The terms customer service and customer experience are often used interchangeably, but they actually mean very different things. Knowing the difference between the two will help you navigate your customer-facing efforts with greater effectiveness and efficiency, leading to better experiences and increased revenue. Here’s what you need to know about each term, how they differ, and why they matter when it comes to pleasing your customers. Find a detailed comparison of customer service vs customer experience here.
How to implement customer service
The key thing that many businesses have trouble grasping is that customer service is much more than just frontline employees who deal with customers on a regular basis. In fact, it’s a lot more than just calls, emails and text messages. Customer service involves getting everyone in your company involved—it’s about developing relationships with people and delivering consistent positive experiences over time. When you do things like follow up with people after they’ve purchased from you or after they’ve had a good experience (or even a bad one), it shows them that you care. It shows them that you’re committed to their happiness even after they’ve made their purchase or lost their patience in dealing with your business.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience (CX) is a term that refers to your customer’s perceptions and interactions with your company across every channel. This encompasses everything from face-to-face interactions, social media, phone conversations, emails, product design and service delivery. So if you think about it, every aspect of your business could be considered part of CX. While customer service may only encompass one or two parts of a typical customer journey (e.g., an interaction with a call center representative), customer experience can include all aspects of engagement with a brand over time.
Satisfied customers are happy and loyal customers. It’s in your best interest as a business owner to make sure your customers are satisfied. They’ll be more likely to buy from you again, refer others and remain active members of your community. Yet there’s a big difference between customer satisfaction and customer experience — but not many companies recognize it.
According to Gallup’s research, a company with a high-engaged workforce has customers who spend more and remain loyal. So as you look at all that’s encompassed in customer service, remember that there are distinct differences between what makes for good customer service and what drives customer experience. While customer service exists solely inside your organization, customers experience your brand (service AND product) over time. Another key difference is how front-line employees feel about their jobs – employee engagement is a major factor in delivering great experiences; it’s not just about how you treat customers. It really matters how each individual employee perceives his or her job and its role in delivering great experiences. Do they believe their work matters? Are they proud of their company?
Implementing customer feedback systems
Implementing a customer feedback system in your business isn’t difficult—all you need is a basic commitment to listening to what customers are saying and acting on their feedback. Feedback can come in many forms, including customer surveys, social media interactions and third-party review sites. With some of these systems (especially surveys), you’ll want to develop a formal process for collecting and acting on that information, whether it’s requesting responses every two weeks or inviting customers directly on social media channels. Here are a few other tips for getting started: Invite customers to provide feedback when they visit your location . Ask them what went well and where improvements could be made.