Customer Experience Design (CX). Why we need to understand Customer Touchpoints
Customer Experience Design (CX) is the practice of designing products and services with the focus on the quality and thoughtfulness of the user experience. Every touchpoint within the customer’s interaction with a product and service is designed to deliver experiences based on the brand’s promise.
To understand the importance of CX Design we need to look at ‘touchpoints’ which are the point of interaction between brands, businesses, products and customers.
A touchpoint is any interaction (including encounters where there is no physical interaction) that might alter the way that your customer feels about your product, brand, business or service.
An example of an encounter might be via Direct Marketing (if you send out a news magazine), it might be in the media (advertising), digital channels, online (on your website or indeed on someone else’s site), physically (at boat and trade shows, press events, etc.)
“Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” as Jonah Sachs, the famous entrepreneur and designer said.
Why We Need to Understand Touchpoints
If we want to improve interactions with our customers the key starting point is to understand what those interactions are and where they take place. Without that understanding it would be impossible to measure any improvements or indeed to see if changes made to those interactions were having a detrimental (rather than positive effect).
CX designers can design interactions, at least those within our control, and to be able to do so they will need to understand what need is driving the interaction and where and when the interaction takes place. This is clear in the differences in designing for desktop and mobile applications, for example, we know that there is a higher risk of a mobile user being distracted regularly whilst working on an application than there is for a desktop user. Thus interactions on mobile need to be recoverable (e.g. the user can return and pick up where they left off) more so than desktop interactions need to be.
So, what do customers expect from Touchpoints?
• Appropriate (e.g. that both the context of the interaction and the cultural tone of the interaction meet the needs of the customer or user)
• Relevant (e.g. that the function performed by the interaction meets the utility requirements of the customer or user)
• Meaningful (e.g. that the interaction was perceived as important or purposeful by the customer or user)
• Endearing (e.g. that the interaction created some form of bond with the user or customer for example through desirability, creating delight or a playful tone)
Following on from this process is Customer Journey Mapping …but that is another story!