Customer Service vs. Customer Experience: Learning the Difference

customer service vs customer experience difference cx

According to Forbes, 80% of companies believe that they are delivering topnotch customer experience. The kicker? Only 8% of customers agree with these businesses. 

Where is the disconnect? To understand why customers aren't sold by your customer experience, we have to set one thing straight.

There's a difference between customer service vs customer experience. Without a broadened understanding of what customer experience is, you're going to have a hard time achieving it.

Read on to find out more about customer service, customer experience, and how to excel in both.

Customer Service vs Customer Experience

Customer service is a more traditional term. Most business owners and their employees recognize it.

It refers to the interactions your customers have with front-facing staff members. This includes everyone from your floor sales team to your customer service hotline.

Customer experience goes several steps further. To be clear, customer service is a major component of a good customer experience.

However, customer experience also takes into account your products, themselves. This includes their usability, interactivity, and ability to fill your customer's needs. It also includes your branding, incapsulating your marketing, design, and outward company culture. 

To get a better sense of what these two things are, let's talk about how to create positive customer service and positive customer experience.

Quality Customer Service

Creating quality customer service is all about hiring the right kinds of people for the job. It's also about ensuring that they're well-trained. 

Who are the right kinds of people for customer service? You need to find employees who are patient, empathetic, and upbeat.

Customer service representatives need to care about a customer's problems. They need to leave every customer feeling assured that they were taken seriously.

How do you train your customer service representatives? A good customer service representative should have in-depth product knowledge.

They need to understand how your products and services work. They need to know the potential failings of these products and how to address any issues. 

Ultimately, customer service representatives need to listen to the customer's concerns or problems. They then need to list the possible solutions. The goal is to walk the customer through the necessary problem-solving steps.

Finally, they need to take accountability for the problem. It's crucial to convince the customer to continue doing business with your company.

Note that customer service isn't always about problem-solving. In an ideal world, there would be no problems, right?

Customer service also entails basic helpfulness and positivity. Your front-facing staff members must be equipped to help customers find what they're looking for. They should also be able to provide the appropriate resources on how to use your product. 

Quality Customer Experience 

One of the pillars of customer experience is quality customer service. Since we've covered customer service already, let's take a closer look at how your products and branding play a part in customer experience.

Product Experience

Running a solid company requires more than just getting your products off the shelves and into people's carts. Convincing people to buy your products is only half the battle.

The other half is ensuring that customers understand and enjoy your products. The more they appreciate what they've already purchased, the more likely they are to come back to you. In other words, this is how you form repeat customers.

How do you make sure that a consumer has a positive experience with your product (and thus your company) after they've returned home?

Provide up-to-date, user-friendly online resources about your products. Maintain consistency in your product communication in order to develop trust. Find ways to personalize their product experience through targeted ads, offers, and more.

If this sounds like a lot to juggle, don't worry. There are plenty of great resources like the Goaland PXM Platform that can take care of a lot of the behind-the-scenes work for you!  

Branding Experience

Branding is becoming a bigger and bigger deal as we trudge forward through the digital age. We worry that our customers' attention spans grow shorter as their opportunities grow wider. We wonder how we can capture and hold their attention.

The branding experience covers everything from your logo to your newsletter to your social media accounts. The key is to create imagery that is eye-catching without losing the textual information you put into the world about your products. You're not just selling a product but a feeling or a way of life.

To improve your branding experience, think long and hard about the company culture you want to project. Who are your ideal customers, what problem are you solving, and what emotional attachment to your company do you want them to possess?

We could go on about the psychology of color, the need for professional photography, and the importance of the first impression. However, this is branding 101 and you've heard it all before.

Go a step further and remember that you're not just crafting something aesthetically captivating. Your branding needs to speak directly to each and every one of your potential and current customers. It should make them feel like they are part of a community and that shopping with you is a life-enhancing process. 

Nailing Your Customer Experience

The first step to perfecting your customer experience is understanding that there's a difference between customer service vs customer experience. The next is building plans to enhance and integrate the three customer experience pillars: customer service, product experience, and branding experience.

For more information that will help you boost your business or protect your wallet, bookmark our page and visit us often! For more customer experience tips, visit the CX section of our blog right now!

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