You may or may not be familiar with the term ‘customer experience’ but it’s something that we’ve been hearing a lot about at Pistachio HQ lately, and it’s something that more and more brands seem to be taking note of. So, what exactly does it mean? Is it the same as customer service or customer care? And, is it something that we should all be taking seriously??
Well, first things first: customer service and customer experience, are they one and the same? The simple answer is…nope.
Both terms are often interchanged at will it seems, and although they are related – they are not the same thing. Customer experience, or CX as the super-informed like to refer to it as, is not just the direct result of effective customer service, and customer service does not immediately equal or cover the entire ‘customer experience.’
Are you still with me? Good, because it gets easier to understand, I promise. So, what is customer service? Most people know what this is, in its basic form. It is the direct support of your customers for a particular product or service from a trained, informed customer-facing company representative. It’s a traditional term and a familiar concept, but it has very narrow scope in terms of covering every part of the customer journey in relation to your business or brand.
Customer experience on the other hand is like a more flexible, intelligent, super-smart sister, and it represents the broader customer journey that a customer experiences across your entire organisation. This includes every interaction that a customer has with your business, this can be anything from a sales interaction, to a social media post, a visit to your website, a customer or product review, a physical experience in store, a reaction to an advert, the list goes on.
Every single one of these elements helps your customer to form an impression of your business, and it encourages them to share their experience with family, friends and colleagues, and might even inspire them to write about it on a public platform, in a forum or post a review.
Customer service is still very important, of course it is, it allows for the resolution of specific issues efficiently. But it is a reaction to a problem rather than being a proactive, ongoing solution that works to eradicate any issues or ill-feeling toward your brand from the get-go.
Good customer service affects people’s perception of a brand, but it is only one component in the aim to retain customer loyalty. With customer experience, the idea is for efficient customer service to be one cog in the big machine of effective CX (yes, I’m one of those people now).
The aim of the game, ultimately, is to create a seamless customer experience across every interaction that a customer has with your company, and thus ensure a positive and growing customer sentiment.
Customer service and customer experience are both important pieces of the puzzle, and there are no easy ways or quick fixes to ensuring that your business is really nailing it. It takes an agile marketing, communications and brand strategy, and a company that realises that a good customer experience doesn’t just fall under the remit of one department or sector. How customers use a product or service and how they interact with the business supporting is complex, but if customers are registering every interaction when evaluating what you offer, then you probably should too.
Want to know more about how what we do can help with your customer engagement and overall experience? Get in touch today, we’d love to hear from you!