Customer Service: A Single Piece of the Customer Experience Puzzle
Customer experience (CX) has become one of the hottest buzzwords in the business world. In fact, the Temkin Group found that companies that earn $1 billion annually, can expect to earn an additional $700 million on average within the first three years of investing in CX. Yet the terms ‘customer service’ and ‘customer experience’ are often used interchangeably, even though they are not the same. So, do brands really know what CX means?
Customer service is just one piece of the puzzle, focusing simply on singular interactions between a customer and the brand.
It is a more reactionary process that requires brand representatives to have specific skills in order to be able to deliver it successfully and to a satisfactory level for the customer. Whether that’s detailed product knowledge or the ability to empathise with a customer’s feelings.
Customer experience on the other hand, encompasses a customer’s entire journey with the brand and the responsibility for it falls equally upon everyone within the business. This includes everything from the customer’s first visit to the website, all the way through to any customer service they receive post-purchase. The best way to measure CX is by understanding the impression the company is making on customers after each interaction. It is a proactive business strategy.
A good customer experience isn’t going to be created overnight and there are a number of steps that businesses must take to achieve it.
Although it may sound contradictory, businesses usually see a decrease in their customer experience standing because they offer poor customer service. Afterall, customer service is often the last interaction a customer will have with a business, which can have a lasting impact on their overall impression of the brand.
What’s more, the front line of customer service is where businesses can gain some of the best insights about their customers, which can be used to better understand them and consequently offer them the CX they expect.
While customer service and customer experience are not the same, they do work hand in hand. If businesses want to become a brand known for their CX, they need to get their customer service right first. By taking simple steps like ensuring communication channels are continually manned and applying new technologies like integrated customer cloud platforms, businesses can more easily provide a consistent and enjoyable experience for customers.