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What to Know About Customer Experience (CX)


Someone rating customer service
Image: Looker_Studio -

Customer experience (CX) refers to all interactions customers have with an organization as well as their perceptions and feelings associated with that organization. McKinsey defines CX as “everything an organization does to deliver superior experiences, value, and growth for customers.”

The Customer Journey and CX

There are several components within the overall CX category, including:

  • Customer journey: A term for the stages a customer moves through when interacting with a brand. Often, these stages are mapped or flow-charted based on the anticipated or expected path(s) customers may take when engaging with a company.
  • Touchpoints: These are the points at which a customer interacts with a brand – e.g., advertisement, website, employee.
  • Customer engagement: This is the process of building relationships with customers at those touchpoints and across the journey.


Stages in the Customer Journey

Qualtrics identifies five stages in the customer journey: awareness, consideration, purchase, retention and advocacy. The basic idea is to make it as easy as possible for someone to become a customer, and then a loyal, repeat customer who also recommends your company to others. The following Qualtrics graphic breaks those five stages down even further.

Qualtrics Customer Journey
Source: Qualtrics

With AI tools, it becomes possible to “mine” much more data and detect patterns in how customers are progressing through those touchpoints and where they may drop out of their journey. Identifying those areas can help a company reduce that friction and perhaps retain a portion of those customers.


Measuring CX

Gartner identified five categories of CX metrics: customer satisfaction (CSAT), customer loyalty/retention/churn, customer willingness to advocate for the brand, quality of product, and employee engagement.

Within these various categories are various tools that can be used to measure, if not the entire CX, then individual touchpoints – which then need to be viewed holistically so the organization can get broader view of how effective its CX efforts are. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is the prominent metric for measuring how likely a customer is to recommend a brand. Contact center as a service (CCaaS) vendor Zendesk published this article on measuring CSAT. CRM provider Salesforce published this article on calculating customer churn rate. Harvard Business Review published this article on how to measure employee engagement.


The Future of CX

The future of CX lies in a central data platform that integrates all customer interactions across various touchpoints. This data can help empower employees and AI tools to personalize customer journeys and improve satisfaction.

The contact center is integral to this future because they handle, obviously, much of the direct interactions with customers. Traditionally, this was primarily phone calls, but today they manage chats, emails, social media, and more. And, increasingly, many of these interactions are self-service so the customer’s primary service/support experience is not with a human but with a chat-/voice-bot, a knowledge base – and sometimes those interactions are then handed off to live agents.

But as discussed above, CX is about more than just customer service and support. CX is about every touchpoint along the entire, end-to-end customer journey. So, enterprises need to unify their systems to provide a more complete picture of each customer. Empowered by customer data, employees can also make better decisions and collaborate across departments to address customer needs – which can help improve employee engagement.

This process of creating a unified CX data platform helps provide a foundation for (generative) AI-powered solutions. And fueled by quality data, these AI systems can better personalize interactions and streamline operations across the customer journey and thus deliver exceptional customer experiences.

Check out the following articles for insights on CX trends, best practices and recommendations.


Eight Steps to Shape CX Roadmap

An overwhelming array of AI possibilities for CX and contact centers makes a structured evaluation approach imperative. Use this one as your starting point.


The Rise of the CX Data Platform

CX software built historically around the queuing, routing, and handling of interactions will evolve to place an open data platform at its core. It’s time to shift this perspective and consolidate CX data to enable AI as a set of capabilities that can be activated across the entire stack.


Fusing CX and EX Requires Unified Data

Companies are beginning to recognize the direct correlation between empowered employees equipped with real-time data and satisfied customers. This involves, but is not limited to, incorporating customer data into decision-making and establishing cross-functional teams and workflows that integrate data insights into strategic planning, product development, and customer service initiatives.


CX and Digital Engagement

The traditional role of the voice-based call center is changing and now just one piece of the CX puzzle. Contact centers surveyed by NTT in 2023 report an average of 8 interaction channels in use per organization. This includes a growing use of social media, mobile applications, chatbots, and WhatsApp. Overall, the ideal CX should be one that can start in either an assisted or self-service channel and move easily from one to another, with context.


Integrating UC and CC for CX

With integrated unified communications and contact center, agents can communicate and collaborate with knowledge workers in different parts of the organization to better help customers in real time.


Why AI Matters to CX Practitioners

Generative AI has been, and will likely continue to be, the main buzz phrase in CX. But it’s important to get your data ‘house’ in order before implementing Gen AI tools, and examine how customer data can help generative AI to identify specific pain points, understand satisfaction drivers, and strategically enhance overall CX.


Transforming CX with AI

CX transformation is the innovative application of new or existing technologies to improve the customer and/or agent experience to drive measurable business value. In 2023, 82.7% of companies completed, were in the process of completing, or were planning a CX transformation project. AI is serving as a catalyst for change. AI and automation will deliver tailored customer experiences that resonate deeply with individual preferences and behaviors, while AI-powered systems streamline operations by handling routine queries.


Using AI to Power CX: Acquisitions and Partnerships

  • Nextiva acquired Thrio: The UC and collaboration company adds AI-infused, native contact center to its platform, part of a move to offer customers a more holistic CXM solution.
  • Avaya Acquired Edify: The buy, which would bolster Avaya Experience Platform, signals a consolidation in the contact center market and a move toward improving CX outcomes.
  • Avaya partners Cognigy and Journey help Avaya customers deliver AI-powered CX.


Visual Interactions in CX

Video capabilities can help customers resolve their issues more quickly and with greater satisfaction – so contact centers should offer customers the choice of beginning their interactions that way. This second article concurs, arguing that visual tech can positively impact CX.