Customer service vs Customer experience

Posted by Kevin Hall

5 key points to remember

When dealing with customers and clients, most enterprises are competing on service and not on features and functionality. The result has been a service mindset where customers are seen as commodities, and customer retention is becoming harder than ever.

In our quest for good customer service we sometimes create very complex goal posts for our team, trying to deal with customers on the basis of just what they ask for. It’s time to step up your game, and move to the next level of customer experience not just good service.

The question is how does our customer experience differentiate us from our competitors out there?

Key differences between customer service and customer experience include: -

Customer service is based on the contract or agreement of service you have signed with the customer or client, it’s a reasonable response to a buying decision. e.g. The client signs an application for insurance, and expects a quote from the financial company in a reasonable time to make a decision.

Customer experience would then be the experience of the application form, what does the customer journey look like, is this application form 20 pages, do you ask your client to spend 2 hours over the phone to answer all your questions?

Customer service is focused on just dealing with the customer or client, and making sure all their needs and requirements are met according to the buying decision they have already made.

Customer experience looks at this buying experience - are you making the customer feel like they have made a great decision to do business with you? Do you show appreciation for their business? And do you look at some of their other needs and try to meet their whole basket of requirements or are you just focused on the bare essentials?

Service is often defined by the specific staff member, and their attitude and mindset towards a specific customer or solution you are delivering to the customer.

Experience includes a certain level of service. However, it is also focused around how dealing with your company makes the customer feel, your competitors are anticipating and looking beyond the immediate needs being communicated, and understanding the world the customer lives in, as well as how this impacts their future needs and requirements.

Our service to the customer is commonly focused on dealing with some problems experienced in dealing with the company, we just want to make the client happy, resolve the issue and move on.

The experience of resolution becomes more important than just dealing with the matter as quickly as possible. The goal with experience is to create a relationship with the customer that result in referrals. To accomplish this, don’t just service them, delight them!

When we serve clients, sometimes our aim becomes ‘let’s just get the job done, the quicker the better, the faster we can get their money in our pockets the less pain for everybody’.

The time it takes to procure your services or products is just as important as the user friendly interaction. Does your website or self-service desk assist your clients in buying from you? or is this just a cheaper channel to get them to fiddle with your difficult user interfaces?

Doing business with your company should be easy, fast and fun, it should bring a moment of joy or laughter. Some of the best brands out there don’t just provide products and services at the best pricing or the best products, they make sure doing business creates a memory.

Your favourite restaurant or hair stylist makes you feel like they know you…when you go there, you remember the experience, and go back all the time. Create memories next time, don’t just serve!