Customer Experience: An Ecosystem

A product is designed with the customer in mind. From the user interface to customer support, the user’s interests are paramount.

The user’s experience with a product is a life cycle. It begins with their initial exposure to the product that they do not yet own. It continues through their purchase, ownership, discussion with others, and eventually their need for support. Whether their support needs are due to their elevation to power user status, or their difficulties adopting the conventions of the product, customer support is part of the customer’s experience with the product.

They don’t think of support any differently than they think of product design.

And neither should you.

Corporate structure should reflect the mindset of the customer. It’s great that the UI team is collaborating with the implementation team under the umbrella of user experience. But it’s not enough. When a customer needs additional resources outside the scope of the users manual, or the intuitive design of the product, they shouldn’t have to change their perspective to interface with the company that produced the product.

There absolutely cannot be a disconnect between the support team and the product design team. It is all part of the user experience, and the user must never feel any more alienated by the support system than they do with the product itself.

Let’s look at Apple. They’ve nailed it. People keep calling the Apple Stores retail. But it’s far more than that. It’s an extension of Cupertino into the customer’s back yard. The Geniuses at the Genius Bar work mere inches away from the product. They stare at the user interface all day. In fact, the whole Apple Store feels like an Apple product. Even the packaging is part of the experience. Apple has created an environment around their products where merely unboxing products is exciting. That’s the kind of customer experience I’m talking about. Seamless integration between the user’s experience with their product, and their experience with the support staff. In the user’s mind, Apple is Apple. They buy an Apple product, it feels like an Apple product during use, and when they are getting support, it’s just another Apple product.

It’s just that simple. Manage your service experience like you manage your product experience. It’s all the same thing to the user.

Don’t just build insanely great products. Build insanely great customer experiences.


  1. Grrvin (^_^) says:

    First! Good summary. Can’t wait for more blog entries. I wish Apple would apply their “Customer Experience” to their iPhone dev site. Some of it is just horrendous. Oh well… give them time.

  2. Casey says:

    Your fanboyism is showing. But I agree. There’s a reason Apple is rated highest in computer customer service. I like the blog and I look forward to more article.

  3. forex robot says:

    Keep posting stuff like this i really like it.

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