The words customer experience and customer service are used interchangeably. They are connected, however they were never synonymous. One can say, customer service is part of the experience package.
That being said, both factors are a major contributor to customer management. Without good customer service, there is no quality customer experience. As the name stands, customer experience envelops the entire journey that the customer takes with the brand.
It is important to distinguish between the two, to understand how to react at different instances of the customer’s journey. Mismanagement can create friction which can push away customers.
Let’s dive into what the both terminologies stand for, and how different they are.
Customer service can make or break a relationship between the business with the customers. As we popularly know, customer service is the helping function deployed by the business to resolve any product or service-related issues that customers might face. It is equivalent to the service you get when you call a support agent to complain about poor internet service or similar cases.
The satisfactory customer service ensures that customers will move down the funnel, and probably repeat their purchase. Customer service eventually delivers to the entire customer experience strategy, nurturing the customer to stay.
Customer experience is a complete journey that the customer undergoes when they first connect with the brand. The journey starts when you pitch your product, through your marketing campaigns and sales campaigns to conversion as a customer and doesn’t end until you lose them for good.
The interaction points from selling to servicing to upselling and engaging, customer experience covers all these bases. Customers usually tend to stick to a brand as long as they perceive that they are treated fairly.
It is important to understand that customer experience is a two-way street. In exchange for the compensation made by each customer, the company is bound to offer them very good support, engagement and value. Customer experience consists of many components:
This is the element that you are selling. Right from user experience or service experience and every time the customer uses the product or service,
This is the post-purchase nourishment you offer to your customers via product support, retention programs, self-service programs and more.
This is the technological medium that the customer will use to reach out to you. This is where you enable interaction and trust. It will include IVR, website chat, email, SMS, WhatsApp, Social Media.
This is the crucial experience factor, which is often overlooked as aesthetic and unimportant. The way you design your brand presence via web design, marketing campaigns, public promotions and more, influences your customers to either stay or leave. This engagement factor will induce advocacy amongst your audience for your brand.
Source: Toister Solutions
There are more secondary factors that influence the customer experience. Such as your contact center solution, your automation tools, your social media strategy, etc.
There are few differences between the customer experience vs customer service. Highlighting those should clarify the distinct responsibilities that adhere to these areas. Here’s how they are distinct:
Customer service is the frontline of your business. They are customer-interacting team and they need your utmost support. From speaking about your products to resolving customer problems, they are defending and expanding your brand. There is not much forecasting or analysis involved in this process of support, however quick thinking and communication skills play an important role. This makes this a more reactive role, as the team has to act in response to the customer.
Customer experience on the other hand is a complete backend operative role. It definitely aids the frontline to excel in their process with data analysis, predictive thinking and scripts.
The backend team works behind the scenes and caters to the entire vibe of the brand- including product improvement, relationship management, marketing skits and more. This is a more proactive approach, as you have to pre-determine the customer’s expectations based on behavior and browsing patterns (through your website) and design the best engagement for them.
Source: Get Talkative
Customer service is always an isolated experience. It is the interaction between the agent and the customer. It is a part of the customer’s experience that can happen once or may happen in different incidents for different reasons making each interaction isolated events. The job here is to deliver solutions or alternatives to a customer who is facing an issue or has a question.
Customer experience is more of a big picture approach. It is the overall encounter that customers will experience with the brand.
This includes different phases of the customer’s journey like discovering your brand, generating interest in your product, hearing a sales pitch, purchasing process and post-purchase assistance.
There are numerous encounters involved and all of them bring together the experience that the businesses wanted to sell. Popular brands like Amazon, Ikea, The Ritz Carlton, Le Bon Marché etc. are all known for their holistic end-to-end customer experience. From personalization to delivering on expectations, the CX department involves it all.
So for a higher Life Time Value (LTV) from your customers, better customer experience is a must. Using an Omnichannel CX solution will ensure that you don’t miss a single touchpoint of your customer and know the customer journey. Providing consistent customer experience across all the touchpoints is also the hallmark of a good brand. To learn more, speak with our industry experts.
The debate of customer experience vs customer service is an important one. People often focus on customer service, ditching the experience factor. Just solving problems is no longer enough if you want repeat business and make a digital impact. Brand building depends heavily on the customer experience where relationships management on customer service. Knowing the difference will enable you to take the right approach and invest accordingly in each of these areas to reap ideal results.
Author Bio: Sweta is a passionate technical writer with an experience in digital marketing. Outside work, she is a devoted Esports advocate.