Apparently CX is ‘so hot’ right now…while CS was the darling of 2017… and by the end of 2018 CC may be on everyone’s lips…or not. So what’s in a name? Is there a difference and how do they fit? Each of these terms are worthy in their own right and have many interpretations, applications and measures.

Customer Experience (CX) has many definitions. For the sake of this article let’s use Wikipedia “…customer experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship.” This includes analysing and optimising the customer journey, the touchpoints and the environments – all about how the customer experiences our product/service/whatever and that their expectations have been met (and when lucky – exceeded!).

Customer Success (CS) according to Wikipedia has as its main goal “to make the customer as successful as possible, which in turn, improves customer lifetime value for the vendor.” Exactly what success looks like will of course be different for each customer depending on the nature of the business. Customer service (CS)…  “is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase”. What we commonly think of as the front line/support/direct interaction with the customer.

Interestingly Wikipedia redirects any search for Customer Centricity (CC) to Customer Satisfaction. However cite “Customer centricity is not just about offering great customer service, it means offering a great experience from the awareness stage, through the purchasing process and finally through the post-purchase process. It’s a strategy that’s based on putting your customer first, and at the core of your business”.

It’s the level of commitment that an organisation makes to you the customer – throughout every single part of their operation so that every single cog in the wheel is working cohesively to give you the customer the best experience so you won’t look anywhere else. What matters in the end is whether you as the customer/client/consumer are getting what you needed (even if you weren’t sure it was what you wanted!), did you enjoy the experience and would you use that business/service again? After all – any business is only as good as its last sale. In these heady days of artificial intelligence, virtual reality, social media and all things online, let us not lose sight of the human being at the heart of it all.

So what’s in a name? There’s a reason customer is the first word – as the customer has the last word. They decide if they will buy your product/service, they decide if they will use your business again, and they decide whether they will refer you to others. Bottom line – the customer is king (and queen).