Ever feel like you are not one of the cool kids and need a decoder ring or Google translator to understand all the terms we hear and read about in this digital age?  Well, you’re not alone. However, the terms DX, UX, and CX will continue to reshape our personal and professional lives, so it is important we understand what they mean and how they are related.

DX — Digital Transformation

Digital transformation is the integration of technology into every aspect of a business, improving how it operates and delivers value to customers. A digital transformation strategy must consider market demand, customer behavior, technology innovations, the economy and regulatory laws. Successful execution of this transformation strategy delivers a digital experience embraced by both customers and employees and separates winners from losers in every market. There is a misconception that technology is the most important aspect of digital transformation; however, as organizations embark on this journey they quickly realize people are equally important. Technology doesn’t necessarily make a business or process better — it is how people use and embrace that technology.

UX — User Experience

User experience is how we feel when interacting with a company or product, although most people immediately think about that interaction as being through technology. The term user experience is often used when talking about a web application, smartphone, desktop software or a website. The goal is a positive experience that enhances customer satisfaction, as well as creates brand loyalty and recognition. A great user experience cannot be delivered without understanding the customer, which is why developing user personas is necessary. When creating personas, we need to understand user goals, challenges and their work environment. If you notice, I didn’t say technology because like digital transformation, user experience is not all about technology. A positive user experience can only be achieved when we enable a user to do what they are trying to do in a way that is efficient and fits their environmentThis is why every product or service must consider the use of smartphones and internet-enabled devices, as that is very often the portal used to interact with a company.

CX — Customer Experience

Customer experience is the customer’s perception of how an organization treats them. A successful CX improves customer satisfaction, increases customer retention and creates opportunities to cross-sell and upsell. A study from Walker indicates 86 percent of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience. It is easy to see why the customer experience is so important to businesses, because it can positively impact bottom line revenue. Everything a company does contributes to the customer experience — marketing, the sales process, customer care, leadership and how employees are treated. As society and technology change, new factors have emerged that also impact customer perceptions — data privacy, gender and race equality, charitable contributions and environmental sustainability. Customer experience is becoming the leading brand differentiator and the way companies compete for market share. Price and product are quickly slipping into second place as brand differentiators.

DX, UX and CX are all intertwined and have one thing in common — people. Digital transformation is forcing business to change how they operate to be more customer-centric, agile and innovative. It is as much of a cultural and organizational change as it is technological change. The user experience seeks to improve the usability and satisfaction that occurs when the customer and product or service interact. A desired outcome of digital transformation is to improve the user experience. The customer experience is a DX strategy driver and requires a great UX. If we don’t like the customer experience or perceive a company negatively, there is no brand loyalty. Keep in mind customers are both internal and external so when the customer is an employee the customer experience influences employee engagement and retention.

Maybe we don’t all need to understand all the new terms and buzzwords. Organizations that listen to the customer and put people first will ultimately be the most successful. We want to work for and do business with these companies. We live in a data-driven society, so I’m not downplaying the importance of technology. However, in this digital era change is constant. Therefore, technology must continually evolve to respond to the way people work, play and think or it quickly becomes obsolete.

BJ Johnson
BJ Johnson

is Sr. Solutions Specialist at Access Information Management.