Have you ever noticed that when someone mentions Design, it’s in the context of “an app” or “a website” or something else tech related?

Well, I definitely noticed it and I began to wonder to myself why it’s only applied to tech when the reality is that user experience design can have a positive impact on so much more.

One of the topics I’m passionate about is . It’s called many things: customer experience, customer service, customer journey, customer satisfaction, etc. I prefer either customer success or customer experience. These two terms have actions associated with them which leads to a longer-term view of the customer.

But where does UX come into the picture? See, UX Design is all about making something more pleasurable for the user. It’s about creating an experience. Ultimately, it’s about people and problems.

Isn’t this exactly what we strive for when we want to create a great customer success story? I think it is.

UX + Data + Design = Success

These days it would be really hard not to understand the value of data when you make decisions. So when you look at customer success you have to understand a few things:

  • The customer problems
  • The customer journey
  • Personas and Stories
  • Qualitative and Quantitative feedback

All of these elements are part of UX Design and all of them can also be used to “design” the perfect customer success outcome for your business.

Data is a great informer. Interpreting it and finding the less obvious things is a skill that you have to hone over time. But data is critical. If you are going to make a change to your customer success program or processes then data is your friend when you need to make your case to stakeholders.

Data also gives you insights that lead to actions while you are immersed in your customer success processes.

Like traditional UX Design for tech, UX Design for customer success has to have something behind it to help everyone on the team understand what is driving you forward. That’s data.

Team Collaboration = Success

Another element of UX Design that I believe is critical for customer success is team collaboration.

For customer success to be “successful” it takes the entire organization to stand behind it and support it. This is true of any UX Design project as well. Collaboration with stakeholders, end users, managers, etc. has been shown to lead to very successful designs which were the result of input and transparency at all stages and levels.

UX Heuristics + Processes = Success

In UX Design there are a set of commonly followed heuristics. These have become gold standards in which to measure the usability of a design. To me, they also mirror processes in customer success. I feel that a good customer success program or customer experience should be measured against it’s own set of heuristics.

In some way, these heuristics are like processes. For example, one of the UX Design heuristics is “Visibility of system status”. This is a heuristic that says we should have systems that always keep users informed about what is going on. Sometimes referred to as feedback.

In the world of customer success, I feel that this could be true as well. If your customer has feedback at all stages of their journey and always feels they know what is happening, then they feel more in control and they feel empowered. This is so important and often overlooked. It’s the little details like this that add up to an experience (the ultimate goal).

Designing Customer Success

Like apps or websites, the world of User Experience Design can be applied to so much more, and I believe it can be applied to customer success.

The UX Design process is basically three things: Discovery, Design, Validation.

We can directly apply these three phases to the world of customer success and come out with a program that rivals anything else before it. The reason is that it involves data, collaboration, processes, and problem solving.

When you indirectly solve an unmet need for a customer, that is the ultimate experience every company strives for because that’s what creates an experience the customer never forgets.

So let’s start “designing” customer success with the rigor and attention to detail that we do with apps and websites and the world will be a much better place.


“Designing” customer success with UX was originally published in UX Collective on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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