In an excellent discussion piece for uxmatters.com, Jon Innes considers user experience and customer experience. Is it the same thing, or are there differences? The article prompted me to think again about my university's current student experience enhancement project.
Jon comes at the topic from a mainly strategic perspective, and talks about organisational focus, UX maturity and using customer experience as a differentiator for your brand.
He illustrates his points with lots of examples, and while they're pretty much all tech-focused (Microsoft, Apple, Blackberry etc) they're familiar enough stories to help.
He closes the piece with "Should companies care about users or customers?" (By this point he's classified users as pre-purchase or pre-conversion customers). I think that in the past couple of years, my university has come to realise that while the answer needs to be "both", we need to work a lot harder for our customers - the students.
Customer Experience Versus User Experience: What’s the Difference and Why Does It Matter? - article By Jon Innes for UXmatters.com