Difference between customer service and customer experience; how you can use both to your advantage

We have covered the subject about how customer success is important to your business and ways in which you can implement it into your strategies of eliminating churn risk, and today we will go into two more terms that every successful business needs to know. These days there is a certain craze going around related to customer experience and customer service. Every company tries to gather forces and work on improving their customer experience and investing resources in strengthening customer service. Throwing around these terms, and they do both ties to similar things, one can only wonder, what is the difference between the two, and which one is right for you? We are here to tell you that both are different and both are equally important for your business.

What is customer service?

Customer service is your best friend when working on building customer loyalty and creating a long lasting relationship with your customers. It is defined as every interaction a customer has with your company, every contact with Customer Care department meaning that there needs to be an investment into resources for your team and their special set of skills, knowledge and soft skills. It is the assistance given to your customers on choosing the right product, questions on how the product works and helping in any issues that may be experienced during the trial. Customer service embraces every part of the purchase: the period before, during and after it. If we hop onto Wikipedia, we can see that perception of success of such interaction is dependent on employees ‘who can adjust themselves to the personality of the guest.’ Customer service does reflect more on the period after the purchase and service. It is not rare that a negative interaction when a customer is having issues that need to be resolved or needs an advice can result in a negative experience overall. People can mix up customer service and customer experience easily since having a great customer service result in up-to-par customer experience, right? Not quite. With the expansion of the Internet and different ways of making purchases and interaction with a company, customer experience is much more complicated and not so easily tied to only customer service.

How can we define customer experience?

Customer experience is the broader term for entire customer journey through interactions with the company. It consists of several parts that make the entire journey:
  • Discovery. How the customer found about your brand, different people tend to believe different sources for the recommendation, it should be noted that all mediums of discovery and advertising need to be in sync and developed fully.
  • Brand touchpoint. After the customer has discovered your product, or a website, the design, and marketing you have will provide a specific brand voice that can either appeal or not to the customer.
  • Interest to purchase. If all mediums where a customer could discover you are working perfectly, the person will look into your website or ad more thoroughly and if that interaction is positive, it will lead to a possible purchase. Important: Mediums of discovery also involves word-of-mouth recommendations, meaning that customer success should be always positive with all your customers, so there will more chance of them recommending you to other people.
  • Customer Service. We come to that one difference between customer experience and customer success. Customer service is one part of the entire journey, experience customer has with your business. When customer directly interacts with your customer service it will add to the entire branding of your service or product. Customer service interaction can happen at any time during the entire experience.
  • Purchase and use. Once the purchase is complete, the customer will have the first-hand experience in trying it out, testing the technology behind it and how it works.
  • Promotion. If all the steps leading to the promotion have been positive, the customer will be recommending the product, and in prolonged use and interaction with the business, possibly become a brand advocate.
It can happen often that a business will focus on only one part of the customer experience, but the truth is - a good and compelling customer service, design, technology and product itself work together to create the best possible experience for your customers.

Difference between customer service and customer experience

It can be concluded from above that customer service is just one part of the customer experience. But that is only one of the differences these two terms have. Customer service comes into play when a customer contacts the company, it can be either from curiosity, possible issues that need to be troubleshot or, unfortunately, the most often reason, when they are unsatisfied. Customer experience is there to work on all parts of your business so it can lower the need for customers contacting you for any kind of issues. If your website is clear and user-friendly, your content matches what your product really is, FAQ page offers some real insights, all pages offer valuable information that will help customers have a care-free interaction and purchase with your business, there will be little to no need for customer service contact. Having all this on mind, it is very important to not neglect customer service in favour of customer experience. Having every part of both work perfectly is a big step in the right direction of making your company sustain in the tough industry. To be on top of your strategies you have implemented for improving your business, there are metrics design to help you with exactly that. For keeping track of the success of your customer service you can use CSAT - Customer Satisfaction Score, an online survey that measures exactly what the name proposes. It measures customer satisfaction with the specific interaction they had with your company. You can use this survey question at any time after a customer reached out to you for assistance or advice. Customer experience is easily measured with the famous NPS, or Net Promoter Score that is designed to measure the likelihood of customers recommending your product or service to other people. This helps you know how well the overall customer journey with your business went, and the most satisfied customers will be the ones that will help you promote it.

Conclusion

Getting the grips of the meaning of the terms of customer service and customer experience, all that they present and not ignoring one in favor of other will show you why everyone is talking about these important parts of running a business and how you can use them in your advantage as well.
Successify.io is here to help you measure all the metrics needed to know if your customer experience and customer service are working well for you. Try out our NPS, CSAT and even CES online surveys for easy response collection and analysis.

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