The Five Principles of Customer Experience

Jaythan Elam

4 min read

Jul 9, 2021

The Five Principles of Customer Experience

We’ve discussed the importance of Customer Experience before. Customer experience encapsulates every interaction between your company and them—online, in-person, and across platforms. From the initial digital customer journey and customer support to their eventual success and satisfaction. At this point, offering a great customer experience as a service is vital to helping your company stand out from the rest, especially in the digital space. There are five principles of Customer Experience to keep in mind. 

The Five Principles of Customer Experience

  1. Lead With Questions and Listen
  2. Pair Your Data With Context
  3. Work Towards Continuous Improvement
  4. Build for Humans
  5. Keep Your Business Goals in Mind

From the outside looking in, Customer Experience might seem like a daunting task to get started on. To help make it a bit more approachable, let’s take a deeper look at five of the basic principles of customer experience through the lens of a digital product.   

1. Lead With Questions 

Two of the most important elements of Customer Experience are asking questions and listening. See, the main reason Customer Experience as a service exists at all is to work towards the best product that your customers want and need. Remaining receptive to feedback and keeping the customer needs top of mind at all times ensures your product goals are aligned with theirs. Basically, Customer Experience helps you find the intersection of what you think and what actually is. Asking “why” is vital. 

In practice, that means user and stakeholder interviews where you dig into what parts of your digital product are working and what parts could use some help. It’s also putting your app through a host of tech assessments, and just some good old-fashioned observation. 

2. Pair Your Data With Context

The great thing about interviews and tech assessment is that you’ll end up with a lot of information about a lot of different aspects of your digital product. The downside? You’ll end up with a lot of information about a lot of different aspects of your digital product.

See, data for the sake of data is pretty much useless. Sure, you might be able to formulate insights, chart a trend here or see a pattern there, but without putting some context to match against that data, you’ll be lost. 

In the case of a digital product, the context you’ll need will largely revolve around your users’ interactions as well as how they experience your app.  For example, overlaying the expected path a user would take to fill out a form with the actual path they end up using. In comparing your expectations with your users’ reality, you’ll have a better understanding of how to improve things. 

3. Work Towards Continuous Improvement 

We’ve previously touched on what’s known as the critical feedback loop—or tapping into your customers’ feedback and expectations for your app and baking that into your future plans. Basically, it’s the idea of continuous improvement. 

It goes something like this: you’ve listened to the feedback, added some context to it, and now you’re implementing new features and functionality. Your users are thrilled! Mostly. So, you listen to feedback, add context…you get the idea, right? 

The ideal end result is an app that is constantly evolving to meet the needs of your users and provide them with the experience they want and need. The best part? You’ll get happy users and a fantastic app. 

4. Build for Humans

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business of Customer Experience and app development as a whole and forget that we’re building things for actual human beings. So while this last point is a bit abstract, it’s one of the most important principles of Customer Experience, and, to be honest, of doing business as a whole. So what do we mean by “build for humans”? 

Perhaps the best way to think of it is to bring as much empathy to each and every portion of your project. Put yourself in your users’ place, imagine how they see your app and the changes you’d most like to see in that case. Try and identify pain points potential customers might experience—and how you might be able to solve or work around them. 

And, perhaps most importantly, remember that at the end of the day your digital product will be its best when the majority of people enjoy using it. Remaining customer and user-focused will allow you to continuously build products that will both fulfill a need and offer a great customer experience.

5. Keep Your Business Goals in Mind

While Customer Experience is largely focused on the, well, customer, it’s also important to make sure that you’re hitting your business goals. These aren’t at all mutually exclusive, however. The good news is that ensuring your users have the best experience possible often leads to hitting your internal goals. 

The key here is to set specific goals from the start and keep an eye on them throughout the process, knowing that those goals might shift as the project goes on. It’s a balancing act between what is best for the user and what is best for your business. And that line can often be found by investing in a Customer Experience engagement.  

Turning Principles Into Practice

Now that you’ve got these customer expereience principles in mind, you might be wondering just how to get started. Keep reading about the four things to look for in a customer experience agency or reach out today! We’ve got a team of Customer Experience experts ready to take a deep dive into your digital product and help you walk that line between being user-focused and keeping a laser focus on your company’s goals. Ready to get started?

Angie Terrell

Reviewer Big Nerd Ranch

Angie joined BNR in 2014 as a senior UX/UI designer. Just over a year later she became director of design and instruction leading a team of user experience and interface designers. All told, Angie has over 15 years of experience designing a wide array of user experiences

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