CX vs. UX

Customer Experience

UX Design

CX Strategy

CX vs. UX: The Differences Between Them

Discover the key differences between Customer Experience (CX) and User Experience (UX), and learn how each impacts your business.

User experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) are two terms that are often used interchangeably, leading to confusion among many professionals and businesses. While both UX and CX are essential components of creating successful products and services, they have distinct differences that set them apart. In this article, we will explore: 

  • UX vs. CX
  • Notable differences between UX and CX
  • Notable similarities between UX and CX
  • Resources to learn about both 

Let’s help you better understand these crucial concepts and how they contribute to overall customer satisfaction.

UX vs. CX

Before delving into the differences, it's crucial to establish a clear definition of UX and CX. User experience (UX) focuses on the interactions and overall experience users have with a specific product or service. It encompasses factors such as usability, accessibility, and user satisfaction, intending to optimize the user's journey and ensure a seamless experience.

On the other hand, customer experience (CX) refers to the sum of all customer interactions with a brand across various touchpoints and channels. CX takes a broader perspective, encompassing interactions beyond a single product or service and emphasizing the emotional connection and overall perception of the brand.

Ten Notable Differences Between UX and CX

  1. Scope of Focus
  • Customer Experience (CX) encompasses the entire journey of a customer with a brand, from the initial awareness and consideration stages through the purchase process and beyond. CX takes a comprehensive approach, considering all touchpoints and interactions with the brand, both digital and physical. It focuses on the customer's emotions, perceptions, and overall satisfaction throughout their entire lifecycle with the brand.
  • User Experience (UX), on the other hand, is concerned specifically with the experience users have while interacting with a product or service. It primarily focuses on digital interfaces such as websites, mobile apps, software, and other interactive systems. UX designers concentrate on optimizing the usability, accessibility, and overall satisfaction of the product's users during their interactions.
  1. Users vs. Customers
  • Customer Experience (CX) revolves around all individuals interacting with the brand, encompassing potential, current, and past customers. CX aims to understand and improve the holistic relationship between the customer and the brand throughout their lifetime. This includes direct interactions with the product and indirect interactions with customer support, marketing campaigns, packaging, and other aspects of the brand's ecosystem.
  • User Experience (UX) is more narrowly focused on the end-users of a specific product or service. It aims to optimize user interactions with the product's interface and focuses on making it easy, efficient, and enjoyable for users to achieve their goals and complete tasks.
  1. Timeframe
  • Customer Experience (CX) takes a broader and long-term perspective, aiming to create lasting positive impressions and customer loyalty over time. CX initiatives often focus on building relationships beyond individual transactions, fostering brand loyalty and advocacy.
  • User Experience (UX) often concentrates on immediate interactions and short-term goals. While UX designers aim to create a positive experience during each user interaction, their primary focus is on the product's usability and effectiveness in fulfilling users' immediate needs.
  1.  Touchpoint Variety
  • Customer Experience (CX) considers various touchpoints throughout the customer journey. These touchpoints include direct interactions with the product, such as using a website or app, and indirect interactions, such as engaging with customer support, receiving promotional emails, or visiting a physical store. All these touchpoints contribute to the overall perception of the brand.
  • User Experience (UX) primarily concentrates on the direct interactions between users and the product's interface. It encompasses layout, navigation, visual design, interaction design, and information architecture. While UX designers may consider some external touchpoints, their primary focus is on the product's usability and user satisfaction.
  1. Emotional vs. Functional
  • Customer Experience (CX) addresses the emotional aspects of the customer journey. It aims to create positive emotions, build trust, and forge emotional connections with the brand. CX designers often focus on understanding and influencing customers' perceptions, feelings, and emotions throughout their interactions with the brand.
  • User Experience (UX) is primarily concerned with the functional aspects of interaction. While positive emotions and aesthetics are considered in UX design, the primary focus is ensuring the product is easy to use, efficient, and satisfies users' functional needs.
  1. Metrics and Success Indicators
  • Customer Experience (CX) success is often measured through metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS), customer satisfaction (CSAT), customer retention rates, customer churn, and customer lifetime value. These metrics provide insights into how customers perceive and engage with the brand over time.
  • User Experience (UX) success is measured through usability tests, user satisfaction surveys, task completion rates, conversion rates, and other UX-specific metrics. These metrics help designers understand how users interact with the product and identify areas for improvement.
  1. Involvement of Stakeholders
  • Customer Experience (CX) initiatives often involve various stakeholders across different departments in a company, such as marketing, sales, customer support, product development, and executive leadership. All these stakeholders must be aligned to deliver a consistent and exceptional customer experience for CX success.
  • User Experience (UX) involves design and development teams, product managers, and others responsible for creating the product. The focus of UX design is to ensure that the product meets the needs of its users and aligns with the overall business objectives.
  1. Impact of External Factors
  • Customer Experience (CX) can be influenced by external factors such as competitors, market trends, economic conditions, cultural differences, and the brand's overall reputation. CX designers must consider these external elements while crafting strategies to differentiate and enhance the brand's customer experience.
  • User Experience (UX) is more influenced by internal design decisions and choices during product development. While some external factors can indirectly impact UX (e.g., technological limitations or changing user behaviors), UX designers primarily focus on designing the product to meet users' needs and preferences.
  1. Focus on Retention vs. Acquisition
  • Customer Experience (CX) often emphasizes customer retention, loyalty, and advocacy to build lasting relationships and secure repeat business. A positive customer experience can increase customer lifetime value and generate positive word-of-mouth referrals, benefiting acquisition and retention efforts.
  • User Experience (UX) can contribute to both customer retention (by providing a positive experience that encourages users to continue using the product) and customer acquisition (by attracting new users through good word-of-mouth and positive online reviews).
  1. Scale and Complexity
  • Customer Experience (CX) initiatives can often be complex and require coordination across different departments and business units. For large organizations with diverse customer bases, managing and delivering a consistent CX across various touchpoints can be challenging but essential for long-term success.
  • User Experience (UX) efforts can vary in scale, from smaller projects focused on individual products or features to broader design guidelines and principles for an entire product suite. While the scope of UX design may differ based on the product complexity and the organization's size, the focus remains on improving the usability and user satisfaction of the product.

Ten Notable Similarities Between UX and CX

  1. User-centered approach

Both UX and CX share the goal of placing the user or customer at the center of the design and decision-making process.

  1. Research and data-driven

Both disciplines rely on research, data, and user feedback to inform their design decisions and continuously improve the experience.

  1. Iterative process

UX and CX both embrace an iterative approach, where designs and experiences are tested, refined, and optimized over time.

  1. Collaboration

Both UX and CX require cross-functional collaboration, involving teams from various departments to ensure a seamless experience across touchpoints.

  1. Emotional impact

Both disciplines recognize the importance of emotions in shaping the user's or customer's perception and satisfaction.

  1. Accessibility

UX and CX both emphasize the importance of accessibility, ensuring that products and services are usable and inclusive for all users and customers.

  1. Usability

Both UX and CX strive to create intuitive, user-friendly experiences that are easy to navigate and understand.

  1. Empathy

Both disciplines value empathy, aiming to understand the needs, expectations, and pain points of users or customers.

  1. Continuous improvement

UX and CX both promote a culture of continuous improvement, seeking to refine and enhance the experience based on user feedback and evolving market trends.

  1. Customer satisfaction

Ultimately, both UX and CX aim to create exceptional experiences that lead to high levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Where to learn more?

There are multiple industry-recognized courses and certificates in UX design and CX design available online.  Here are some of our favorites: 


While UX and CX are related disciplines that share some common ground, they have distinct differences in terms of scope, focus, and metrics. Understanding these differences is crucial for organizations looking to optimize their products, services, and overall customer experience.

By prioritizing both UX and CX, businesses can create seamless, enjoyable, and memorable experiences that foster customer loyalty, drive revenue growth, and differentiate themselves in today's competitive landscape.

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