CX vs. CS

3 min read

The difference between customer experience and customer service

Customer experience and customer service are linked, but they are not the same thing. Customer experience is the entire web of interactions (or touchpoints) that a customer has with your company, whereas customer service is usually focused on helping a customer at a specific point in their journey.

Learning the difference between the two can massively enhance the value of prospects and customers over time.

Customer experience covers the path someone takes to a purchase (as a ‘prospect’) as well as when they become your ‘customer’ and can be nurtured. As we mentioned earlier, it’s the sum of all their interactions with you. Take your car insurance, for example. The experience covers everything from how easy it was to find a competitive quote and set up the policy to what it’s like to renew a year later.

Customer service: often comes about as a direct response to a query or question. It can involve contact with a human, or a digitally assisted ‘agent’ such as a Chat facility. Often (but not always), the interaction comes about due to a negative experience – perhaps receiving the wrong product or damaged goods, not receiving the product at all or not finding enough information online. In our example above, it could be the moment you phone up a call centre to put in a claim for a road accident.

Ultimately, if your customer service is aligned with your customer experience, then you will attract and retain customers. This link in your web or chain needs to be robust, adaptable and digitally assisted.

As we know, we’re more likely to post a negative review about what we perceive as bad customer service than to rave enthusiastically about a great customer experience. In the case of the latter, we are too busy enjoying the results of our perfect product or service to take time to review. Our chapter: Reviews and CX covers some innovations to help you improve your online reviews. For now, let’s take a dive into tools that can help you ensure great customer service.

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