Customer Experience v. Customer Service


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It was another great #CXO chat this week. I was lucky enough to be the invited guest, and we had a blast discussing the topic “walking in your customer’s shoes.”

In any discussion about customer experience, the idea of service comes up in many forms. Who is responsible for customer service? (Everyone.) When should it start. (Right away.)

To easily define the difference, I look at it this way.

Customer Service = Reactive

Customer Experience = Proactive

Service departments are created as a way to handle the input from customers. The reps are trained to respond to customer requests, questions and complaints. The idea of customer service really starts after purchase.

The Experience is something much broader and more proactive. The way the experience is designed, maintained and nurtured is what leads to happy customers. They respond to the experience you present to them, not the other way around.

These are my explanations. How do you define the difference?

Photo credit: WSDOT via Creative Commons license

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Jeannie Walters, CCXP
Jeannie Walters is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a globally recognized speaker, a LinkedIn Learning and instructor, and a Tedx speaker. She’s a very active writer and blogger, contributing to leading publications from Forbes to Pearson college textbooks. Her mission is “To Create Fewer Ruined Days for Customers.”


  1. Now adays if you have experience in customer services then you can do each and every thing in your life because this service is count as difficult services in world because most of business depend upon this sector if customer will not satisfied with your customer service then your product will not take much time to fall in market.

  2. Hi Jeannie,

    I agree with just about everything you say in this article. I guess the only thing I take (small) issue with is the actual need to distinguish between customer service and customer experience. I agree with your assertion that, technically, customer service is but one part of the program that is Customer Experience. But I don’t think calling it the right thing is nearly as important as DOING the right thing. When I run into a company that provides a great overall customer experience, and they call it their dedication to customer service, I ain’t gonna tell ’em they’re wrong! I’m going to shake their hand and tell them that they are one of a small number of businesses that actually get it! And they can call “it” whatever they want, just as long as “it” means that the customer comes first in every interaction.

    Chuck Dennis


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