Bell curve approach to CX



  • Prioritizing extreme users may not be practical. When developing customer journeys, dExtreme user signatures alienate the main user base.
  • The bell curve approach will satisfy most consumers. Considering the majority of users and common outliers allows you to include a small number of customers without excessive drift.
  • UX tactics may not translate to CX. Extreme design may work well in UX design, but it may not satisfy new customers.

There is no “right” way to design a customer experience. A positive CX is the ultimate goal, but every business has a different approach. Many teams rely on design thinking, while others use systems thinking and transition design.

But what all these practices have in common is the importance of identifying the end user, who is ultimately the protagonist of the customer journey. When your team designs an experience, it should be crafted around the customer’s needs. Identifying the end user often means developing a persona (or fictional character) that embodies the most common attitudes and traits of your target user group, and designing journeys in that context. increase.

But we live in a complex world, and no two customers are the same, so how does an experience designed for one person work for many? How can you manage exceptions for unconventional customers? The answer is to use a “bell curve” design.

Don’t design for extreme customer journeys

When CX professionals ask their UX colleagues for advice, they may advise designing for extreme users. This is a general best practice for user interface design. While this tactic works for designing the usability of a particular product or digital user flow to ensure full functionality of virtual touchpoints, it is not always practical when developing a new customer’s journey. .

While UX design grew out of product and digital design, CX methodology evolved out of the need to curate a complex journey in and out of various touchpoints. You need to consider the context of your customer’s life, not just their preferences between screen flows. Basing CX design on extreme customers is cumbersome and inefficient for the majority.

For example, a brand’s majority of customers live in urban or suburban settings with reliable internet connections and are therefore satisfied with their online experience.

However, there is a small group of customers who live in rural environments with poor internet connectivity and prefer a call center-based experience because it is more reliable. It doesn’t make sense to design new experiences primarily for the needs of these extreme users.

Related Article: Mastering UX/CX Design: Reconciling Privacy and Omnichannel

Try the “bell curve” customer design instead

Rather than extreme designs, a “bell curve” design may be a more efficient option. If the bell curve represents your target customer group, your first user persona might be somewhere in between. The customer experience team starts by focusing on the wants, needs, and preferences of this known majority of customers, then considers the exceptions that can push users to the end of the curve. The team must design his solution with these relatively common exceptions as a primary experience for users and accommodate users who are on the edge of the curve. This way they are reaching as many users as possible.

As a second example, the same brand mentioned above may have many customers who do not have broadband internet at home and rely on mobile connectivity to stay online. If these conditions apply to most consumers, it makes sense (in this day and age, it’s almost a given) to make the primary design mobile-friendly.

Designing journeys around the most common exceptions benefits a key consumer base and the most common outliers without being overwhelmed. When designing a new experience around the exception doesn’t pay off in terms of numbers, or when delivering the experience becomes unwieldy, shift gears and go to extremes in a different way. It’s time to consider The answer may be to tailor existing experiences to meet the accessibility needs of small groups of users, rather than design one-size-fits-all journeys that don’t really benefit everyone. .

Related article: How Customer Metrics in UX Design Improve Customer Experience

Bottom line: UX is not CX

CX professionals can often leverage the tools and techniques of their peers in related fields, but when it comes to CX design, be careful about citing directly from UX handbooks.

The most efficient approach is to start at the apex of the bell curve and work outwards, not the other way around.


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