A Beginner’s Customer Experience Glossary

CX Today Team

Get to grips with the basics of customer experience (CX)

A Beginner’s Customer Experience Glossary

Here is a list of customer experience terminologies, technologies, and principles, alongside a quick summary of what they each mean.

Auto Attendant

Sometimes referred to as a “digital receptionist”, an auto-attendant transfers customers to the department selected by a caller without human intervention.

Balanced Scorecard

The scorecard measures the success of CX by breaking down business outcomes into four measures of success: Customer, Financial, Internal Business Processes, and Learning and Growth. Learn more.

Blended AI

Many CX strategies include blended AI, which combines AI with human intelligence to maximize customer outcomes. A technology that auto-fills parts of forms for customers is an excellent example.

Business Intelligence (BI)

The term simply refers to any insight – customer-related or not – that lies within the company. However, BI solutions are powerful in the CX world for connecting data streams – across the enterprise – and surfacing visually stimulating business, customer, and employee information.

Chief Customer Officer (CCO)

A CCO turns the organization’s vision into a customer strategy that is relevant to every department. Meanwhile, they also lead customer experience management efforts, foster cross-function collaboration, and train teams to deliver better CX. Learn more.

Closed-Loop Feedback

Closed-loop feedback ensures that companies communicate the end outcomes to customers and employees who have given feedback. How has it helped to change the company? If it has not, explain why. Doing so closes the loop. Learn more.

Conversational AI

Conversational AI refers to technologies – such as chatbots and voicebots – that users can talk to, helping imitate human interactions.


A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform aggregates customer data, providing a clear view of a customer’s interaction and purchase history, alongside other notable customer journey events. Integrating with other tools, the CRM maximizes the potential of AI-driven CX technologies. Learn more.


Customer satisfaction (CSAT) measures how happy customers are at particular customer journey touchpoints, typically through customer survey tools. Learn more.


A customer-centric business places customer needs at the center of every business decision. It seeps into a company’s culture, processes, products, training, and technologies. Learn more.

Customer Data Platform

Customer data platforms (CDPs) aggregates, cleans, and synchronizes information to develop customer profiles for authentication, personalization, and targeting. Such information is then likely to flow into other systems, such as the CRM. Learn more.

Customer Effort Score (CES)

CES measures how easy it is to do business with a company. A higher CES means more friction and a poorer quality of CX. Learn more.

Customer Experience Management (CXM)

CXM is the process of understanding customer journeys and getting to grips with customer emotion, effort, and intent before pinpointing and prioritizing improvement opportunities. Management teams then oversee the process of seizing these. 

Customer Journey Map

Customer journey maps layout the customer experience from start to finish. They allow business leaders to zoom in on particular touchpoints, understanding how they fit into the entire experience and informing CX improvement initiatives.

Customer Sentiment

Customers most often choose who they do business with by using gut instinct instead of their head. Building on this principle, many companies are measuring customer sentiment – through sentiment analysis – while striving to appeal to particular emotions and engage customers on a much more fundamental level.

Customer Touchpoint

Customer touchpoints refer to one stage of the customer journey – whether that is scanning a website, making a purchase, or receiving a delivery.

Customer Turnover

Often known as attrition or churn, turnover refers to the percentage of customers lost over a period of time. It alerts organizations to higher-than-average customer drop-off, which will eventually impact revenues. Learn more.


Empathy involves putting oneself in the shoes of another, attempting to get to grips with their feelings, and demonstrating an understanding of them. As CX becomes more digitalized, customer empathy and a human touch – particularly customer service- are turning into significant differentiators.

First Contact Resolution (FCR)

Answering a customer query at the first attempt lowers effort and drives satisfaction. FCR enables CX teams to measure the percentage of customer contacts that result in a successful resolution. Learn more.


Hyper-personalization considers every customer to be a segment of one and tailors products and experiences to meet their unique needs. It relies on customer data to inform strategies and automation to execute them. Learn more.

Interactive Voice Response (IVR)

An IVR shares pre-recorded messages and a pre-configured menu that greets customers when they call a support number. By navigating this menu, the customer passes through to an appropriate agent. Learn more.


The Kano model helps companies understand customer or user attitudes regarding various features of their products/services. It uses a set of positive and negative questions to prioritize product/service development areas. Learn more.

Knowledge Management Systems (KMS)

Generally speaking, a KMS refers to a contact center system that stores knowledge articles. These support contact center agents in answering customer calls. However, other departments may harness the system – or build their own – as a source of business insight.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Often referred to as “CX metrics”, CX KPIs provide a quantifiable measure of customer experience. They include customer effort, satisfaction, and sentiment. Learn more.

Loyalty Management

Loyalty management includes developing strategies and purchasing tools that aid retention rates in a bid to increase repeat revenue.

Moments of Truth

Moments of truth refer to critical customer journey touchpoints that mean the most customer success. Companies measure such success with CX KPIs. Learn more.

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS segments the customer base into promoters, detractors, and neutral respondents. In doing so, it creates a score that reflects brand loyalty and advocacy. Learn more.

Omnichannel Customer Service

Omnichannel customer service integrates every customer channel, making channel shift easy for customers and contact center agents. It also ensures that information gathered from every channel funnels into a central database. Learn more.

Proactive Customer Service

Proactive customer service notifies customers of potential issues before they become aware of them, offering a convenient solution. Doing so prevents the customer from having to make contact themselves, lowering effort.

Speech Analytics

Speech analytics is a technology that gathers data insights from agent-customer conversations. It uses AI to convert spoken or written text into quantifiable information. Learn more.

Total Experience

Total experience is a strategy that aims to enhance the experience of everyone that comes into contact with the brand – whether that is customers, employees, users, suppliers, etc.

Unified Customer Experience

Unified CX ensures that customers encounter the same brand identity on every channel, standardizing experience and service quality. Learn more.


Upselling refers to the act of persuading customers to buy something of additional or greater value. The secret to upselling lies in understanding intent to ensure extra value. Learn more.

Voice of the Customer (VoC)

VoC initiatives collate customer feedback from various sources, creating a holistic picture of customer needs. Learn more.

Workforce Management (WFM)

WFM is the art of ensuring that the right number of contact center agents are in the right place to handle customer queries at the right time – balancing wait times with cost-efficiency. Learn more.

Workforce Optimization (WFO)

WFO maximizes the performance of employees across the enterprises. In the CX realm, this is critical. After all: “Happy employees = happy customers”.

Learn more CX basics by reading our Quick-Fire Ideas to Enhance Customer Experience


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