Defining customer experience


Here are 3 definitions of customer experience we’ve borrowed from 3 large UK companies:

“The impact of all contributing factors in a customers’ interaction with the organisation. It is the way he/she feels about that interaction.”

“A systematic measuring and understanding of the rational and emotional drivers that customers care about most. Then using those insights to deliver the intended experience across every touchpoint.”

“The internal and subjective response customers have to any direct or indirect contact with the company.”

We don’t think any of these help. Our definition is shorter.

“Everything your customer can see, hear, touch and feel about your company”.

This means it covers your products, processes, staff, channels,  communications and marketing. It also covers your brand – especially the way your business behaves.

Customer experience is both functional and emotional:

Functional means:

Operational excellence. Get it right first time, on time, every time, regardless of channel or product/service.

Efficiency. Customer needs met fast, through self-serve channels or by helpful, knowledgeable employees who “get to the point”.

Convenience. The location of, or access to, products or services and their ease of use; intuitive shop or website layout/product information placement

Emotional means:

Integrity – sincerity, authenticity, empathy, recognition and dignity.

Reliability –  responsiveness, availability, consistency and timeliness.

Customers want people they are dealing to be trustworthy, professional, well informed and empathetic. They need to be sure that they are recommending the product or service best suited to their needs.

Maya Angelou, the renowned American author and poet, said:

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

This is not just about “putting the customer at the heart of everything you do.” It’s deeper than that. It’s about deep understanding of the hierarchy of customer needs. It’s about engaging with them not patronising them. It’s about delivering on those moments of truth in a way that is personal and memorable. It’s about aligning your employee behaviours with your customers’ behaviours. It’s about putting customers in control of their money and providing peace of mind.


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