Customer Service vs. Customer Experience: What’s the Difference?

customer service vs customer experience

Your ability to relate to your customers is foundational for any sort of business you run.

Whether you’re a lean operation that is strictly online and digital, or a large chain with brick and mortar locations all over, you need to be continuously fostering this relationship.

In doing this, it is vital that you learn the differences between customer service vs customer experience.

Below, we’ll dive into these differences.

Customer Service vs Customer Experience — By Definition

Understanding the true difference between these terms will let you begin ensuring that you are a good steward over both.

Customer service refers to direct actions that achieve customer satisfaction.

The customer experience refers to what a customer goes through along each step.

You have a direct influence on these matters based on the way you put together the right strategy.

Customer Service

In fact, studies show that 96 percent of customers place huge importance on customer service.

Keep the following points in mind when putting together a customer service strategy:

1. Direct Advice or Assistance Is Rendered

To render effective customer service, you need to optimize the way that you deal with your customers on a one-on-one level.

Whether this means managers and representatives being informed, holding phone or video conversations, answering questions face-to-face, or incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) that is effective, your customers need to know that they are heard.

This is the most direct communication that people typically have with their customer base, so it needs to be a sound, pleasurable experience.

2. Businesses Quickly Lose Customers When Customer Service Is Flimsy or Ineffective

Studies show that customers take customer service very seriously — to the point that they’ll walk away from ever spending money with a company again if the customer service was poor.

Conversely, businesses that make a mistake but take every measure to openly and honestly correct it are more often granted repeat business.

As such, you need to think of your company’s customer service efforts as the first line of defense not to run or hide from adversity, but in fostering and strengthening relationships with your customers.

This means making sure first and foremost that every customer is heard, and that you make it clear that their needs will be addressed. From there, you’ll need to communicate with them every step of the way, and most importantly, fix the issue in question.

Word spreads when your company has subpar customer service, and this will cause your brand’s quality to take a serious hit that is difficult to bounce back from.

3. The Focus Is to Answer Questions, Solve Problems, and Address Concerns

Since customer service always involves answering a question or troubleshooting a problem, you need to continuously improve your company’s ability to do so.

A customer’s patience wears thin when your company is polite but ineffective. You need to log each case and make sure you have a team that can fix every issue that comes about.

This way, your customers will always know they are taken care of and won’t hesitate to reach out.

Customer Experience

You definitely need to keep your finger on the pulse when it comes to creating a customer experience that gets the job done.

Since brand loyalty is most often an emotional decision, do everything you can to make the customer experience an enjoyable journey.

Here’s what you should know.

1. A Roadmap of What Your Customer Goes Through Every Step of the Way

When you think of customer experience, it’s important to remember that it isn’t merely just a buzzword.

Instead, you should actually take the time to reverse engineer every step of the customer experience and make it as enjoyable as possible.

Throughout the history of business, it has been the little touches, like bottles of water when you get into an Uber or Lyft, or complimentary peanuts or pretzels when you leave an amusement park, that have made customers feel appreciated and taken care of.

By laying out a roadmap for the customer experience, you and your team can begin to optimize each step and run through mock scenarios until you are providing the most satisfying experience possible.

2. This Dictates Whether Customers Will Tell a Friend About You

Providing a satisfying customer experience isn’t just about that particular customer, it’s about the 10 customers they’ll send your way.

When customers have an amazing experience, they will go above and beyond to spread the word. This is when five-star reviews start pouring in, and you’ll see an uptick in business.

By that same token, people who have a poor customer experience are also more likely to leave reviews, and to tell people to never do business with you. These words carry weight no matter what, so make sure you are giving people a positive story to tell.

3. Emotions and Senses Are Immensely Important During This Step

With the customer experience, leave no stone unturned when it comes to creating sensory impressions.

This is where human beings store memories and emotions.

So in addition to psychological choices about which fonts or colors are best, you can touch the senses through things like tickling the taste buds with a sweet treat or incorporating aromatherapy in your physical location.

Regardless of what you decide on, always strive to reach your customer on a sensory level.

Put Together Your Customer Strategies

Now that you know a little bit about customer service vs customer experience, it’s time to start putting plans into place.

We’d love to help you employ the strategies that work.

When your company needs the best customer solutions around, get in touch with us online or reach us at 866-418-3838.

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CCM Buyer's Guide

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