I asked a group of 40 people what their favourite mobile apps were. The responses varied and when I took a closer look, most were not anything related to apps with super-slick user experience (UX) design. They listed apps that they enjoyed using because of the whole experience; great content, data-driven recommendations, and everything they needed in one place.
So much is written about UX design in mobile app development and yes, it is one of the essential components of good mobile application design and it does contribute to user engagement. The UX is how a user interacts with and experiences a product, system or service. It includes a person’s perceptions of utility, ease of use, and efficiency.
Your business objective for building an app, however, is not to make it efficient and easy to use. Usually you’re trying to solve a business problem, a customer problem or a market problem. Ah yes, we’re talking about the reason you decided that you want to build a mobile app in the first place. This is always your North Star to follow and needs to weave a golden thread throughout your app development strategy.
Customer experience (CX) is the perception your customer has of their collective interactions with your business. When customers have a better experience, they’re less likely to churn and are more likely to seek a repeat of the great experience.
Your app is just a channel, a vehicle with which you can steer the customer journey to consideration, conversion and repeat usage. When you’re constantly tracking to understand customer behaviour, wants and needs, your app becomes integral to the CX.
TikTok is a prime example of great customer experience. Bytedance, the creators of TikTok, had a keen understanding that longform live videos are time consuming and unsuited to young people’s short attention span. To address this issue, they combined entertainment with shorter video formats, resulting in a highly engaging app. Bytedance also understood that young people are conscious about their looks and appearance. To cater to this demand, one of the earliest features of TikTok was the inclusion of beauty filters, allowing users to enhance their appearance while creating videos. With easy connectivity, discovery, and personalised recommendations, TikTok has become one of the most popular mobile apps in the world.
Another mobile app that exemplifies great CX is the banking app built by Discovery. Rather than building more clunk into its outdated app, the company decided to build a new banking app from the ground up, solving for the bank first and then expanding to other products. Discovery is slowly integrating other products into the banking product itself, making it a one-stop shop for all its customers’ needs. In this way the company streamlined the user experience, making it easy and convenient for customers to manage their finances and access their other products. As a result, the banking app has received widespread praise and gained popularity for its exceptional UX.
CX is the holistic perception of the experience that a customer has throughout their journey with your product or service. It recognises that customers no longer filter through a funnel from awareness to purchase. CX takes an outside-in approach, led by customer insight, voice of the customer, personas and journey maps.
Supporting the entire customer network and their experience, starts with knowing who your customers are and what motivates them. Customer personas are often talked about in marketing and product design, but they’re almost never done well.
Personas: Most large companies get by in spite of their poor understanding of customer personas. These are research-based archetypal (modelled) representations of who buyers are, what they’re trying to accomplish, what goals drive their behaviour, how they think, how they buy, and why they make buying decisions. In essence, personas are fictional representations of segments of buyers based on real data reflecting their behaviours. Their purpose is to put the people in charge of company decision-making in the shoes of the customer.
Journey Mapping: Through journey mapping, you will understand what the customer is going through and how to support them in having a better experience while achieving their goals and yours.
No two customers’ journeys are the same, so journey mapping involves drafting scenarios and eventualities for different scenarios. Pain points will be highlighted with recommended improvements. Positive experiences will be highlighted for points of conversion and loyalty.
So, where does your mobile app fit in the customer journey and how does it affect the CX? Ask yourself how you can:
Some practical Customer Experience moments to incorporate into your app include:
Creating memorable CX isn’t just about checking off boxes on a list. It’s about truly understanding your audience and designing a product that meets their needs, solves their problems, and exceeds their expectations. Our team includes strategists, UX designers, researchers, and innovators who are all dedicated to crafting products that are functional, beautiful, and create meaningful connections with the people who use them. So if you're looking for a partner who will approach your mobile development project with the same level of passion and dedication that you have for your own business, get in touch. Let’s create something memorable, together.