The difference between Customer Experience and Customer Service can sometimes be overlooked and often mixed up. Even though they have very different roles and are triggered by different strategies and methodologies, they aren’t in fact too foreign to each other’s worlds.
By definition, Customer Experience (CX) is the outcome of all interactions between a customer and a service or product provider. It encapsulates all experiences during a customer journey and as such, CX uses a proactive approach to seek better ways to identify gaps and enhance the experience between people and brands. So here, CX is by nature proactive. It ensures planning and processes are implemented so a business can truly understand a customer’s point of view, pains and gains in order to provide the best possible experience first time, every time.
Customer Service on the other hand, uses a reactive approach, in the way that it doesn’t necessarily get your Customer Service manager out there seeking positive or negative feedback (apart from regular NPS scoring). A Customer Service team simply manages a customer complaint, feedback or query received and deals with it accordingly.
So as I said, they play very different roles but (big ‘but’ here) they fit into each other’s words, in the following ways:
A Customer Service team plays a very important role in the CX ecosystem of a company. It represents a channel of engagement and ultimately a touch point (if not several) between a customer and a company. It plays a very crucial role in the CX puzzle, having as much importance, if not more, than any of the marketing and communications channels used during a customer life cycle. If a customer query is badly managed and it doesn’t follow the CX principles and journeys stipulated by the business, then you are probably reducing your advocacy, loyalty and welcoming bad, very bad reviews (does this sound familiar?).
Customer service as well as marketing, operations, HR, transformation, IT play a key role in the CX journey of any company, whether big or small.
For SME’s and medium size businesses, it’s even more crucial how a bad review or customer feedback is dealt with. If resolution is poor, this can truly impact a business reputation and even sabotage future growth and customer acquisition.
Customer Service as any other communication and engagement channel between a company and their customers’ needs to align with a company’s overall purpose and CX. It is a reactive player in a proactive game.
Written by Ale Wiecek, Founder at Sqr One