Customers matter to your business. They matter more than anything else. That’s why you take every possible measure to serve them well. You serve them well because you know good service can enhance their overall experience with your brand.
However, many support agents confuse “customer service” with, “customer experience” and most of them think both terms are the same. But there are some marked differences you should know.
While “customer service vs customer experience” is a hot topic in the industry, we should understand how both terms are part of the same fabric. After all, servicing customers well leads to an improved experience.
In this blog, we will explore customer service and experience in detail and also try to understand the differences and similarities.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is any assistance, help, and support provided by a business to its customers. It refers to any assistance offered before, during, and after a purchase. The ambit of customer service is vast and can encompass a wide range of activities, starting from providing guidance, answering queries, offering advice, fixing issues related to orders, and more.
While activities may vary from industry to industry, the ultimate purpose of customer service everywhere is the same: make sure customers have a good experience with the brand. And when the service is good, it delights customers, turns them into brand loyalists, and helps establish a positive brand reputation.
Some key elements that make the foundation of successful customer service include –
- Timely responses – Being available to customers as and when needed and offering them timely responses is one of the cornerstones of customer service.
- Empathy – Good customer service is all about understanding customers’ problems inside out, hearing each concern in detail, and responding with an air of compassion.
- Accuracy of information – Customers often approach service agents with the hope to get accurate information about the product or service so that they can find the desired response.
- A sense of professionalism – When customers reach out to the service team, they expect agents to treat them with respect and help them with due professionalism.
- Follow-up measures – Every customer wants to be followed up right after getting the service as it makes them feel important and special.
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience (CX) is the total of all the interactions a customer has with a company over a course of time. It includes virtually every aspect of a customer’s experience, including the kind of customer service received, the interactions with the products or services, or any other touchpoint in the journey. And the customer’s experience with a business will impact their decision to continue or not continue with the company.
Several key elements shape the customer experience, including –
- Quality of products or services – Whether or not a customer will have a positive experience with a company depends a lot on the quality of products or services offered.
- Customer service – The quality of customer service provided is also a key factor in affecting a customer’s experience with a brand.
- Personalization – Customers expect a touch of personalization in their interactions with a company and its presence leads to positive experiences.
- Brand reputation – A company that enjoys a solid reputation for every aspect of customer dealings is more likely to provide positive experiences for customers.
Why Customer Service Matters?
Customer service is vital for businesses because it has a direct correlation with customer happiness and loyalty. When the level of service is good, a business can have more happy customers than ever before. 96% of customers accept that customer service is key to their choice of loyalty to a brand.
Customer service matters for more reasons than a business can anticipate, including –
- Customer service contributes to retention – Customers often spend more with brands that offer great service. They not only spend more but also become loyal and refer the brand to others.
- Customer service can boost brand image – Any company that offers poor customer service can witness unhappy customers, resulting in a damaged brand reputation in the market.
- Customer service can help increase revenue – Companies that maintain excellence in customer service not only have the edge over the competition but also witness a boost in revenue.
- Customer service can lead to better experiences – Customers feel valued when they get quality service. They also share feedback when the quality of service provided to them meets their expectations. All this could lead to better experiences for customers.
- Customer service can win loyalty – Good customer service not only motivates customers to purchase more but also to stick with the brand for longer, resulting in lifelong loyalty.
Why Customer Experience Matters?
Customer experience is key to the success of any business and investing in it can bring significant benefits to any organization. It has a direct impact on so many aspects such as satisfaction, loyalty, brand image, etc. that no business can ignore its virtues. 72% of customers will share a positive experience with six or more people.
Many reasons show why customer experience matters –
- Customer experience can determine customer satisfaction – Whether customers are satisfied or not with a brand depends entirely on their experience. When the experience is negative, the satisfaction level will be up, and vice versa.
- Customer experience has a direct impact on brand reputation – There is no denying that a customer’s experience with a company has a huge role to play in the kind of brand reputation the company enjoys in the market.
- Customer experience helps gain loyalty – Companies that offer positive experiences to customers more often are likely to have more loyal customers compared to others. Such organizations are also likely to get more repeat business as well.
- Customer experience can win brand advocacy – Customers don’t mind sharing their experiences on social channels and other platforms when they are happy. Such customers can work like brand advocates and recommend the company to clothes.
Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience
Customer service and customer experience are related in many ways yet distinct concepts. While service is a key part of offering a positive experience to customers, it’s just one part of the entire customer journey with a brand.
There are four key differences between customer service and customer experience, including –
- Customer service is just one aspect of a CX strategy of a brand and its focus is limited to a single instance. On the other hand, customer experience comprises a whole journey through separate instances where some may not involve any support channel at all.
- Customer service has one or sometimes very few touchpoints while customer experience is made up of various interactions and touchpoints.
- Customer service is typically reactive and mostly comes into play as and when a customer needs assistance. On the other hand, customer experience is proactive and will encompass every interaction that a business and customer involve at every touchpoint.
- Customer service is mostly focused on resolving a specific issue so it’s immediate and short-term. Customer experience however is unlike service and is more of a long-term approach encompassing a customer’s entire journey with the brand.
- Some of the key metrics that are used to measure customer service include CSAT, response time, and issue resolution rate. On the other hand, some of the key metrics to measure customer experience include Net Promoter Score, customer lifetime value, and customer retention rate.
- Every organization needs to have a dedicated customer service team to service customers while customer experience is something that needs the entire organization. Every employee within the organization has to play a role in offering a positive experience to customers.
- While customer service is focused on resolving specific issues, customer experience is more oriented toward creating an emotional connection between the brand and the customer.
Customer Service vs Customer Experience – Which Matters More?
Both customer service and customer experience are key to the growth and success of a business. While customer service is focused more on meeting customer needs, customer experience is a more holistic concept that includes the entire customer journey. Now when the business world is becoming competitive by the day, offering great customer experiences has become a major differentiator for businesses across industries. More importantly, customers now expect brands to make them feel valued and appreciated.
Both customer service and customer experience may be distinct but each has a unique role to play for customers. Situations may arise where customer service may hold more value than customer experience, and vice versa.
Take for example, If a customer faces any problem with a product or service, a business must focus on resolving that issue immediately through good customer service to win the confidence of the customer. However, offering a positive overall experience will become the need when a customer has no immediate issue yet want to feel good about the brand in some way.
The following examples will help you better understand the concept –
Example 1 – A customer orders a product online but is not happy with the quality of the product. Since the customer is not happy, he would ideally like the customer service team to resolve the issue and add to the experience. Here, only customer service can save the day for the business.
Example 2 – A customer is searching for a product and he finds many options in the category. Here, since the customer has different options and choices, his satisfaction level will depend less on the product or service and more on the overall experience that he receives with the brand.
Integrating Customer Service and Customer Experience
Every business wants to create and deliver a seamless, positive experience for its customers. Doing this can help them win the trust of customers and boost brand loyalty. All this can become possible only when a business decides to integrate customer service and customer experience.
Here are some of the ways a business can integrate customer experience and customer service:
- Adopt a customer-centric approach – Your business needs to consider the needs and preferences of customers at each step of the way by making them the focal point of all operations. Only this can lead to an improved customer experience.
- Keep the messaging consistent across touchpoints – A business can provide a unified and seamless experience for customers only when it decides to adopt consistent messaging across all touchpoints.
- Provide a positive experience – Customers expect personalized services and they also want the agents to show a sense of empathy with the delivery of the service. A business that takes care of customer issues and provides a positive experience can make customers loyal for life.
- Use technology to improve customer support – Businesses can use advanced engagement tools such as live chat and AI chatbots to offer quick support and give self-service options as well.
- Collect and analyze customer feedback – A business needs to collect customer feedback and analyze it so that it can find out areas for improvement. This is the only way you can enhance both service and experience for customers.
Use REVE Chat Tools And Boost Customer Experience With Your Brand
Meeting customer expectations and needs should always be a top priority for businesses as only this can open the window of opportunities for them.
At REVE Chat, we understand how customer service needs to keep pace with the changing times around and that’s why we bring the right tools and technology for the same.
We have a range of engagement tools that your business can leverage and redefine the way great experience is offered to customers.
With our AI-powered chatbots, your business can automate support, offer quick responses, and add value to the customer journey with your brand.
In addition, your business can benefit from our visual engagement tools such as and video chat, co-browsing software to personalize the help for customers.
In addition, live chat software can be combined with a chatbot to provide hybrid support and ensure value to customers at each step of the way.
Great customer service is often the foundation of ensuring amazing experiences for customers.
With customer engagement technology improving, there was never a better time than today to elevate the service experience for customers.
With REVE Chat, sign up and test some of the best customer engagement tools for your business.