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What is the Difference Between Customer Experience and User Experience?

Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX); you’ve probably heard these terms often and know they’re important for your business.

But what do they really mean, and what’s the difference between the two? Here’s a hint: they’re not interchangeable! CX and UX each have a very specific role, and your business needs to ensure that it’s delivering both of these key elements to the best of its ability.

In this article, we break down user experience and customer experience, helping you to understand the difference between the two and guiding you towards some best practices. 

What is User Experience (UX)?

First, let's talk about user experience, or UX. It all started back in the 1990s when Don Norman coined the phrase while working at Apple. He was tasked with improving the overall design of Apple's products, and he realised that it wasn't just about the physical look and feel of the devices. It was about how people interacted with them and how they felt while doing so. He wanted to emphasise the importance of designing products with the end-user in mind, which led to the birth of the term "User Experience." Today, it's a critical aspect of product design, and we have Don Norman to thank for bringing it to the forefront.

UX is what someone interacting with your product or service (digital or physical) experiences. It includes things like the design of your website or app, how easy it is to navigate, and how intuitive it feels to use. A well-designed UX can make all the difference in how a user perceives your brand and can lead to increased engagement and satisfaction.

Let's say you're a company that sells clothing online. A good UX would mean having an easy-to-navigate website with clear product descriptions and images and a simple checkout process. Websites that are easy and safe to buy from generally win over more buyers.  

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Now, let's move on to customer experience, or CX. The term customer experience is more of a veteran when compared to user experience. We’ve been concerned with how customers perceive our brands and service delivery since the dawn of commerce. However, it wasn't until the 21st century that the term gained widespread popularity. With the rise of online shopping and digital marketing, businesses realised the importance of providing a positive experience for their customers across all touchpoints, from browsing their website to receiving their products. The term became synonymous with creating a seamless, personalised, and memorable experience for customers that would keep them coming back for more. 

CX is all about the overall impression that a customer has of your brand. It encompasses every interaction that a customer has with your business, both online and offline. This includes things like customer service, the quality of your products, and how easy it is to get help when something goes wrong.

For example, let's say you're a company that sells skincare products. A good CX would mean having a knowledgeable customer service team that can answer questions about the product’s suitability for individual skin types and resolve issues quickly. You’d have to ensure that you offer high-quality products that actually work and a frictionless returns process. All of these elements contribute to a positive customer experience that makes the customer more likely to recommend your brand to others.

The Importance of a Well-Designed UX and CX

So, now that we’ve defined the key differences between UX and CX, let’s delve into why they matter for your business. It’s a dog-eat-dog world in today's competitive marketplace, and even subtle failures in your UX and CX can be significantly impactful to your bottom line.

Think about it: if a user has a bad experience with your website or app, they're unlikely to return. And if a customer has a bad experience with your brand, they're unlikely to recommend it to others. On the other hand, a well-designed UX and CX can lead to increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and, ultimately, increased revenue.

How to Improve Your UX and CX

Convinced of the importance of providing users with a good user experience and customer experience? Then we'll give you a few tips on how you can improve the UX and CX:

1. Conduct a UX Audit

The first step is to conduct a UX audit to identify areas of your website or app that need improvement. This could include things like confusing navigation, slow load times, or poor mobile responsiveness. BEE offers a specialised service that helps you unlock your website’s potential by looking at your entire customer journey and providing you with a qualitative and quantitative description of the potential we’ve identified across each channel we evaluate. You can learn more about our UX Audit here

2. Make it Easy to Get Help

Next, make it easy for customers to get help when they need it. This could include things like a chatbot on your website, a dedicated customer service phone line, or an email address for support.

3. Focus on Quality

Make sure that your products or services are of high quality and meet the needs of your target audience. This will help to build trust with your customers and keep them coming back for more.

4. Listen to Feedback

Finally, listen to feedback from your customers and use it to improve your UX and CX. This could mean making changes to your website based on user feedback or addressing specific customer complaints.


In conclusion, user experience and customer experience are two important concepts that can make all the difference in the success of your business. By focusing on a well-designed UX and CX, you can improve customer satisfaction, increase loyalty, and differentiate your brand from competitors.

Remember, good UX is all about making it easy and intuitive for users to interact with your product or service. Good CX, on the other hand, is all about building a positive relationship with your customers through every interaction they have with your brand.

So, whether you're a small business trying to scale or a large corporation looking to stay ahead of the game, investing in a well-designed UX and CX is essential. And don't forget, an excellent place to start is our UX Audit. This is where you’ll get expert insights on how to create a customer-centric website that operates without friction and is focused on making more sales for your business.