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The Difference Between CX and UX: Everything You Need to Know

Customer experience and user experience are both vital elements of any modern business plan, but while they might sound interchangeable, there are clear differences between each concept. In any case, ensuring both are positive should be a priority for any business owner or manager, with CX and UX each playing heavily into audience satisfaction and overarching success, however, without clear and distinct strategies for each, both can fall behind. 

We’ve put together this blog to elaborate on the differences between CX and UX so you can feel confident in developing separate methodologies for both of them.


Understanding Customer Experience

Customer experience essentially encompasses the entire perception a customer has of a brand and their experience of it, covering everything from their first impression to their final interaction. This covers a lot of ground, with every touchpoint a customer goes through playing into their overall experience. 

Understanding customer experience throughout the customer journey is essential to developing solid strategies in everything from marketing to post-purchase support offerings. 


Customer Experience Touchpoints

Pre-Purchase Touchpoints

Marketing: This is often the first element of the customer experience, with social media ads, online banners, TV spots, print advertisements, and any other promotional materials catching the eye of potential customers.

Website, Seller Accounts & Social Media: Whether selling directly from a website, through a third-party platform like Amazon, or on a social media page, this is an early area a potential customer will engage with, feeling out your branding, reviews, and more. 

It’s important to consider pre-purchase touchpoints in your digital customer experience strategy, as this is where you can make your first impression on a new customer. 

Purchase Touchpoints

In-Store: If you have a physical outlet, this is where customers will browse in person, interact with your sales team, speak to reps behind the counter, and eventually make a purchase. 

Website or Seller Page: This acts much the same as a physical store experience, except customers have more freedom to build a cart, leave it to one side, and make a purchase in their own time with less encouragement from staff. Websites or seller pages need to be mobile-compatible, allowing for a wider variety of customers to engage with them. 

It’s important to communicate your brand identity and modus operandi in these purchase touchpoints, with creating an inviting environment an important part of the customer experience. 

Post-Purchase Touchpoints

Customer Service: For whatever reasons, customers might need to get in touch with your team, whether handled by a contact center or in-house. These conversations can be about seeking assistance, troubleshooting, or making simple product inquiries.

Product Usage: This is where CX and UX meet, with the customer interacting with or using the product or service that you’ve provided them with. Having a quality value offering is imperative here, ensuring that the user experience is positive. 

Follow-Up Communication: After a purchase has been made, there are follow-up comms, such as order confirmations, shipping notifications, satisfaction surveys, and personalized recommendations. Being quick and informative is essential to keeping customers informed and engaged. 

Remember, the customer experience doesn’t end after a purchase – not many businesses can operate off an economy of one-time buyers. Post-purchase touchpoints keep your business in the minds of your customers. 

Ongoing Touchpoints

Loyalty Programs & Community Building: Creating loyalty programs or buyer communities is a great way to extend a customer journey, ensuring they have a clearer incentive to remain engaged or continue purchasing. 

Email Newsletters: Customers generally have to provide emails to make online purchases, which allows businesses to remain in touch through newsletters and updates – these can be related to informative content, promotions, or other updates. 

Social Media: With an active, well-crafted social media presence, the customer experience can be more ongoing, providing plenty of content for customers to like, comment on, or otherwise participate in. 

The customer experience needs to be ongoing to continue engagement far beyond the initial post-purchase communication, developing a more long-standing relationship with your audience. 

Re-Engagement Touchpoints

Abandoned Cart Communications: If a customer abandons a cart, businesses can still inspire purchases. Using any data gathered, potential customers can be contacted to remind them of their intended purchase, possibly with additional incentives. 

Re-Targeting Ads: Long after a customer has made their first purchase or contact with a business, re-targeted ads can be used to inspire repeat custom or reconsideration. 

Even if a customer appears to have left the field of purchasing, there’s still plenty that can be done. Whether they just need an extra nudge or a quick reminder, purchases can be inspired. 

The Front-to-Back Approach

With so many touchpoints, it’s clear that comprehensive customer experience management requires a front-to-back approach. To maximize the positivity of a customer experience it’s vital to consider elements like personalization, omnichannel contact experiences, and the provision of exceptional customer service, whether in person or from a call center. 


Exploring UX (User Experience)

Differing from the more comprehensive dimensions of CX, UX is more related to the literal interaction that a customer experiences while interacting with a product, service, or digital platform. Usability and user experience are essentially one and the same, with accessibility and ultimate satisfaction playing significantly into what defines UX overall. 

Necessary Considerations for a Positive UX

User Research: Businesses must begin by actively conducting plenty of research, identifying the needs, goals, preferences, and pain points of their target audience. This involves user experience testing, in-person interviews, digital surveys, and data analysis of user behavior. 

User Persona Building: When determining the ins and outs of a target audience, business owners should work to craft user personas, figuring out how their product or service can help each of them. This empathetic approach helps in both the design and marketing phases. 

Usability Prioritization: The wider elements of user experience are irrelevant if the product isn’t sufficiently usable. Aspects like navigation, clear instructions, and general ease of use need to be carefully considered to minimize the cognitive load on customers.

Accessibility: In everything from the product itself to the contact center, accessibility should be a priority for business owners. By making products or channels of contact accessible to people with impairments, you can maximize your potential audience. Common accessibility features include alternative text options, keyboard shortcuts, and color contrast options. 

Visual Profile: Visuals for a product or service aren’t just about communicating brand identity – they’re also about improving UX. It’s important to create a cohesive visual journey with a clear hierarchy, taking users through the process seamlessly. 

Interactive Design: With digital services or products, along with communications technology, interactive features must be simple, responsive, and intuitive. This can encompass things like clear CTAs, built-in feedback mechanisms, and more.

Information Architecture: In software offerings, such as an AI CX tool, information and functions must be organized logically, communicating the steps of usage and content in an easily-absorbed manner. 

Content Strategy: While not a direct element of UX, having a good content strategy and aligning it with user needs and business goals can enhance the experience with your tangible goods. Consider your audience’s priorities and use this to craft useful content that feels relevant. This can be considered another area where CX and UX meet! 

These aspects, while not all directly involved in the literal UX, all influence how much value a customer will derive from your goods or services. Without careful consideration of all of them, there’s no guarantee your audience will grasp the full scope of what you offer them. 


Key Differences Between CX & UX

So now that you’re familiar with both CX and UX, it’s important to fully recognize the differences between each concept. This will further your ability to craft distinct strategies, ensuring neither ever feels like it’s lacking for the sake of the other. 

Scope of Focus: CX is a more comprehensive concept, encompassing every touchpoint of the customer journey from before purchasing to post-purchase communication. UX is more direct and literal, focusing entirely on the interactions a user has with the product or service.

Time Frame: CX is a long-term aspect to consider, with the touchpoints existing for the entirety of a customer’s relationship with a product or brand. UX is an immediate experience, however it does also apply on a long-term basis depending on the product or service. 

Audience Focus: In terms of the audience focus, CX applies to all customers for a brand, past, present, and future, while UX considerations should be more focused on user segments and their preferences. 

Metric Measuring: When measuring CX, the metrics include aspects like Net Promotor Scores, customer satisfaction, and overall customer lifetime value. On the other hand, UX metics include usability testing results, success rates on tasks, and time spent using a product. 

By properly considering CX and UX, along with measuring the metrics of both aspects correctly, you can guarantee that your audience enjoys your product and brand as much as possible, whether using a product or engaging with digital content. 

Importance of Integrating CX and UX

The fact of the matter is that with CX and UX, one can’t exist without the other. If user experiences are largely negative then the overarching customer experience won’t matter, while a user experience can leave an insignificant impression if the remainder of the customer experience hasn’t been properly crafted. 

It’s only with a strong UX that the various touchpoints of CX will actually be able to shine for what they are. If you work hard enough on ensuring CX and UX are both exceptional, you’re far more likely to retain customers, forge loyalty, and rise above your competitors. 


By now, it’s clear that CX and UX are very different, despite existing in similar spheres and being equally important. When crafted properly, they can complement each other, ensuring that an audience develops a truly positive perception of a brand.

As touched on, a massive part of the customer experience is the provision of proper customer service and support, which is largely completed through the operation of call and contact centers. Similarly, for people working in these spaces, having a positive user experience is vital when taking on new tools. 

With all this in mind, we’d like to invite any readers to this year’s Call & Contact Center Expo. At this event, we’ll be bringing together thousands of professionals working in or around call and contact centers, along with providing a space for showcasing businesses, and even hosting a lineup of industry experts. To better understand customer experience from a distinct angle, this event is a must-visit!