User experience and customer experience are on the forefront of marketers’ minds and lips these days, and for good reason. Businesses who have successfully improved their UX and CX have been reaping the rewards; earning loyalty and growing revenue. But all the simultaneous hype has generated some confusion because, even though the two are closely related, they have fundamental differences that can be difficult to distinguish if you’re not a seasoned user experience recruiter or expert. Understanding those differences and making the most of them will mean the difference between success and failure on both fronts.
User Experience Staffing and Talent
UX refers to the usability of an interactive digital property. Most frequently that’s a web site: how good does it look? Does it perform as expected? Can visitors easily navigate it to find the information they want? Does it work seamlessly on all devices? However, that digital property can be other things as well; for instance, a self-check out machine at a grocery store, or a baggage check kiosk at the airport.
This discipline is critically important on its own. Modern consumers won’t hesitate to leave your site if it’s taking too long to load or doesn’t provide the information they expect. You have mere seconds to capture their attention, or risk losing potential conversions and sales. Consider:
- 88% of online consumers are less likely to return to a site after a bad site experience, according to eConsultancy
- 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site, according to Google
- 90% of users have stopped using an app due to poor performance, according to AppDynamics
UX can also have a huge impact on other critical aspects of a broader marketing strategy. For instance, exceptional UX usually leads to speedy page load times and other practices that enhance SEO. A poor UX in 2016 can make you a point of ridicule and damage your brand. And if the product itself is a digital property—a SaaS, an app, a video game, then UX can have a huge impact on its quality and value.
UX optimization is heavily influenced by creative design talent in terms of the layout of a page and how logically it flows and guides the user from one place to another. Digital properties that rely on a lot of physical interaction (for instance, an iPad app) are also dependent on a strong understanding of practical ergonomics. It also relies heavily on technical proficiency for performance optimization—web development, site structure, app coding, etc. Any hires you make to enhance UX should have skills related to several of these key pillars.
What Customer Experience Recruiters Look For
Customer experience encompasses UX and many other factors that influence and interact with consumers at every point of the customer journey. That includes everything from the first messages of an awareness ad campaign, the sales/purchase process, social engagement, the quality of the product itself, customer service, reengagement campaigns and everything in between.
At a time when a focus on the customer is absolutely critical and the most competitive businesses are the ones prioritizing consumers, CX should be on the top of every company’s mind. With unprecedented competition, your customers are rarely more than a click or phone call away from someone else. If you can’t deliver the experience they want, it’s never been easier for them to turn elsewhere.
- Customers with great customer experiences spend 140% more than customers who have poor experiences, according to Harvard Business Review
- Customer experience leaders can frequently see double-digit growth in stock performance, far outpacing laggards, according to 360Connext
- Businesses that prioritize investment into CX have better revenue growth and profits than companies who don’t, according to Economist Intelligence Unit Research
Because CX is so varied and influenced by so many parts of the business, most customer experience recruiters look for talent that’s well-rounded with a big-picture business mind. A strong fundamental basis in marketing and digital is a big help—but so is a cursory understanding of sales, customer service, IT and more. In some ways hiring a customer experience manager or even conducting a chief customer officer executive search is similar to how you might conduct a a product management executive search—looking for someone who can juggle a multitude of differing business demands to ultimately serve the customer.
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