MarTech Primers: Customer Service Versus Customer Experience
Forrester’s report on the Customer Experience Index states that the top 20% of brands investing in customer experience recorded a higher stock price growth and achieved greater returns. Companies focus on mitigating pain points to prevent reputational risks – dedicated support, personalized services, and 24/7 assistance are a few measures that they adopt. Customer service is one component of the elements shaping up the overall customer experience. In this blog, we shall highlight the major differences between the terms ‘customer experience’ and ‘customer service’.
1. Key Elements
Salient features of customer service include professionalism, promptness, politeness, and personalization. While, customer experience is based on the principles of inspiration, insights, improvement, and institutionalization.
Now, we shall elaborate on these features one by one. Professionalism implies that customer service representatives are trained to treat their customers in a professional way. Along with the subject knowledge and core expertise, they are trained in behavioral skills.
Customers expect a prompt reply and do not accept delays of any kind. Give a prompt response to emails, messages, and calls. Whether the customers make a purchase or not, service representatives need to deal with them politely. Who wouldn’t like to be pampered? Even businesses are pampering their customers by offering personalized services. Treating customers on a personal level and providing tailor-made services results in customer delight.
Often, an organization addresses specific customer touchpoints rather than delivering a holistic experience. Failure to address all aspects of a customer’s buying journey results in poor experience, detachment, and disloyalty. To run a customer-centric business, you need a comprehensive vision that will identify the target audience accurately and help you plan accordingly. High retention rates imply that your company delivers a satisfactory customer experience and does all things right to keep the customers happy. This shift is a top-down approach where the C-suite communicates its vision to the employees and works towards building a customer-centric organization.
Key points to remember while delivering high-quality customer service are – prioritize convenience, make regular follow-ups, maintain delivery flowcharts, listen to your customers and build your brand’s voice through Omnichannel Marketing and Social Media Marketing.
Crafting a great customer experience needs minimal effort to purchase, evaluate opportunities, consistent branding, analyze key metrics, and continuously upgrade your capabilities to stay up to date with the latest consumer trends.
3. Organizational Structure
A major difference between these two terms arises with the organizational structure. If you focus on customer experience, you will empower your Marketing department to build a presence in the market. On the contrary, every organization has a dedicated customer service department to resolve customer issues.
4. Customer Interaction
An important point to remember is that all customer service activities are a part of customer experience, but all activities under customer experience are not related to services. Customer services deal with complaints, issues, and questions raised by the customers. Under customer experience, organizations work proactively to improve the overall buying experience and avoid problems well in advance.
5. Software Solutions
To keep pace with the ever-evolving customer needs, companies are developing various kinds of service-oriented applications to cater to their needs. Examples include live chat, call center, 24/7 help desk, instant messaging apps, and chatbots. These tools leverage ticketing management capabilities to find new ways of developing efficient and effective customer interaction.
Companies are implementing software applications to track real-time customer sentiment and levels of satisfaction for a smoother customer journey. Examples include online surveys, multi-channel communication, remarketing, and ticket-based CRM tools.
Gartner finds that service experience is a major factor contributing to customer attrition. Price and evolving customer needs outweigh poor customer experience only in 30% and 28% of the cases respectively. The level of customer service determines the quality of the overall customer experience. When a customer finds an easy process to arrive at a wise buying decision, the chances of building customer loyalty are higher.
What steps are you taking to retain loyal customers?