When corporate CX managers, consultants and agencies talk about customer experience they often mean very different things. The following glossary aims to support finding a common language:

Customer experience // The total sum of all interactions of a customer with a business over time, that shapes his/her overall perception – fluid, not static – every new interaction contributes to it

Customer end-to-end or macro journey // The typical sequence of events a customer runs through from need creation to product/service usage & renewal

Customer micro journey or use case // A typical sub-journey that has a dedicated start and end point within the overall customer journey (i.e. product testing, order fulfillment, payment, etc.) – use cases are describing the same sub-journeys from the customer perspective (“I need to find a product with improved specs.”, “I need to order a product.”, “I need to pay my invoice.”)

Customer touchpoint // A single interaction between customer and business on the customer journey (i.e. scrolling the website, analyzing a product spec sheet, a call with the sales rep) – the total sum of touchpoints forms the customer journey – many touchpoints can be controlled by the business, others can not (i.e. an industry database listing potential vendors, the delivery of a product carried out by a logistics company)

Micro moments or nano journeys // A single or series of event(s) that can be important when designing any touchpoint (i.e. the moment the sales rep tells the prospective customer the price of the solution, the moment the customer clicks on ’Order’ on an e-commerce platform) – the micro moments can shape or change the entire perception of the customer experience

Pain point // A touchpoint or micro moment, that frustrates the customer and negatively shapes his overall perception of the customer experience (i.e. he/she doesn’t receive a quote in time for an important internal meeting, the order does not arrive on time, the product doesn’t work on the company’s production line)

Moment of truth // The interactions or touchpoints that matter most to the customer (i.e. an application problem is fixed fast by the technical engineer for the customer not to loose time and money on his production line)

Unmet need // A need that the customer is fully aware of – can not yet be met by any potential supplier yet – usually offers great potential for innovation and added value

Occasion-based need-states // Describes different needs depending on the occasion or circumstances (i.e. a customer normally expects order fulfillment within 10 working days, but for an emergency product request, he needs the product to be shipped within 24h)

Customer listening // The total sum of all research and activities to understand customers’ experiences, journeys as well their needs, expectations, buying behavior, product/service usage, satisfaction and loyalty – quantitative and qualitative; externally and internally – gained through primary and secondary research, media usage, click rates, behavioral data, sales data, product data, etc.

Data analytics & management platform // A data management system, that is a capable to collect, synthesize, analyze and report disparate data points or data sets in order to transform them into customer insights

Customer insights // Valuable information on formerly unknown or misinterpreted customer needs as a result of data aggregation and analysis – customer data from customer listening is an input to it – i.e. Uber understood, that customers want an easy and reliable way to order a taxi and don’t want to worry about how to pay the driver

Customer segment // A distinct group of customers that share similar needs, expectations and/or behaviors – can clearly be differentiated from other customer segments – used to provide those customer segments with the right messages, channels and solutions

Customer persona // A ‘human way’ of describing a typical customer segment – based rather on psychology, attitudes and needs, than product usage, sales numbers and other facts & figures – often makes the description of a customer segment more tangible

Content management platform/system // A marketing tool to more efficiently create, tailor, manage and deliver messages and other content (images, video, etc.) to different customer segments based on their individual needs

Marketing technology // A set or suite of tools to fully integrate the marketing process – from customer listening & segmentation, to content creation & management, to channel management & distribution, and CRM – unfortunately there is now one supplier or solution yet that incorporates all marketing tasks into one tool and created a ‘gold standard’

CX business ecosystem // The other side of the coin: mirrors the customer journey from an internal perspective – the people, processes, systems and technology used to enable the delivery of a certain touchpoint or sub-journey – needs to be fully understood in order to be able to make any CX improvements and change the operating model

CX management platform // Similar to Marketing technology: A set or suite of tools to link all data and learnings from customer listening to the business ecosystem and all improvement and innovation initiatives – allows for an effective and efficient customer experience management

CX management // A data-based approach to holistically manage the customer experience – focuses on three main pillars: (1) using and making internally available the data and insides gained through customer listening, (2) continuously optimizing and innovating the customer experience and (3) driving a customer-centric culture throughout the organization

CX value creation // The analytical link between improvements in the customer experience to resulting revenue growth and cost reductions that drive the financial results and success of a business as a result of a CX transformation