With it being National Customer Service Week (NCSW) this week, it has got us thinking, “what's the difference between Customer experience and Customer service?”
Firstly and most importantly, a good starting point is to define what each is. Customer experience can be defined as the sum of all interactions or “touch-points” a customer has with a company and is focused on the entire customer lifespan. Customer service which is purely focused on one of these “touch-points” in time, usually only occurring when an employee is providing a direct service to a customer. So if we put this into perspective, you could describe Customer Service as being the reactive approach, whereas Customer Experience is being proactive.
So now we know the difference between the two, what should your brand be focusing on? Well, did you know that more than 50% of a customer experience is subconscious or how a customer feels about the company? Here’s where the proactive part really kicks in! In their article “Understanding Customer Experience”, customer support superstars Christopher Meyer and Andre Schwager state “a customer's experience begins at the moment the customer identifies his need, way before his first interaction with your company, and ends long after that need was fulfilled.” As such, to create a memorable customer experience and more importantly, one which creates an emotional attachment to your brand, you need to be able to navigate, understand and more often, predict the emotional needs of your customers, rather than focusing purely on the more traditional here-and-now customer service interaction.
Now more than ever, the distinction between the two is important, particularly to those brands who wish to set themselves apart from the competition. In fact, according to the ‘Customers 2020’ study by Walker, a customer intelligence consulting firm in the US, by 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.
Here at Brand Biology, we help brands improve their customer experience initiatives by putting our philosophy of Learn.Love. Live® into practice, focusing on the proactive elements of understanding and reading a customer’s needs in order to create personalised and meaningful interactions with them. Crucially, these interactions spark emotional connections that change employee behaviour, thus creating a sustainable environment and platform to empower employees with the confidence and skills to deliver memorable customer experiences that will drive your brand forward and keep customers coming back again and again.
To summarise, customer experience is so much more than just customer service; it is a living, breathing and ongoing initiative that encompasses the need to not only understand your customer but to also empower your employees with the skills and knowledge to execute exceptional customer experiences each and every time.
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To learn more about Learn.Love.Live® and how Brand Biology can help your brand improve its customer experience, please get in touch with us.
Call us on +44 (0) 117 922 1500