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Customer Experience (CX) made simple

Blog
7th November 2019

Author: Ewan McKay,

Marketing and Communications Manager, Webhelp

CX, HX, customer journeys and touchpoints…. The contact centre industry is awash with abbreviations and buzzwords, but for the outsider, it can be a real struggle to understand just what it all means. Here Webhelp Marketing and Communications Manager, Ewan McKay, shares some insight into the jargon.

What is CX?

Simply put, CX is short for customer experience. This means it covers every single interaction that a person experiences whilst in contact with a company. This is so incredibly important to business, because it is central to developing a favourable opinion of a company and or product, in turn increasing sales and recommendations.

CX is a neutral term, it can be brilliant, or it can be terrible! The phrase alone is no implication of quality!

It describes the process companies use to connect with people… It can happen in-store, online, be personalised or over the telephone. Customer experience can be person-to-person, automated or in-depth. What’s more, new methods like Amazon’s fully automated Go stores and next level chatbots are being developed every year.

Customer journeys – the road to success

The customer journey is usually described as the complete sum of experiences that customers travel through when interacting with a company and brand.

In plain terms, a customer journey is just the road map a customer takes to an action point (usually a purchase). It can also identify the point at which people lose interest or what brings them back to the brand – which is sometimes more important in business.

If a customer journey is a winding road, then Customer Experience is the interactions along the way, which connect with people and keep them on the right route.

It can be can be both a physical or digital journey, as simple as walking to a shop and browsing a website or as complicated as spending hours online looking for that perfect guitar!

Touchpoints?

Touchpoints are the term used for the most influential points along the customer journey.

To demonstrate, imagine you are flicking though a magazine and a striking car advertisement catches your eye. Later that night you pick up your phone and start creating your dream car in the company app, changing colours, trims and interiors to suit your taste. Unsurprisingly the next day your own car seems pretty dowdy in comparison, so you decide to pop by the showroom to take a look in person.

You find out the price and take a test drive, then after dinner, with a cuppa in hand you check out the reviews and make sure you are paying market rate for your vehicle, and then you chat to the contact centre to book an appointment for the next day. Then – and only then – do you decide to make a purchase, which you do, face-to-face at the dealership.

In this case, the touchpoints would be the magazine advert, the company app, the car showroom, review and cost comparison websites, contact centre and dealership.

Touchpoints can vary in both platforms and messaging. These can range from carefully crafted brand websites to blogs, digital adverts, e-commerce portals, customer service contacts and social media interactions. In fact, in this rapidly expanding arena, the only thing that they actually have in common is the ability to influence customers.

Okay, I understand CX now – but what the heck is HX?

A new term is now emerging in the contact centre industry – Human Experience (HX), which describes a people-first approach, which can be built in at every stage of the customer journey.

As Mark Guest, Managing Director Customer Solutions at Gobeyond Partners (a Webhelp company) explains:

“HX is about putting human experience at the heart of everything: taking an end-to-end view of the customer journey, leveraging digital technologies to augment human interactions. From customers and prospects to colleagues and clients, HX considers everyone who interacts with an organisation.

Because thinking more holistically holds the key to reinventing how a business operates for the better. It’s a better way of considering the overall customer journey. It’s a single-minded focus on how humans interact with an organisation.”

The road ahead…We don’t like buzzwords, neither do our clients – excellent customer experience is what we do at Webhelp, and we always aim to do this in a clear and transparent way.

Our services document the full brand pathway of a customer, the direction of travel, their stops along the way and the way it makes them feel. This, in turn, helps us to recognise that people are much more than statistics, profit margins and commodities, and in a very real way – we make sense of the data, and turn it into something human!

Our Disruptor Series takes a deeper dive into the issues facing the CX industry, including the impact of generational shifts and AI and AutomationContact Ewan McKay – ukmarketing@uk.webhelp.com for more details on our corporate events and check out Webhelp jobs for information on our current opportunities.


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