CX Day: A brief history of Customer Experience

Today is World CX Day, a serious cause for joy here at MadeFor. as we join in on a global celebration of the pursuit and achievement of high-quality customer experiences.

CX Day: A brief history of Customer Experience

The discipline of putting the customer first across the board is one that we’re constantly proud to help champion and develop through our bootcamps, so in honour of CX Day, we thought it prompt to look back on the history of CX as a discipline from its early conceptions to where we are today as a constantly evolving set of ethos that modern businesses strive to aspire to and achieve on a daily basis.

The ideals of customer experience have in fact been developing for around a century, tracing back to the development of market research as a method of improving advertising in the 1920s. Market research then further spread into all sectors by the 1970s, as was necessary given the demand following the post-WWII boom in consumerism.  

Around this time is also when the first inklings of the concept of customer experience began to take shape as the increasing commodification of services started to give the need to provide value through more than just the bare minimum of price and availability to build customer loyalty.

The 1980s was when the concept of customer satisfaction took shape and began to take off as it was simple for agencies to jump into from a market research standpoint. The precedence for taking the customer’s feelings and expectations following the purchase of a product or service into account was the beginning of providing the many frameworks that customer experience stands upon.

In the 1990s, further bases for the CX discipline were forming as the approach of customer value management was developed as a logical progression from the concept of customer satisfaction. The development of CVM provided the basis to view more than just post-purchase satisfaction and incorporate further aspects such as quality, communication and pricing into the discussion.

In the late 1990s, as was the case with potentially every technological or business-related sector, the rapid growth of the Internet spurred serious change and development, with companies shifting from phone calls and physical mail to email and dedicated research reporting portals that were tailored for individual client needs.

Enterprise feedback management then took off in the early 2000s as a continuation of the Internet’s influence, allowing companies to quickly collect, disseminate and factor consumer feedback into their daily processes. The further shift towards customer feedback possessing direct influence and insight for a company at such a rapid rate is significant for customer experience’s development.

In the mid-2000s, the effect of net promoter score cannot be understated. The process sufficiently demonstrated the link between business outcomes and overall customer experience in an easy to understand and effective manner. It did this by allowing customers to vocalise their feelings towards a product through a simple scale that separated the customers who supported the brand versus those who did not.

The thought of the all-encompassing customer journey really started to gain prominence and become widely applied in the 2010s, leading the customer experience sphere to where it stands today. Shedding the idea of solely factoring in post-purchase aspects into consideration, a focus on the customer journey involves every single aspect of the process: from the first discovery of the product to the continuing relationship the customer has with the product following purchase.

And that’s where we’re at today – in 2022, it can be said that high-quality customer experiences are more valuable than ever, as are the people who possess the right knowledge on how to achieve them. Companies are imbued with the desire to connect with their audiences in ways that build genuine value and loyalty, and at MadeFor. we welcome this cultural shift!

The theme of this year’s CX Day is that “CX Drives Success”, and it’s easy to witness this in the modern business landscape. The companies and individuals that are keenly aware on how to provide the best customer experiences are the ones who will get ahead; now more than ever!

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