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Customer Experience vs. Customer Service – Which One Matters More For Loyalty

  • Posted on April 15, 2022 by Robert
  • Reading time about 6 minutes

Winning customers ‘hearts is what every business needs to succeed. The two most important aspects that help to strengthen customer-brand relationships are customer service & customer experience. Both of these terms are often confused or used interchangeably. However, they are not the same but are very much related. The difference lies in how customers use a product and how they are being treated throughout the customer journey.

To ensure that your customers stay connected with your brand for a long time, you must rely on loyalty customer service programs that focus on offering the best experience as well as service. In this blog, we will dive to see what differentiates them and how to measure them to help your brand focus more on what’s important.

What is Customer Service?

Customer service is strictly an act of providing assistance & advice to your customers before, during, and after the purchase of your product/service, whenever required. Your brand needs a well-versed customer handling team that has a good knowledge of products and patience to handle multiple requests and assistance. They are customer-facing departments i.e. representatives at call centers or staff in physical stores.

Customer service is only a small piece of the puzzle called customer journey, which impacts customer experience as a whole. Your brand cannot have a good customer experience without great customer service while customer service loses its motive if the customer experience is not up to the mark. This is evident that both play a huge role and are equally important.

What is Customer Experience?

Customer Experience, also known as CX, can be defined as the complete customer journey across the organization, which includes each & every interaction involved between the customer and the brand. This includes the way your brand makes customers feel when they walk into your store when they use your product/service, their interactions with self-service assistants/team, and more.

Customer experience includes three main components such as customer service, the technology behind the product, and the design, which is the brand touchpoint. All of these aspects must work together to ensure a good customer experience.

Key Differences between Customer Experience & Customer Service

The main difference between customer service and customer experience is that customer service focuses only on one aspect while customer experience is the entire customer journey with the business. This means service is only limited to customer interactions where customers seek advice from agents. On the other hand, customer experience can involve analyzing data from non-customer-facing teams that contribute to customers’ overall experience. Both play a crucial role in the company’s growth and the right customer loyalty software solution can be an added advantage to improving the customer retention rate. The differences between customer service & customer experience are listed below-

  • Holistic experience vs. specific interaction

The main difference between customer service and customer experience is the number of touchpoints involved and the length of the interaction.

A good customer experience requires several touchpoints and multiple departments are involved in the whole process. This refers to the entire customer journey including the discovery and awareness of a business, the initial purchase, and post-purchase assistance, to hopefully repeated purchases. As it involves more than one interaction, the customer experience is holistic.

Customer service is just a part of the customer experience as it is one step of a customer’s journey. The customer service’s task is to support customers by solving their issues, thereby helping to improve their overall customer experience. This focuses only on customer-facing departments, which usually involve just one or two touchpoints. Every customer is different so as their needs. Some customers may need interaction for a single time while others may need more than one interaction in the journey.

  • Reactive vs. Proactive

One key difference between the two terms is that customer service is a reactive process and experience is a proactive process.

Customer experience is all about predicting the pains/needs of the customer and making amendments accordingly. One way to improve is to study funnel drop-off points and website analytics and ask for customer feedback from time to time. Monitoring and improving experience ensure that your customers don’t run into problems, which is why a good customer experience is a proactive approach.

Talking about customer service, it is nearly always initiated by the customer. Whether it’s about an inquiry about your product or an unpleasant experience, customers tend to reach out to the support team via channels like calls, social media, email, chat system, etc. In this context, customer service is reactive.

  • Whole Organization vs. Single Team

Another aspect that differentiates the two is customer experience is the responsibility of the whole team while customer service is mainly handled by only the customer support team.

Customer experience deals with what your customers think, feel, remember and talk about the company, involving hundreds of touchpoints facilitating the customer-brand interaction. That is why, maintaining a good customer experience requires the whole team members of an organization, starting from the product team, to the shipping team, delivery team, and after-sales management.

Customer service is mainly the responsibility of only a single team i.e. the support team. This focuses only on helping customers in times of trouble/concern and customers approach the support department only when they need assistance.

  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative Metrics

Customer experience is more like an experiential or emotional entity that is associated with the feelings of customers towards your brand. Some of the metrics that can be strongly indicative of its quality are Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), Customer Retention Rate, Customer Churn Rate, etc.

On the other hand, Customer service can be easier to measure as it can be analyzed how quickly or regularly the support team has responded or resolved to a query. After the resolution, was the customer satisfied with the service or not. Some of the main indicators are CSAT (Customer Satisfaction Score), CES (Customer Effort Score), Net Promoter Score (NPS), etc.

Final Statement

Both customer service and customer experience play a great role to boost customer spending and overall customer loyalty. Customers are 2X more likely to talk about bad customer service as compared to good customer service. Brands that don’t offer good customer service are likely to lose more than 89% of their customers over competitors.

Offering personalized customer experiences is the key to winning customers’ hearts and that’s where loyalty programs come into action. Connect with our expert developers to develop a robust Loyalty Management System that focuses on collecting customer data and extracting insights for the delivery of customized experiences. Take your business to new heights of success with the new ways to engage with your customers.

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