Tag Archives: CX

PX > CX > UX = #usable + #feels_fast + #was_emotive <-- the battle for business supremacy

Over the last few years I have become inspired or perhaps possessed with a certain awe about how touch interfaces, Mobile, Cloud and Social have converged to change the focus of most successful organizations from delivering usable products to delivering meaningful and pleasurable experiences worth sharing. Digital experience influences more and more of our business landscape from how customers find us, to how they learn about and perceive our reputation, to their on-boarding experience. It’s the experience to date (hey I just made up a new term ETD), the sum of the whole experience delivered to the PEOPLE who are our users, that drives this.

Delivering experiences that people feel good about, find memorable and want to share is the next battle for business supremacy.

I’ve suggested previously, because our users are people, and understanding the customer journey and how to deliver amazing experiences starts with people, this should not be the practice of customer experience (CX) but rather people experience (PX). Further, if we are focussing for today (and we are) on digital experiences then we are really talking about user experience (UX).

I would suggest to you that this equation holds true:

PX > CX > UX = #usable + #feels_fast + #was_emotive

Of course, this is rooted in the fact that software systems are now systems of engagement and not just systems of record. We count on our software systems to help improve our reputation with our customers and our software systems to help our employees improve our reputation with customers. Every software system built ultimately has an impact on People Experience. And I want to emphasize how important it is that even our internal systems provide pleasurable experiences to employees. Because happy employees make for happy customers.

Aberdeen Research interpretation of Andrew's CX hierarchy

Aberdeen Research interpretation of Andrew’s CX hierarchy

This concept is borrowed from a slideshare (slide 15) by Steven Anderson in 2006 and the clarified graphic is courtesy of Aberdeen Research.

They are both a refinement of some previous research from Carnegie Mellon on human computer interfaces in the early 90s.

This is what we all should be striving for in the software systems that drive our interactions with customers and prospects. And also the software systems that support real-world interactions that support our employees or inventory or return process. What does this refined CX pyramid look like to you? Does it remind you of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Take a look.


Just like with Maslow’s Hierarchy the basic needs and basic tasks at the bottom are much easier to achieve than the needs at the top like self-actualization. And yet, that is what is required of everyone involved in designing customer experiences now.

How can we build applications that create pleasurable experiences? By understanding the PEOPLE who will be using them. That’s probably a lot easier than self-actualizing.

Understand the people who are your users and do more than help them get it done – strive for delight. Think about those smaller parts of the interaction that don’t require building the starship enterprise. The Kano model is a good strategy here. Where could you introduce parts of the interaction that are different and appealing?

Let’s look at one ingenious example in the Travel aggregation space – Hipmunk.com. Search for any flight…go ahead. Notice that cute little button in the sort bar that says sort by “agony.” How can that not make you smile if you’ve every travelled through airports?

What appealing little capabilities are you adding to your UX to help delight people?


Competitive Website Benchmarking with Sitespeed.io – insurance example

I couldn’t resist spending a little more time with Sitepeed.io, over the weekend, mostly because I am smitten by the power of the free and open source tools that are available to measure Web performance, availability and optimization. One of the things I mentioned in my first post about using Sitespeed.io was that this was definitely something you should use to compare and benchmark your Web site against top competitors.

If in the digital world, if customer experience (CX) = user experience (UX) = #feelsfast + #usability, and differences of a quarter to one-half  a second have significant impacts on loyalty, then NOT using a tool like this to understand your competitive situation is…well…er…irresponsible.

I took 5 of the largest insurers and ran a little test of their home pages as an example. Click to review the sitespeed.io benchmark of top insurer’s Website home pages. I ran this little test on Sunday morning.

The usage and presentation of the results from Sitespeed.io are pretty technically oriented.  Still, if sifted through there is a lot of information here customer experience ought to be reviewing regularly.

Who in your organization owns user experience?



Making Sense of Customer Experience (CX) , User Experience (UX) and Application Performance Management (APM)

One thing I have always been a little nit-picky about is clarity of communication. The words customer experience, user experience and application performance are used in so much marketing and promotional language that it can be easy to lose site of what those terms actually mean.

Customer experience, often abbreviated as CX, is a customer’s perception of their entire relationship with your organization. It’s their memory and emotional assessment of the history of each and every touchpoint they have had over the duration of your engagement together. CX can also refer to a single interaction when thinking more granularly.

Looking at it from the organizational perspective, CX is the planning, delivery and management of every aspect of each individual customer journey in support of customer behaviors such as discovery, evaluation, purchase, post-purchase evaluation, and experience sharing.

Who owns the customer experience in your organization?

User experience, often abbreviated as UX, is a subset of CX. It is the customer’s perception of their entire digital relationship with your organization. It is the sum of their feelings about the history of their online interactions with you through the web, smartphone app, and social media. From an organizational perspective, UX also focusses on designing and managing the digital touch points , or perhaps just influencing with regards to social media.

Digital is increasingly paramount and cannot be separated from your business, brand and CX strategies.

Why are CX and UX so important now?

Because businesses sell products and services but people buy experiences! Because the features and benefits of the products and services you sell can be commoditized, delivering memorable experiences worth sharing cannot. CX and UX are the moat that you build and use to defend your market position, take on new markets, or create entirely new ways of delivering the experiences people desire.

Perhaps it shouldn’t be called CX or UX but rather PX for people experience!

So where does application performance management (APM) fit in? It is a big part of managing the digital experience and supporting most of the non-digital experiences people have with businesses. APM is the monitoring and management of software application for availability and performance. The job of APM is to identify application problems and support quick diagnoses so expected services levels can be maintained.

Of course, software applications directly support and influence most digital journeys. But have you thought about how they indirectly influence many brick and mortar or supporting capabilities. If you talk to an employee at the customer service desk to ask if a product is in stock they are using a software application to look it up, and let’s not even get started on the complex supply chain and logistics involved to stock the shelves at any big box retailer.

APM are the monitoring and processes your organization has in place to ensure the systems that support the business and translating all those metrics into business value or PX.

I had a bit of an awakening as it relates to – can I use my new word ;) – PX, but that’s for another post. That sounds like my next job – CPXO – Chief People Experience Officer!


Why the APM Imperative? Because User Experience is the Business

In plain english, application performance management (APM) is what we do to ensure applications users depend on are working well and fast to support the business.

Monitoring tools capture and bring together information that measures the end-user experience, business results, and performance of the underlying software and hardware. These metrics allows all stakeholders to see when important digital customer touchpoints are not serving users and the business well. They also help development and operations people quickly identify, diagnose, and resolve issues.

Business results are directly related to customer experience (CX) and as more and more customer experiences migrate to digital channels it will be incumbent upon the business stakeholders to take ownership of user experience (UX) partly through the practice of APM.

APM is becoming as much about managing the business as managing technology.

As important as using APM to manage user experience and business results has become, research shows almost 60% of organizations have yet to adopt formal application management platforms and processes.

Further, the increasing complexity of today’s application environments – Cloud, Mobile, virtualization, SaaS – means more data need to be collected, analyzed, integrated and visualized with a higher level of granularity so the business can operate in real-time and respond effectively when things go wrong.  No one is immune from “stuff happens” no matter how good operational practices may be.

Gartner group has been working on refining and formalizing the definition of what is required in an APM platform and has recently published the 2013 Magic Quadrant for APM. You can get a copy of that for yourself if you are a Gartner client or courtesy of AppDyamics here.

There are only 13 vendors who made Gartner’s exclusive list this year, but there are 100s of solutions out there that can help your organization more effectively manage application performance, user experience (UX) and the business results derived from those digital interactions.

I’ll be sharing more about free and open source tools too.

Check out all this great stuff being shared by Etsy as open source.

So what are you waiting for?