Customer service vs customer experience

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It may seem that customer service and customer experience are the same things knowing how well they go together. But the more we investigate it, the more we realize that customer experience is influenced by customer service. Both customer service and experience are in fact very different from each other. And you need to understand this difference if you want to ace your customer service and enhance customer experience through it.

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What is customer service?

Customer service is a term that refers to the solutions a company provides to its customers. Whereas a good customer service refers to a company meeting customer expectations through their provided solutions and products. 

As any customer-centric brand that works on providing services and products to the customer has to keep track of their customer experience from time to time. This customer experience is what the customer thinks about your brand. Provided you give them good customer service, they are likely to give positive feedback about your brand in the market. Which ultimately strengthens your customer experience. 

A good customer service talks about everything happening when your brand interacts with the customer. It can be through a purchase, product demo, issue reporting, feedback survey, etc. so if you think about it, every step of the way, there is a chance for you as an organization to do your best to provide a good customer service to the customers.

What is customer experience?

Customer experience can be summed up as everything that contributes to the customer’s perception of the organization. Those things can include all the business interactions they had, product purchases, product demos and walkthroughs, queries and problem reporting/solving, etc. 

A particular customer works on building his perception about your business over the period. This period is called customer journey which is defined as the whole timeline of the customer from the moment they land on your brand to the end. Customer experience is highly built on the business and customer relationship. 

Customer experience is mostly influenced by every kind of interaction the customer makes no matter how brief or detailed. Customers tend to be taken off-guard even at the smallest of inconvenience. This just makes it obvious that it is a difficult job maintaining a good customer experience.

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How is customer service different from customer experience?

  • Control 

Comparatively an organization has more control over the customer service it provides. It is totally set up in the office and you choose your agents and train them accordingly. When it comes to customer experience, you don’t have much control over it as there are so many external factors that affect a customer’s perspective of your brand. 

  • Metrics 

There are certain metrics to measure both customer service and customer experience. For customer service, you can use Customer satisfaction score (CSAT), customer effort score (CES), and Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure its quality. And for customer experience, along with the mentions metrics, customer lifetime value (CLV), customer churn rate, and customer retention rate can also help gauge CX.

  • Ownership 

When we talk about customer service, the responsibility of delivering the right customer service is of the customer service team and managers. Even though other employees can have an interaction with the customers, it all comes down to the customer service team. 

But if we talk about customer experience, it is an entire organization’s responsibility to give their best that will ultimately benefit the customer. 

It won’t be fair to even discuss which one is more important, is it customer service or customer experience? As said before, customer service is an important component of customer experience. Meaning, when a customer thinks about your brand, he first remembers how he was treated. It can be over a call, a visit, product demo, or any other communication channel. 

The way you serve your customers leaves a deep mark in their minds forever. So, when a customer experiences even just one bad experience, they consider it a reason enough to switch to a better competitor. This leaves them with a bad customer experience. 

Hence, it is safe to say that a good customer service will be more likely to turn into a good customer experience too.

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