Customer service and customer experience are two industry terms that are often mistakenly used interchangeably. The concepts may be similar and intertwined, but they’re not actually the same thing at all. However, both customer service and experience significantly impact the overall impressions customers have of your brand.
Customer service is a much more widespread and all-encompassing concept than customer experience as it embodies the customer journey as a whole. On the other hand, customer experience is specific to certain interactions throughout their journey with your brand.
For a better understanding of the two concepts, let’s take a look at what they mean and how they each play into the larger scheme of your business.
What Is Customer Service?
Good or bad customer service is defined by the level, type, and quality of service customers receive or can expect to receive from your brand. It has to do with direct customer and representative interactions.
Customer service representatives are essentially the voice of your brand and the type of service they provide—whether it’s processing orders/transactions, answering questions, resolving problems, or issuing refunds—directly impacts customer retention, loyalty, and overall experience.
Delivering reliable, top-notch customer service will ultimately keep customers satisfied and incentivize them to continue supporting your brand. Additionally, it could even encourage them to voluntarily recommend your products and services to people they know, which inadvertently helps increase your revenue.
So what constitutes excellent customer service?
- Demonstrable product and service knowledge
Customers want to feel special when they contact your brand representatives, not like they’re just another number. Presenting them with personalized, efficient, and accurate service is the best way to cement the customer-brand relationship.
What Is Customer Experience?
Essentially, customer experience is the overall perception customers have interacting and engaging with your brand across a number of platforms. It’s not based on one interaction, but on the quality and level of service customers receive as a whole from your brand.
This perception can be based on comments from other customers or through reading online reviews. Or, it can be based on personal individual encounters with your brand. Generally, customer experiences are tied to good or bad customer service.
Simply put, customer experience is defined by your brand’s reputation and whether or not you strive to cultivate strong, positive relationships with your patrons.
The Fine Line between Customer Service and Customer Experience
Customer service has to do with the quality of service your brand provides with the goal of keeping customers satisfied and building their loyalty. In turn, customer experience is strongly connected to the value your customers place on the services and products you provide.
Both concepts are intermingled in the sense that they can have a profound impact on one another. Customer service shapes the customer experience and vice versa. What you learn from the experiences of your customers and their journeys greatly influences the customer service strategies your brands employ—or, at least, it should.
Why You Should Outsource Customer Service from 3C Contact Services
As one of the leading customer service providers in North America, 3C Contact Services helps small- and medium-sized businesses expand their customer bases by personalizing the customer service experience. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you grow your business!