The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience


Share on LinkedIn

As a cus­tomer expe­ri­ence advo­cate, it is com­mon for me to be asked, “What is the dif­fer­ence between cus­tomer ser­vice and cus­tomer expe­ri­ence?” While the answer is quite lengthy, the short response is sim­ply this: cus­tomer ser­vice is one ele­ment of cus­tomer expe­ri­ence. Cus­tomer expe­ri­ence encom­passes every touch point that some­one may encounter when inter­act­ing with a com­pany – sup­port, sales, and cus­tomer ser­vice. And there are many com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels that com­bine to make a cus­tomer inter­ac­tion with one of the three key touch points a pos­i­tive expe­ri­ence. Con­sis­tent mes­sag­ing across all chan­nels and touch points is inte­gral to suc­cess­ful cus­tomer expe­ri­ence and vital to com­pany success.

When an indi­vid­ual sees an ad on TV, receives a direct mail piece, clicks on an ad, arrives on a land­ing page, views a video, receives a follow-up email, etc., etc., that indi­vid­ual should be hav­ing a seam­less expe­ri­ence. The mes­sage, the look-and-feel, the offer, and the voice of the com­pany should be con­sis­tent. Jim Sterne, Deliv­er­ing a Con­sis­tent Cus­tomer Experience

What are the com­po­nents that make up cus­tomer expe­ri­ence? Some are spe­cific to the indi­vid­ual com­pany, but here are some com­mon touch points: TV, radio, print, direct mail, email, web-site, social media sites, retail loca­tions, IVR (inter­ac­tive voice response), call cen­ter, prod­uct or ser­vice. With such diverse com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels avail­able to cus­tomers, how is it pos­si­ble to keep­ing mes­sag­ing aligned to com­pany goals and values?

3 Tips for Con­sis­tent Cus­tomer Experience

1. Invest in Your Employ­ees
Invest­ing in employ­ees is not only secur­ing their indi­vid­ual suc­cess, but also invest­ing in the long-term suc­cess of your orga­ni­za­tion. One of the most cost-effective ways to ensure con­sis­tent cus­tomer expe­ri­ences, reduce employee turnover, and increase employee engage­ment is on-the-job train­ing. Improv­ing prod­uct or ser­vice knowl­edge and the com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills of all employ­ees is essen­tial to con­sis­tent brand mes­sag­ing. When an employee has a firm under­stand­ing of com­pany goals, prod­uct or ser­vices, and the skills to engage and edu­cate cus­tomers, pro­vid­ing con­sis­tently great cus­tomer expe­ri­ences is attainable.

2. Hire a Chief Cus­tomer Offi­cer
There is no bet­ter way to unite a com­pany than hir­ing a C-level cus­tomer advo­cate. A Chief Cus­tomer Offi­cer (CCO) rep­re­sents the cus­tomer in the board­room and actively man­ages cus­tomer engage­ment poli­cies and pro­ce­dures across the orga­ni­za­tion. The key role of a Chief Cus­tomer Offi­cer is to learn what cus­tomers value about the com­pany, and how cus­tomers feel about the prod­ucts and level of ser­vice cur­rently being pro­vided. A CCO seeks to find new ways to opti­mize the cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, and unify all depart­ments into one customer-centric organization.

3. Sur­vey Your Cus­tomers
You can mon­i­tor cus­tomer behav­ior online and gar­ner tar­get audi­ence sen­ti­ment by using care­fully crafted algo­rithms, but no method proves more use­ful than sim­ply ask­ing cus­tomers for feed­back. The key to acquir­ing use­ful feed­back is to solicit cus­tomer responses on each indi­vid­ual com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nel. Won­der­ing about your Twit­ter ser­vice and sup­port expe­ri­ence? Draft a ques­tion and tweet away. Do not send out a mass email to your entire data­base ask­ing for feed­back on all chan­nels. Most cus­tomers will only use two or three chan­nels and ask­ing them to com­ment on other chan­nels will taint your data with guesses and neu­tral responses.

Pro­vid­ing con­sis­tent mes­sag­ing and con­sis­tent cus­tomer expe­ri­ences across all chan­nels is crit­i­cal in today’s era of cor­po­rate trans­parency. Edu­cate your employ­ees, and edu­cate your cus­tomers. Con­sis­tent world-class cus­tomer expe­ri­ences are delib­er­ate and nec­es­sary for suc­cess. How is your cus­tomer experience?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Rachel Miller
Rachel Miller is the Customer Engagement Manager at Nimble - a simple, affordable social relationship manager.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here