Once upon a time, businesses could take pride in providing excellent customer service and call it a day. That's all that matters, right? Well, no, not exactly. With so many options to choose from and outlets to leave feedback, customers have the upper hand instead of businesses. One negative review can be spread all over the internet and give you a bad reputation. To keep customers happy, businesses need to be providing a fantastic overall customer experience.
It can be easy to presume that customer service is the customer experience, but that's not the case. Customer service is an integral part of the customer experience, but it is just that—only one part of the whole. So, let's look at the difference between customer service and customer experience to see why they're both essential in keeping your customers happy.
What is Customer Service
Customer service is what businesses use to keep customer satisfaction up. Customer service is not necessarily a part of every single customer experience either. It is a reactive measure taken to assist customers before, during and after they interact with your business. That is when customers receive service from a support staff member or use self-service resources, like forums, FAQs, and how-to articles, to find solutions themselves.
For example, a big area where customer service happens is customer support. When there's a problem or someone is unhappy with a product, customer support swoops in to save the day. The significant part about customer service is that it can resolve an issue even after the customer leaves your location or an item is purchased.
Customer service is the direct response, and it's incredibly important. If guests experience unpleasant customer service, they are more likely to leave negative public feedback and deter others from visiting your establishment.
What is Customer Experience
While customer service is one specific way to keep guests happy, the customer experience is becoming the primary focus for businesses. The customer experience is the overall journey that a customer goes on from start to finish and how they perceive the interactions with your company. It starts the second someone hits the internet and clicks on your business's website and doesn't end until you hopefully get that positive feedback in the end.
Customer experience is not a one and done interaction. Instead, think of it as the relationship between the customer and your business, how customers feel about the sum of the interactions they have with your business. It encompasses every part of the journey, and if they continue to come back, the customer experience carries over into every visit.
The customer experience starts when they type in an internet search and happen upon your business. First, they see good ratings, so they dive into the reviews and scour them. Next, they check any social media accounts connected to the business and look at pictures, videos and posts to make sure they want to purchase your product or services.
After deciding your business is where they want to spend their money, they start the purchasing process. If they run into issues trying to purchase, this can begin a negative customer experience which they remember even if they continue through the process. The customer experience continues through an online purchase, visit your retail location or as they use your services.
If any problems arise when using products or services, the customer support team will take care of them. See how customer service is part of the customer experience? How their issue is resolved can affect their entire experience, so customer service is still extremely important.
The customer experience doesn't end once they complete their purchase, visit or stay. There is still time for them to get online and leave feedback. If it's positive, great! If not, you will need to continue the customer experience by reaching out to let them know you've seen their comments and will work to fix it for next time. This could result in a return visit, thus continuing the customer experience.
To truly gain an understanding of customer experience, you must know that it encompasses every aspect of a company’s offerings - from the quality of its customer care to its reputation management, marketing, packaging, product and service features, ease of use, reliability, and beyond.
If you are looking to improve or stay ahead of the game in customer experience, it is essential to analyze customer feedback from all platforms. Investing in an end-to-end omnichannel customer feedback management platform will ensure all your bases are covered. Even if you are dealing with negative feedback, it can be used positively to help you make changes for the future. Every outlet for feedback is essential. To ensure you see the entire customer experience from start to finish, physical, digital and voice channels should be managed. No amount of data is too small to be used!
Two Approaches Working Together
Customer experience is proactive while customer service is reactive. Customer service is typically used when a problem has occurred or when customers seek and/or receive “support”. Customer experience encompasses all the interactions a customer has with your brand. The customer experience is focused on delivering exceptional experience, ensuring no issues happen, which makes it a proactive approach. Your customer experience team should collect customer feedback and make changes to alleviate as much of a need for customer service and support.
To sum it up, customer experience and customer service are crucial elements to keep your customers happy and build brand loyalty. Businesses are putting more time and energy into their customer experience strategies to ensure customer loyalty and new business. Customer experience is a shared responsibility across the organization. Everyone in the business from the marketing and sales team to the operation team to the support team is in charge of giving customers the best experience across all touchpoints.
Managing customer feedback from all touchpoints and across all channels is essential in providing superior customer experience. Take some time to identify and rank most critical touchpoints throughout the customer journey. Press’nXPress helps you in measuring customer feedback and establish benchmarks and baseline to measure and improve customer experience effectively. The generated feedback insights will help your team adapt to your customer expectations and provide a seamless experience.
Our mission at Press'nXPress is to help our clients improve the customer experience at any interaction point. You can reach out to our experts to see how the experience measurement can benefit your business today! Reach out and talk to us.