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The terms ‘customer experience’ and ‘customer service’ are often used interchangeably, and although the two are related, they are not the same thing. Within this article, we will understand what exactly these terms mean and will also delve into the key differences between the two.
Customer experience, or CX, refers to a customers perception of a brand based on their overall experience with the brand across all touchpoints and channels within their customer journey. Although customer experience refers to many different aspects of the customer journey, it is intrinsically about customer perception.
CX is hugely important to all businesses as it has a huge influence on customer attrition, customer satisfaction, sales, and profits. Organizations that can provide customers with seamless and consistent experience throughout their customer journey will enjoy benefits such as increased customer loyalty, increased customer lifetime value (CLV), better word-of-mouth marketing (customer advocacy), and boosted sales and revenue.
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Customer service refers to the support, assistance, and guidance that an organization provides their customers with during their customer journey. This assistance is available to customers before, during, and after making a purchase.
Customer service can be provided to customers in many different ways and through many different channels. It includes customer service through human agents as well as self-service options such as FAQs pages and chatbots.
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Although they are sometimes confused, customer experience and customer service are two distinct concepts. Simply put, customer service is just one part of a much larger concept that is customer experience. Customer experience is shaped by all customer-brand interactions within the customer journey, from awareness to post-purchase. Customer service is just one type of interaction that takes place within the customer journey.
Let’s examine a few more key differences between the two concepts:
Customer service is predominantly the responsibility of customer service managers and agents. Although other employees within an organization may also provide support to customers, it is primarily the support team that is held accountable for delivering great support to customers.
The customer experience (CX), on the other hand, is a shared responsibility among all who work within the organization. Every single employee plays a role in determining the kind of experiences customers have and therefore each employee is in charge of giving customers a great experience across all touchpoints.
Organizations have more control over customer service than they have over customer experience. Customer service can be fully controlled by customer service managers, agents, and teams to ensure adequate and consistent support is provided. However, as customer experience has more to do with customers perception of a brand, it isn’t something organizations can have full control over.
Customer service is reactive as it depends on customers reaching out for assistance after they’ve experienced issues or difficulties at a certain touchpoint. Conversely, customer experience is proactive as it involves analysing all touchpoints to enhance all parts of the customer journey before customers encounter issues or difficulties.
Customer experience is shaped by the entire customer journey and all the touchpoints it comprises of. Customer service, on the other hand, is just one type of interaction that takes place within the customer journey.
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Customer experience refers to a customer’s overall perception of a brand that is influenced by their cumulative experiences with that brand across all touchpoints and channels within their journey.
Customer service refers to the support, guidance, and assistance provided to customers by a business before, during, and after a purchase is made.
Customer experience and customer service are two distinct concepts and one is not more important than the other. Customer service plays an important role in shaping the customer experience. Therefore, in order to provide a great customer experience, brands must also ensure that customers are provided with excellent customer service.
Customer service is just one part of a much larger concept that is customer experience. As customer experience is shaped by all customer-brand interactions within the customer journey and customer service is just one type of interaction that takes place within this journey.