experience can help the customers of business find the information they are looking for rapidly and quickly on a site”

Customer Experience: what is Customer Experience?

If the user experience concerns the totality of the experience, how can there be something even more “all-inclusive”? The customer experience refers to the design and the relationship of a customer’s interactions, in order to satisfy his needs or to exceed his expectations, to increase his satisfaction and his loyalty to the product or service offered by the company.


The CX, therefore, examines the multi-channel interactions that a user has with a company both online and offline: the focus is on a brand-customer relationship that extends over time and that is transversal to multiple touchpoints.


Forrester defines the customer experience by referring to 3 dimensions, represented from the customer’s point of view: if it is useful, easy to use and pleasant.

the customer experience pyramid

At the base of the pyramid proposed by Forrester, there is this idea: if the experience being designed satisfies these three elements, it works for the customer.


The customer experience is directly linked to a company’s business because it positively or negatively affects the probability that the customers complete or repeat transactions. It helps to increase earnings and sales, but also helps to gain a competitive advantage: according to RightNow’s Annual Customer Experience Impact (CEI) Report, 86% of customers would be willing to pay more for better customer experience.

UX and CX: which is more important?

A good user experience (on a specific touchpoint) is essential for the customer experience. On the other hand, without a vision of how the relationship with the brand develops over time and across the various interfaces, satisfactory experiences cannot be obtained on each touchpoint.


The two concepts are closely related to each other. The important thing, for a company’s business, is to find the right balance in attention between the two components, based on the situation in which the business is located and based on the priorities.
Is your company taking a customer-centered approach at all the points of contact? Or is your priority focused on specific interactions?


By collaborating with the client, Conflux creates experiences that allow the company to collect data relating to the context, to understand the client’s objectives in the short and long term, on one or more points of contact.

For more information:

(“[…] ux is seen as a holistic, multidisciplinary app- roach to design, where information architecture, interaction design, information design, graphic design, usability, accessibility, content management converge to the final product or service.” “The X Factor Defining the Concept of Experience”, Stefano Bussolon, Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Trento, 2016).
Kim, J. (2015). Design for experience: where technology meets design and strategy. Springer.
User experience definition“, All about UX – Information for user experience professionals.

  • Customer experience
  • CX
  • User Experience
  • UX

Team Conflux


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