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Do all businesses want to keep their customers happy? We’d hope so.
Mastering a customer-centric approach involves customer experience and customer service—but do they mean the same thing? Is there a difference between these two terms?
In a nutshell, here’s how industry veterans would define each:
OK—hopefully you understand why they’re both priorities for your business.
Now, let’s have an in-depth look at customer service vs. customer experience.
Customer service is the assistance provided to customers before and after they make a purchase.
Customer service expectations have grown in the past few years. Microsoft found that 54% of consumers have higher customer service expectations than they did just one year ago. Another study found that 52% of consumers say they have made an additional purchase from a company after a positive customer service experience.
The Harvard Business Review believes that customer service matters on all platforms.
Today’s consumers have a large number of avenues where they can get in touch with customer support teams. Email, text messaging, live chat, chatbots, and social media enable them to make a purchase anytime and anywhere.
Technology such as video calls and cobrowsing have helped support teams create in-store and face-to-face experiences online. Websites also have integrated live chat functions to provide easy assistance to staff.
Customer service is not just conversation. It’s an essential part of the experience that your business offers consumers.
If you want to get an A+ in customer service, here are some guidelines to follow:
Customer experience refers to the journey that customers will have with a brand.
It encompasses all interactions, including browsing products on a website, interacting with staff, making a purchase, reading promotional blog posts, and using your product.
This seems very broad and complex but it all comes down to customers’ perceptions and relationships. A brand with a pleasant, cohesive, and consistent customer experience is likely to retain customers and achieve more customer loyalty over time.
In fact, a study found that 86% of consumers are likely to pay more to receive a better customer experience. Additionally, customers who have enjoyed a good overall customer experience are three and a half times more likely to repurchase and five times more likely to recommend the company to friends and family than if they had a very poor experience.
Brands like Apple and Starbucks have mastered the art of customer experience. This is why hardcore fans will line up a day before the release of a new iPhone or Macbook. Starbucks has also gained a cult-like following by developing a cozy in-store atmosphere and delivering a seamless mobile experience.
Across various touchpoints in the customer journey, consumers build a relationship with the brand and form their own perceptions. The businesses that manage to build a seamless and positive experience eventually become industry titans.
Consider these tips to upgrade your customer experience:
To summarize, what’s the difference between these two terms?
Customer experience is focused on the entire journey from pre-purchase to post-purchase. In contrast, customer service is solely limited to service interactions like asking for product information or reporting and solving issues.
Businesses invest in building exceptional customer experience and customer service in the long term because both of them are essential to hitting sales targets and achieving customer success. Businesses that put customers first will ultimately gain a competitive advantage.
If your company could use help with building an unforgettable and appealing customer experience, learn more about how our flexible and scalable software suite can support your sales and support efforts and improve customer experience and team-wide productivity.