A customer experience definition – we ask the experts

Customer experience – or CX – is all the buzz. But what does it really mean? We asked the Board of Experts for TFM, eCommerce Expo and Customer Contact Expo to give us a workable definition. This is what they gave us…


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“Customer Experience is a burning desire for everyone in an organisation to be useful to customers at every opportunity ”


Mikecolour2“In my experience it’s most useful to start by defining customer experience in terms of company culture. Are you the kind of company that wants to make money by being useful to your customers? Or are you the kind of company that wants to use your customers to make money?

I appreciate the difference may seem only a matter of syntax, but ask a geneticist about the difference even a micro adjustment to DNA sequencing can make and you will begin to appreciate that they are poles apart.

Of course, you will see lots of articles that explain customer experience in much more sophisticated terms. They often talk about mutually beneficial exchanges of value. This seems a little cold to me and also provides very little by way of motivational substance to everyone involved in delivering customer experience.

That’s why I would describe it as a burning desire for everyone in an organisation to be useful to customers at every opportunity. This sounds simple and perhaps even overly emotional, but, as Leonardo da Vinci said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” and I believe our decisions are driven by emotions. Even a complete re-imagining of the business model, technology, people, value chain partners and customers relationships will need to be reduced to simple actions driven by the desire to create emotional connections between customers and employees.

If you want to see a great example of this, look no further than the West Jet campaign for Christmas 2014.”

Mike O’Brien, Founder, Jam Partnership




“Customer experience is the sum of every interaction your prospects and customers have with your company in any context at all – including their experience with your products, your marketing, your sales channels and your customer service.”

Doug Kessler, Creative Director and Co-Founder, Velocity



Sylviacolour-01“It is important to think of the customer experience from a holistic perspective that addresses the full customer lifecycle:
Customer eXpectation: The expectations ultimately define the experience. This is the beginning of the process and we can only understand and manage expectations by having a clear understanding of the customer (data management)
Customer eXperience: The experience itself is a single point in time that needs to be carefully orchestrated and demands a one-to-one, hyper-customised and dazzling digital experience
Customer eXpression: Social media, mobile and other digital technologies have empowered the customer to quickly and easily share their experience with the brand – good or bad – with the world”

Sylvia Jensen, Director of EMEA Marketing, Oracle




“A customer’s experience is based on all their interactions with a brand from online to offline, and across the customer lifecycle from pre-sale to post-sale. So customer experience management (CXM) should have a broad scope to measure and improve the quality of these experiences to enable better commercial results.”

Dave Chaffey, Publisher, Smart Insights




“Every single customer interaction with an organisation or brand, the end to end journey – including how it makes a consumer feel.”

Tom Head, Director, Lab



“Customer experience is the intangible feeling that customers have when they interact withIvan your brand, and most importantly after they do so. It’s the feeling they are left with afterwards, and the thoughts they have when they then describe your brand to others. Handled correctly, customers will feel like your brand totally gets them. That they are special to you. That’s the customer experience you want to create.”

Ivan Mazour, CEO, Ometria


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“It’s about the whole buying process”


JamesHydeJamesstrachan“Customer experience has very much become an all-encompassing term, especially when it comes to eCommerce. It’s about the whole buying process – from entering and navigating the retailer’s site to find what they want, through to payment and onto fulfilment, delivery, opening and use. By making a customer’s experience of your brand an easy, fast, enjoyable process you cement relationships and encourage advocacy.”

James Hyde, Operations Director and James Strachan, James and James Fulfilment



“It is the sum total of the many interactions between a customer and the brand. TheseSayed interactions are ‘moments of truth’ when brands have the opportunity to either delight or disappoint the customer and thus either get or retain a strong advocate or lose one.”

Sayed Suhail Gaffar, International Ecommerce Rollout Manager, Mothercare



“The ability to buy without hassle. Beyond that it’s about being able to get quick, and easy to understand answers to your questions.”

Richard Spink, Head of Ecommerce UK, GBGroup




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“How would they describe their experience of your brand?”


“Any way in which the customer ‘chooses’ to engage with your brand. Customer experience encompasses customers and potential Relton-01customers; it covers every aspect of their engagement with your brand whether you communicate with them directly or indirectly.

It could be a customer friendly contact number on your site which they may choose to never to use (but appreciate), or, resolving an issue with a delivery or a product defect. They may only choose to engage with your brand via Facebook and have so far never purchased. Ultimately, if they were in a conversation with their friends, how would they describe their experience of your brand?

Relton Herron, Digital Strategist and Implementation Consultant, Relton Associates


Brad-01“I believe it’s important to define customer experience in the broadest context. It is the products and services themselves, how customers become aware of them, our stated and implied brand promise, access to service before during and after the sale, and all of the interactions that occur.

Brad Cleveland, Author, Speaker, Consultant/Senior Advisor, ICMI


“Ensuring your organisation is working with the customer at the heart of everything you do and is the key driver of business Chalkystrategy.”

Chalky Langley, Director of Customer Experience, MET Office


Mariane“For me customer experience is defined as how customers perceive an organisation. This can be both conscious perceptions and subconscious perceptions.
For example, a customer can derive a perception from their own direct interaction with an organisation – making a call, receiving a statement or an SMS, receiving a collections call or even a fraud alert but also something that they pick up subconsciously, whether that be an advert they may see on TV, an experience a friend of family member recounts or even something they may read on social media.
All of these interactions and pieces of data will feed into the perception a customer builds over their relationship with an organisation.”

Marianne Chapman, Vice President of Customer Service, Barclaycard


Want to hear more from our experts? They’ll be speaking at Technology for Marketing on the 28th-29th September 2016. Reserve your free ticket here!


Download: The Customer Experience Blueprint

cx-report-front This report looks at how businesses are keeping pace with rising customer expectations and the pressure it puts them under. To help make sense of these challenges we have worked with digital service design agency Friday, using the structure of their digital maturity model to assess how marketers and customer service professionals are responding to these pressures. The report summarises the findings of the survey and highlights some recommended actions for organisations seeking to reinvent their customer experience - and reinvent themselves in order to deliver it. Download the report for free today.
Hannah Brewer

Hannah Brewer

Content Coordinator, UBM

A member of the UBM EMEA Digital and Content team, Hannah generates content and ideas for various B2B websites, events and social media platforms within the organisation.

March 16, 2016

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