We live in a competitive world. Every business wants loyal customers, but figuring out how to create customer loyalty isn’t easy. While customer service and customer experience are two key terms often used in discussions about customer loyalty… what do they actually mean? Are they different, or are they two ways of describing the same thing?
Let’s clear up the confusion with a little head-to-head comparison. Customer service vs. customer experience explained once and for all.
Straightforward definitions may be enough to eliminate some of the confusion surrounding these two terms, but let’s take a closer look at each one to ensure clarity around their purpose and the ways you can excel in each area.
Customer service is the narrower of these two terms and is typically the one that people are more familiar with. We’ve all experienced good and bad customer service – at the supermarket, on an airplane, or via a company’s website.
Make no mistake: providing great customer service is vital. Seven out of ten consumers say they’ve spent more money to do business with a company that provides great service, with millennials being the most willing to spend extra. On the other hand, research shows that businesses lose billions of dollars every year due to poor customer service.
Customer service is triggered when a customer develops an unmet need. While they may have already purchased your product, they now have questions or issues and need assistance. This assistance can be provided in multiple ways: through an interaction with your support team, in your help center, via a chatbot, and so on.
There are many different ways to measure whether your organization is providing excellent customer service. Some common metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) for customer service include:
Customer experience (CX) describes the overall experience or feeling your organization creates across the entire customer journey with your brand.
In the battle of understanding customer service vs. customer experience, think of customer experience as more of an “umbrella” term. Customer service is an integral part of your customer experience, and it falls underneath the broader umbrella of customer experience.
Put another way, if customer experience is a giant puzzle, customer service is one large piece of that puzzle. There are many other pieces that make up the customer experience puzzle, including your sales process, your product or service itself, and your marketing and design choices.
In short: nearly every aspect of your business contributes to your customer experience.
Your customer service metrics will impact your customer experience, but there are also a few great metrics you can use to track your customer experience more directly, including:
If you want your customer service to delight your customers, here are some great steps you can take:
Customer service is both art and science. The way you deliver exceptional service will continually evolve, but taking fundamental steps like these will ensure a solid foundation for future changes.
Creating a great customer experience is a complex endeavor that requires ongoing work, but every organization delivering a great customer experience relies on some common elements for success. These include:
It should be clear that both customer service and customer experience are vital for long-term business success. Customer service is an important piece of your overall customer experience, and customer experience is the key driver of customer loyalty.
Businesses that are intentional about making ongoing investments in both customer service and customer experience because without them, they can’t survive. If you’ve been struggling to determine the best next step for your organization to improve in these two areas, don’t delay.