Business Management

Infographic: Key differences between Customer Service and Customer Experience

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Meygan Gerber

Junior Consultant at EHL Advisory Services

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There is a common misinterpretation and interchangeability between terms such as "customer service" and "customer experience.". Although they sound similar, their meanings are vastly different. You will be able to better serve your current and future customers if you understand the differences between these two seemingly equal terms. Creating memorable moments for your guests will create lifelong positive impacts!


    What is Customer Service (CS)?

    Customer service can be described as: providing high quality, helpful, and professional service to a customer before, during, and after a purchase of a product or service. Meeting the needs and desires of any customer is what it is all about.".

    In order to provide excellent customer service, we go beyond simply identifying the causes of customer frustrations. Employees across all guest service functions should be indoctrinated with a customer-driven culture to achieve this goal.

    A common mistake many companies make is in how they approach this customer-driven strategy, which is driven by profits (a sales-driven culture). Instead, all employees should strive to deliver a superb customer experience (and meet the needs of customers).

    What is Customer Experience (CX)?

    Customer experience is the sum of all the touchpoints clients experience throughout the duration of their relationship with your brand.

    The experience starts with the moment a customer visits your website (or shop), to their first contact with your customer service team, and even after the sale. A customer experience consists of all of these touchpoints. CX refers to how a customer feels throughout the buyer journey, not just the direct interaction with the brand.

    Differences between Customer Service and Customer Experience

    The key difference between customer service and the entire customer experience is the number of interactions between the company and the client. The customer experience consists of several interactions (or few), while customer service consists of one (or only a few) touchpoints

    We can only provide customer service if the client actively contacts us through their preferred method (email, phone, social media, live chat, etc). Customer experience, on the other hand, is about anticipating a client's needs. To meet or resolve a client's needs, don't wait for them to raise an issue. Customers expect companies to become intuitive, learn from previous or common issues, and understand their needs and expectations in order to provide them with great CX. By analyzing figures from previous interactions, improvements can be made before customers encounter any problems.

    Customer service representatives are responsible for helping customers with whatever issues they're facing, regardless of whether they're dealing with them face to face or online. On the other hand, the customer experience is often shared across all teams, including marketing, sales, and product development. Despite not interacting directly with customers, these teams indirectly affect their perception and loyalty.

    Customer Service vs. Customer Experience: which matters more?

    CX and CS make up an essential part of your business' success, just like cheese and wine aren't whole without the other.

    Therefore, if you're in business for the long term, you should take a step back and evaluate how to create a better customer experience. Customer experience is more than just a trend. Everything your company does should revolve around it. Customer care is one of the best ways to delight customers throughout their entire buying journey.

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