Customer service and customer experience are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Although both are integral aspects of any business, they are two strategies that consist of different business practices in order to be successful. As both customer service and customer experience have a significant impact on your ability to satisfy and retain customers, this month’s blog will dive into the differences between customer service and customer experience, and how your business can leverage both to attract and satisfy new and existing customers.
1) Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience
Simply put, customer service is the customer support aspect of a business, whereas customer experience refers to the complete journey a customer experiences with a brand. From initial discovery to post-purchase care, customer experience works to ensure the customer is pleased with every touchpoint involved with a business, meanwhile, customer service consists of a single touchpoint in which a customer reaches out for help or support during their journey with a brand.
2) Customer Service
Think about a time when you had a question or an issue concerning a product you purchased or a service you experienced. Now think about the actions you took to either answer your question or resolve your issue. As customer service is often initiated by the customer, it’s a reactive process that involves a customer facing a problem, reaching out to the business for support services, and the customer and customer service team working together to establish a solution to the issue. Whether it be through phone, email, social media, or live chat, the goal of customer service is to support the customer in addressing their concerns and creating a solution to the issue at hand.
Additionally, as customer service is often a single instance between a customer and a customer service representative, it can be measured by several metrics including resolution rate and average response time. This makes it quantifiable and allows businesses the opportunity to improve their customer service processes to better support their customers and their brand.
3) Customer Experience
Now think of the experiences you have had with one of your favourite brands. From your initial awareness of the product, service, or brand to the purchase and the post-purchase care, did you find your overall experience to be a good one? Each customer experience journey involves multiple touchpoints and multiple departments to ensure a positive experience for each and every customer. Not every customer journey will look the same, however, customer experience involves anticipating the needs of customers and creating an experience that will not only leave them satisfied with the product or service but with the brand as a whole.
Through data collection, customer journey mapping, website analytics, and customer feedback, the goal of the customer experience process is to improve the customer’s overall experience with a brand, as well as to ensure no problems arise throughout the customer journey. When needed, this can involve pointing a customer to a customer service interaction to ensure extra support is given throughout the customer journey. Last but not least, it’s important to remember that customer experience is centred around the customer’s relationship with a business. It can’t be quantified or narrowed down to a single event, but is an ongoing relationship that drives customers to stay loyal to your brand. A positive customer experience often leads to a happy customer, which in turn, allows the customer experience to continue moving forward.
4) Example of Customer Service and Customer Experience
Now that you understand the main differences between customer service and customer experience, let’s take a look at an example!
Let’s discuss the differences between customer service and customer experience with regards to a customer exchanging a product that was purchased incorrectly. Say a customer purchases a product through a business’s website, and realizes after the fact, that the product was purchased in the wrong version. The customer then reaches out to the customer support team through an online live chat to discuss the store’s policy and the steps needed to exchange the product for the correct version. The customer support team explains that the product can be returned both online or in-store as long as the customer provides a copy of the receipt along with the unopened and unused product. The customer is happy with this policy and decides that they will go in-store to exchange the product. As the customer contacted the business via live chat, and the customer support team used their resources and policy to best serve the customer and their inquiry, this is the perfect example of a positive customer service interaction. It involved one issue and one touchpoint, which led to a successful resolution due to the help of the customer service team.
The next step of the exchange process involves the customer visiting the store and making an exchange with a sales representative. From finding the store location through the Google Business Profile, to working with the sales rep to make a seamless product exchange, along with the follow-up email that was sent to ensure the customer was happy with their visit, everything involved in the exchange process made up the customers’ entire customer experience. As you can see, the customer experience includes everything involved in nourishing the customer relationship and ensuring a positive experience with the brand.
5) Strategies to Ensure Positive Customer Service and Customer Experience
As both customer service and customer experience are pivotal for building relationships and attracting and retaining customers, here are some quick tips to help you ensure the utmost success with your customers!
Customer Service Tips:
- Know Your Customers
- Ask Questions and Make Sure You Have a Clear Understanding of Customer Inquiries
- Keep Standards High and Response Times Low
- Practice Empathy, Patience, and Consistency
- Practice Positive Language and Clear Communication
- Admit and Apologize for Mistakes
- Provide Real-Time Solutions
- Add Personal Touch to Show You’re Human
- Follow-Up After a Problem is Solved
- Make Collecting Customer Feedback Easy
Customer Experience Tips:
- Take Control of First Impressions
- Think of the Customer’s Pain Points and Always Add Value
- Streamline Your Sales Process
- Deliver Consistent Customer Experience Across Every Touchpoint
- Follow-Up with Customers
- Offer Customer Loyalty Programs
- Create an Online Customer Community (Through Social Media)
- Monitor Social Listening and Customer Feedback
- Conduct Regular Team Training
- Empower Your Employees
As you can see, customer service and customer experience involve different touchpoints and customer interactions, which are essential for attracting, satisfying, and retaining customers. We hope this blog provided you with a clear differentiation between the two, along with valuable tips to help you ensure positive customer service and customer experiences. If you need extra support building relationships and attracting and retaining customers, Bailey Creative offers Full-Service Digital Marketing that can do just the trick! Check out our Service Page to learn more about our service offerings or feel free to contact us at 519-837-8333 or at email@example.com to get started today. We look forward to helping your business reach its digital marketing potential!
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