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User Experience in the Age of the Customer


New technologies and human behaviors are shifting the business landscape and changing the focus of organizations from a problem-solving approach to a customer experience orientation.


Most companies excel in specific interactions with customers. They might be hotline heroes or service call ninjas; their websites might be both beautiful and easy to navigate… but many companies continue to pay too little attention to their customers’ overall experience with their brand.

When companies make customer experience their priority, they’re rewarded with enhanced customer and employee satisfaction, increased revenues, reduced costs, and improved collaboration across their organizations.

UX & CX: User Experience and Customer Experience

In a nutshell, UX focuses on the design and development of digital journeys, while CX covers the multi-channel customer journey, whether off-line or online. In UX design, attractiveness, intuitiveness, interactivity, and usability are parts of a whole designed to streamline tasks, improve productivity and increase user satisfaction. But as the importance of customer satisfaction increases, the boundaries of UX are becoming indissociable with those of CX.

Immensely successful companies like Apple, Disney, and Starbucks were founded on the principles of CX: giving people what they want, from products and services to a wonderful experience at every touchpoint along the customer journey. And they know full well that if they don’t deliver – if people are dissatisfied at any point during their experience with their brands – they’ll hear about it in very public ways. Over the past few years, social media has shifted the balance of power from corporations to people. The moral of the overall story being that today, a focus on the customer matters more than any other strategic imperative.

The Roles of UX and CX in Collaboration Technology

Service providers are no exception to the growing customer-centric approach in business. While it’s obvious that hotels and restaurants can’t succeed without guaranteeing a great customer experience, it may seem less crucial for service providers to do the same; but consistency of service is critical to all organizations. Flavio Martins of DigiCert explains it well, saying that “if the customer cannot come to expect an exceptional experience, similar to the one he or she experienced last time, they may be likely to question why they do business with your organization.”

In the collaborative technology arena, a great experience means that launching or participating in a video, audio or web conference should be easy as placing a phone call or sending a text message. When it comes to the user experience, complexity is not merely a barrier to adoption; it’s a veritable stone wall. A simple rule of thumb is to remember that consistency is king – whether it’s a question of interface designs or customer service.

How a Great Customer Experiences can Increase Profitability

1. Happy customers are profitable customers: Companies that give their customers wonderful experiences earn more money because customers are loyal and engaged and simply cannot live without their products and services. And they’re willing to pay more for them. Not convinced? Think “iPhone”.

2. Customers share their great experiences with the world: “The firm that has delighted customers also has the advantage of an unpaid marketing department. Its customers are delighted to sing its praises to friends and colleagues: the firm has only to sit back and watch!” And remember: customers also share their bad experiences with the world!

3. Poor customer experiences drive away business: A 2013 study by Zendesk quantified the impact of poor service experiences on B2B customers, finding that 66 percent stopped buying after a single bad customer service interaction!

The upshot is that UX and CX are essential both inside and outside your enterprise, to not only meet but surpass all your users’ needs and expectations. So listen to what your users are saying, ask for customer feedback, and implement their best ideas. Because your reputation – and future – are in their hands.

About the author

Frederic Athenosy is Arkadin's VP of Customer Operations, leading a team of 300+ responsible for assuring the company's signature high-quality support around the world. He works at a strategic level to enhance the operational and financial aspects of Arkadin's service quality and efficiency. In addition to 15 years of experience in CSP, online and software technologies, Frederic also has an educational background in Finance. In a day-to-day role, his aim is to provide continual innovation by combining technology and service, and by harnessing the diversity of his global Operations team that is located in 32 countries. Outside of the office, Frederic is a music enthusiast and die-hard sports fan.

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