Supporting customers online is a big undertaking. It’s not always easy to know what they want or how they want it.
80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as important as its products or services.
So customers say the experience is just as important as the service, but what’s the difference? If you’re supporting customers online, you need to know in order to support them to the best of your ability.
While the terms “customer service” and “customer experience” are often confused or used interchangeably, they’re actually not the same thing.
Customer experience is the whole journey your customer has with your company, and customer service is a part of that experience, focused on the support of customers. Below are the two described in more detail.
Customer service is the assistance or support provided to your customers by your company for a specific product or service.
You build your customer service with customers in mind, and there are many different types to choose from. Getting them the support they need is the essence of customer service.
Customers notice when you put their needs first, and that plays into the customer experience.
If a customer feels they’ve been wronged by your customer service, they will be vocal about it most of the time.
They notice that you aren’t putting their needs first or supporting them to the best of your ability, so their experience is poor and they no longer want to continue.
On its own, customer service is limited to the interactions a customer has when seeking advice or assistance. Good customer service provides:
That’s not to say that there aren’t any other ways to provide good customer service, but that these four things will help you avoid bad customer service.
If your customers feel that you have communicated with them clearly (in short answers with terms they can understand), you know what you’re talking about when it comes to your brand and its products, you listen to what they have to say, and you provide all of this to them in the most convenient way possible, that will be a successful customer service interaction.
This, and everything else your customers go through on your page, contributes to their experience.
Customer experience is the customer journey that includes every interaction between the customer and your business. It involves all the ways your customer engages with your content, including customer service.
Customers build a relationship with the brand and create their own perceptions across various touchpoints. The two primary touchpoints are people and product.
The performance of your product and customer service are two factors that can affect customer experience. The product and the people are creating an atmosphere that the customer will either want to revel in or never return to.
The experience customers have is what they will make them want to come back and keep engaging with your product. Focusing on making a good impression on your customers is important.
Their experience is what will drive your company forward because a happy customer is likely to become a loyal customer.
A good customer experience includes:
You need to clearly communicate not only what you do and why you do it, but also that your website is for them. Customers want to see a clean website that is consistent across the board and shows them appreciation.
The experience is the part that they will remember, and everything has a purpose in it. All the moving pieces will fit together in the end, but if one thing screams loudly that it sucks, the overall experience will fall.
This is why the difference is so important. And also why it may not seem that important at first. Because everything needs to be the best it can be.
Knowing the difference between customer service and customer experience is important because grouping them together can cause your customer experience to be less than optimal.
You want to provide both in the best way possible, but only providing good customer service won’t help with the other aspects of customer experience.
Your customers are your best resource for growing your business. They have so many options to choose from, and the resources they need to find information for themselves.
You want to provide services and experiences that make them want to continue doing business with you.
Not only do you need to provide these services for your customers, but they also have expectations that need to be met. Your customers know what makes a good experience for them, so they have expectations when entering your site.
In order to meet these expectations, try vamping up your customer support and creating an all-around better customer experience.
Customer service vs. customer experience can be confusing, but all you need to do is know the difference.
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