You may have read up on customer experience and user experience and feel in the know on both counts. However, the difference between the two of them may not be so clear. Let us guide you through what separates customer experience from user experience.

User functions of user and customer experience

Of course, the most obvious difference of all is that one experience is for the customer and the other is for the user. That appears to be self-explanatory. However, the two are not as separate as they may seem. Whilst they have their own functions, they must also work together in a business to provide successful results. So what is user experience and customer experience?

  • User experience is interaction with a product, website or app. Click to completion and abandonment are what usually indicate how a user experience has been.
  • Customer experience is far more general and relates to the overall encounter that a customer has with a company. This is usually demonstrated by return sales, cross-selling, positive feedback and customer reviews.

Different but essential to success

The difference is key, however customer experience and user experience must exist alongside one another in order to work. It may sound obvious but if you are doing a spot of online shopping and the website doesn’t work? How do you react? Or you spend time selecting the perfect gift and the payment page crashes every time it loads? Frustrating, right? Your user experience has been negative so this will indirectly impact on your customer experience. You are far more likely to leave a bad review or complain to customer services, if your user interaction has been problematic.

The user experience and the customer experience

Another difference that may not be so clear is that customer experience focuses upon the larger context. This is from the customer’s point of view and continues from beginning to end. This really begins when a customer first searches for the product and finishes when their needs have been met. User experience however pinpoints certain parts of the process. For example, processing payment, browsing options, fast loading speeds and a pleasing web page layout.

Can they function without one another?

The answer is yes, they can. A person can have a particularly bad user experience but when they speak to the customer service department, the customer experience is great. The same can also be said in reverse. A customer can have a fantastic user experience but if there is a problem with their product, their customer experience may leave them wanting. However, as mentioned before, it is essential for the two to work hand in hand.

The conclusion

Now the difference may be clearer. However, we have to bear in mind that for a customer, it will not. So, in order for the entire experience to be positive, both the user and customer experience need to be seamless. The differences may be obvious or maybe not, but you have to remember that for your customers, they will not differentiate between the two.  
For more information on user and customer experience, please visit DES Madrid.