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Product Experience vs Customer Experience

Written by Ryan East

Published November 18, 2021

Jump To

  1. What Is Product Experience?
  2. Understanding Product Experience
  3. Who is Involved in Product Experience?
  4. What is Customer Experience?
  5. How is product experience different from customer experience?
  6. How Does Product Experience Relate to Customer Experience?
  7. Refining Product Experience for Improved Customer Satisfaction

A substantial part of your customer’s opinion of your brand comes from their direct experiences with your products—how they interact with products and how products make them feel. Understanding how people perceive and use your product is important  to ensure you meet their  needs. 

Continuous product development is essential to retain customers long term, so in addition to gathering feedback on current products, you must consider unmet needs so you can build a customer-centric product roadmap for the future.

Assessing product experience must be at the forefront of any customer-centric organization. 

What Is Product Experience?

Product experience is a user’s perception of a product’s design, features, and functions, ultimately influencing product adoption and customer retention.

Understanding Product Experience

Product experience takes into account a user’s interactions with your product along with their emotions, thoughts, expectations, and motivations. It isn’t simply measuring your most popular features or identifying when users abandon or need assistance. It includes all the feelings associated with your product, from a customer’s initial excitement during a demo to their frustration over a design feature. It all adds up to a positive or negative product experience.

Who is Involved in Product Experience?

From the minute your customer sees your platform, you’re shaping their experience. The product team isn’t solely responsible for crafting a great product experience; marketing, technical support, sales, and customer success teams all play a role. There is no room for departmental silos when trying to improve and optimize product experience.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience (CX) encompasses all interactions customers have with your company, including products, services, operations, support, and more—essentially, any touchpoint in which you hope to deliver value to your customer. It includes how someone feels about your brand before, during, and after using your product.

How is product experience different from customer experience?

Product experience focuses on a user's perception of a product's design and functionality, while customer experience takes a broader view of the entire customer-company relationship.

How Does Product Experience Relate to Customer Experience?

Your product is one of  the most significant ways a customer interacts with your business, especially for digital-first companies in which users may never interact with your team. As a result, product feedback and testing play major roles in customer experience strategies for product-oriented companies. 

Refining Product Experience for Improved Customer Satisfaction

There is no more straightforward way to improve overall customer experience than refining your product experience. Alida’s 2021 Global Customer Experience Report found that a customer’s personal experience with a product was their leading source for buying or renewal decisions. By strengthening a customer’s product experience to exceed their expectations, you have a direct line to customer retention, advocacy, and revenue growth.

How Can I Gather Feedback on My Product Experience?

Gathering product feedback gets you part of the way toward understanding your customers’ point of view. Knowing what to do with that information is another. 

Improving product experience is a two-way street. You need customers to let you know what they need and where they’re having trouble, and they need you to deliver on product updates that genuinely address their feedback.

Insights from your customer community can help to inform new features, UI design, quality control, sales opportunities, and support tools. It can help point out bias and confirm or adjust internal beliefs about how your product is used and received. With valuable insights and analysis, you can discover how to prioritize critical areas of your product experience like:

  • Product activation 
  • Feature adoption and use
  • Support resources you need to create
  • Future product planning and innovation

As the primary interaction point with customers, your product experience directly impacts your bottom line. 

Start opening up your customer communication and getting the insights you need to inform your product development and prepare for your customers’ future needs.