Customer Experience is key to ongoing brand loyalty as well as entering new market segments and winning new clientele. This has long existed even before the advent of digitization.
Advertising, marketing, customer outreach, the overall customer interaction and experience with a brand are all part of the overall CX package. With the heavy digitization in the last decade, we all know the importance User Experience (UX) has gained in ensuring a truly compelling experience for the end user. Where does user experience fit in the overall customer experience umbrella? Here’s a good post that talks about this in detail and put simply, user experience is an important subset of the customer experience portfolio. A bad CX with a good UX, still results in overall negative CX. Similarly, a good CX with a bad UX, still results in a bad CX. To give an example here, last summer, I had my first experience with Qatar Airways. We were flying business class to Boston from Bangalore. As a family, we were extremely happy with customer experience. Whether it was the booking process, the flight prices, the inflight experience, the quality of the aircraft, the inflight service, entertainment, food – it was all a superlative experience in all. Obviously, there were pieces of user experience also involved here, with the digital connects we had during the booking process. Post the trip, I wanted to get my miles added; for my daughter who is less than 12 years and for my parents who have a One World alliance membership with British Airways, I wanted to create an overall Qatar family account, so the pooled in miles become transferable.
My nightmares had just started. I first attempted to create the account online on their digital platform and to my surprise, the file upload feature was not working. Since this was a very basic issue, I was confident that Qatar customer support team would be able to resolve this for me. There was no phone number to reach out to them. All customer support was via email. Although they were responsive on email, the responses did not help – it was a stereotyped set of responses. I provided them all the attachments to create the account, but the only way to do this, was for me upload online and this is the feature that was broken. No one on the support team had to authority to upload files on behalf of a user. This interaction kept going for almost a month, leaving a very frustrated experience overall. After a certain point I stopped trying as I knew the timeline for me to create a family account and add my daughter’s miles within “x” number of days of our travel, had already expired. This one bad user experience issue, brought down the entire superlative customer experience I had, all along. In today’s world of sophisticated digital transformation, I am still unable to fathom how an issue such as a failure in file upload, has gone unattended as part of their testing digital platforms.
I took this example, so it also clarifies the difference between CX and UX, in addition to what the article above outlines. The testing teams today, are lending themselves to provide not just the digital UX testing but also the overall CX testing including analysing customer calls, field testing etc. and a lot of sophisticated technologies including AI and ML are playing a significant role here. As more solutions are fully automated and digitization revolution continues, a new focus will emerge on CX testing as a stand-alone offering.