CX Design: What It Is and Isn't

Alison Wyss
Content Marketing Manager

What is CX design? Discover what it is, the differences between CX vs. UX and customer service, and how to create a winning CX strategy.

As a business, it's highly important to create a great customer experience in order to build a killer brand (and keep those customers coming back for more). But it's not just about having friendly customer service or an easy-to-use website. To really shine, companies need a top-notch CX design that considers every interaction a customer has with their brand.

If you're wondering "What is CX design?" and are looking for a thorough answer, we've got you covered.

In this article, we’ll define what is CX design, and explore the differences between CX vs. UX. We’ll also discuss customer experience vs. customer service, and provide key insights to create a winning CX strategy.

What is CX design?

CX design is the process of creating a well-planned, well-designed customer experience that considers every interaction consumers have with a brand. This includes everything from your website and social media channels to your customer support and in-store experience.

At the heart of CX design is understanding customers and creating an experience that meets their needs at every step of the customer journey. This requires a deep understanding of your customers. Their needs, desires, preferences, pain points, etc. And, moreover, the ability to design and implement a cohesive strategy that delivers a consistent experience across all touchpoints and channels.

In the next section, we'll explore the difference between CX design and UX design, and why both are important for a great customer experience.

CX vs. UX

You might have noticed that in the last few years, UX has been getting a lot of buzz. Meanwhile, CX is a term that has only recently started to pop out —even though it’s been around for decades.  

While customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) may sound similar, they are two distinct concepts that serve different purposes. The main difference between the two is that CX refers to the overall experience a customer has with a brand, while UX refers to the experience a user has with a specific product or service.

In other words, UX focuses on the user's experience with a specific product or service and aims to optimize the experience of using it. Meanwhile, CX takes a broader approach, looking at every single touchpoint a customer has with a brand. This includes anything from browsing a website to contacting customer support.

Both CX and UX are important when it comes to creating a positive perception of a brand and increasing customer loyalty. However, they require different approaches to achieve their respective goals: UX designers may focus on creating a seamless and intuitive product. And, on the other hand, CX designers need to address the entire customer journey and ensure that every interaction with the brand is consistent.

Two colleagues shaking hands while designing a great CX design

Customer experience vs. Customer service.

Customer experience and customer service are often used interchangeably but actually refer to different aspects of the customer's journey.

So, you might be wondering about the differences between customer service and customer experience. Customer service is all about the support a customer gets when they have a question or a problem with a product or service. But customer experience is a much broader term. It covers every single interaction a customer has with a brand —from the first time they hear about it all the way through to any follow-up after they've made a purchase.

Customer service is an important part of the customer experience, but it is not the only factor. In fact, focusing solely on customer service can create a narrow view of the customer experience. This is because it only takes into account one aspect of the journey.

To truly create a positive customer experience, companies need to take a holistic approach that aims to make each interaction as enjoyable and smooth as possible. This can involve everything from creating an easy-to-use website to personalized follow-up emails after a purchase.

Customer experience strategy definition.

A customer experience strategy is a plan that defines how a company intends to provide superior customer experiences across all channels and touchpoints. Overall, it involves understanding customer needs and behaviors, mapping out their journey, and designing solutions to meet those needs.  

A good customer experience strategy should focus on building a sustainable relationship between the business and its customers. That means figuring out what really makes your customers happy and loyal and then designing solutions that will keep them coming back for more.

But it's not just about the solutions —it's also about creating a culture where everyone on the team is committed to making sure every customer has an amazing experience. Simply put, it's all about putting the customer at the front and center.

In case you're looking to create a winning CX strategy, our experts have put together a handy list of key steps that any brand can follow to make sure they're on the right track. Here they are:

  1. Identify your ICPs: It’s crucial to identify your target customers and their specific needs and expectations. This step requires carrying out market research, customer surveys, analyzing customer feedback, and defining your ideal customer profiles (ICPs).  
    Once you have these mapped out, be sure to put them to the test to ensure that they are correct. Identifying correctly your buyer personas will help you tackle their pain points, create high-quality content that speaks to them and, of course, create personalized experiences.
  2. Map the customer journey: Secondly, you need to map out the entire customer journey and identify the different touchpoints where customers interact with the business. This could include pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase touchpoints.
  3. Tailor your solutions: Consider tailoring your solutions so that they address the customer needs and pain points identified previously. This could involve implementing new processes and technologies or training employees on how to better serve customers.
  4. Measure and optimize: It's super important to measure and monitor the effectiveness of your new CX strategy frequently. Do this by setting up relevant metrics and KPIs to track customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
    This data can —and should be— used to make ongoing improvements to the strategy. This way, you'll ensure that it continues to meet the evolving needs of your customers.
  5. Go the extra mile: Going the extra mile in customer experience means providing exceptional experiences that exceed customers' expectations. One way to achieve this is by integrating a Customer Experience Management (CXM) platform into your CX design.
    A CXM platform is a software solution that helps companies manage and vastly improve their customer experiences. It can help you centralize and analyze customer data, personalize experiences, automate marketing tasks, and facilitate collaboration between teams.  

In summary, having a solid CX design strategy is critical if you want your business to really shine in a sea of competitors. But don't worry —if you follow the steps we've outlined above, you'll be well on your way to building long-term relationships with your customers. And the best part? That kind of loyalty and advocacy translates into increased revenue for your business.

Woman doing research to create a great CX design for her company


In the end, it all comes down to understanding your customers and delivering on their expectations. By putting yourself in their shoes and empathizing with their needs and pain points, you can create an experience that fosters loyalty and drives business growth.

So, whether you're a small startup or an enterprise, take the time to invest in your customer experience strategy and reap the rewards of customer loyalty, repeat business, and brand advocacy.

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