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Consumer Experience Guide: Defining Customer Experience

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The B2B Council's Consumer Experience Guide series provides a wealth of information to help marketers gain a better strategic perspective on the topic of customer experience.

From The Crocodile

There are many terms and buzzwords around customer experience. The B2B Council have complied their own glossary to help define customer experience.

‘Customer experience is the totality of a customer’s individual interactions with a brand, over time.’ – Don Peppers

Each of the terms in this definition is important because each term identifies some aspect of the CX to focus on when it comes to making improvements.

Let’s break down some of the terms:

“Customer” is meant to include both current and prospective buyers and users. When you make it easier for a prospect to find information about your firm or your product, for instance, you are improving the “customer experience” even though the prospect may never actually become a customer.

“Individual” means that we are talking about each different customer’s own individual perception or impression of the experience. What you intend to provide a customer is not nearly as important as how the customer perceives what you provide.

“Interactions” occur in addressable or reciprocal channels, i.e., non-mass media. Marketing campaigns, taglines, and brand messages may be important, but they aren’t interactions, so lie outside the “customer experience” domain. On the other hand, improving your mobile app by, for instance, embedding voice or chat connections into it, would certainly improve customer experience.

“With” a brand means that only direct contact counts as part of the customer experience. The interactions a customer has with others about a brand are not really part of it, although of course how your company actually engages with customers and prospects within various social channels is because it is a direct interaction.

“Brand” is a proxy for all your marketing, selling, and service entities. In addition to your own company, it includes dealers and distributors, marketing and advertising agencies, any retailers that sell your product, and any service firms that install or repair your company’s product or handle customer enquiries or interactions of any kind. For each of these interactions, you can contract out the task, but not the responsibility – at least not as far as the customer is concerned.

“Over time” recognizes the ongoing nature of a customer relationship. Each customer’s experience is not an isolated event but accumulates through time. You improve your customer experience, for instance, when you make it easier for a repeat customer to get back to their pre-preferred configuration, or when your call centre agent already knows what a prospect was just trying to find out on your website.

And the very first word in the definition, “totality” means that you cannot improve your customer experience without considering all these issues in total, including how each one impacts the others. Integrating your interaction channels may be the single most important step you can take today to improve customer experience, and there are all sorts of new technologies available to do this.


The DMA’s B2B Council is the go-to place for B2B marketing intelligence in the UK, leading the UK’s marketing industry in B2B thought leadership, learning and talent initiatives, innovative B2B practices and highlighting the differences between B2B and B2C. The B2B Council exists to provide support and guidance to budding B2B marketers, sharing their wealth of expertise throughout the training and learning capabilities of the IDM, and to also provide clarity around intriguing and sometimes confusing practices surrounding B2B marketing. To get in touch contact us at B2B@dma.org.uk


You can find out more about the B2B Council here.

To find out more about our Customer Engagement campaign, click here.

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