Jesse James Garrett from Adaptive Path gave an very inspiring webinar today at Design Management Institute. He talked about how to drive customer loyalty through elements of user experience design. He first made the connection that "Products are people too." We may not realize that we act quite differently when interacting with responsive products. For example, when people have bad experience with digital products, they tend to blame themselves (e.g. think they are not smart enough to use the products). The experience of feeling bad about themselves doesn't help to build loyalty towards the products. On the other hand, if one has great experience using a product, s/he will likely to recommend to a friend, use it repeal, and would buy again. Jesse concludes that "experiences build relationships, relationship build loyalty."
I really like how he categorized the elements of UX design: Strategy, Scope, Structure, Skeleton, and Surface. He talked about each element in detail and how tie into customer loyalty. Strategy is the big ideas behind the project consists of a balance between user needs and product objectives.Scope is a checklist of functional and content requirements. Structure determines the flow of user experience. Skeleton includes information, interface and navigation design. On the very top of the stack is sensory design, which closely ties into customers' emotions.
For more information on the topic, check out Jesse's book: The Elements of User Experience.