Customer Experience vs. Customer Service
Every business understands the importance of good service, but few can deliver an excellent customer experience that gets your most dedicated followers raving about you. Customers value good service, and they are more likely to buy from a company again when they’ve had a good experience with a company representative. How do you perfect the science of customer experience (CX) and deliver a consistent experience to every person who interacts with your brand?
With so many resources focused on top-line revenue growth strategies, companies are missing the mark by not optimizing their frontline experiences with their customers. To deliver an excellent customer experience, you have first to look at what is missing in your organization and what is preventing you from giving a stellar CX.
The Difference: Excellent Customer Experience vs. Customer Service
The critical difference between these two is that customer service is just one part of the puzzle. Customer service is directly serving a customer one-on-one and dealing with their unique challenges.
However, the customer experience takes a holistic view of everything the organization is doing to bring a joyful experience to the entire customer journey. This essential piece brings customers back for more and turns a simple customer into a raving fan pretty swiftly.
When you create a strategic customer experience strategy, you’re no longer leaving each customer interaction up to chance. An excellent customer experience also increases brand trust, consistency, and traceability. People don’t just value good customer service; they value the personalized service a brand can bring into their experience. People want to feel like the brand cares about them and that the products and services match their afflictions and aspirations.
However, some brands fall short of realizing this potential. A good customer service experience often falls to the bottom of the investment queue, while marketing and sales budgets take center stage. There are ways a brand can maintain an excellent customer experience without breaking the bank.
The Importance of Good Customer Experience
There are devastating impacts to a business when they deliver a bad customer experience. According to a global estimate, more than $62 billion is lost each year due to bad customer service experiences. Only 10% of buyers say that brands meet their expectations for a good customer experience.
It’s not that these buyers have high expectations; brands are unconsciously making their customer experience services challenging to use, deterring service to their customers and hence not memorable.
An excellent customer experience strategy doesn’t involve reworking your entire organization top-to-bottom or even requiring excessive retraining of your support team. You’d be surprised how small incremental steps in the right direction can move the needle ten-fold. For example, putting yourself in your buyer’s shoes and going through ‘a common problem’ they experience can reveal fascinating insights into how your brand can improve and lessen the frustration a customer may experience.
When you deliver a good customer experience that incorporates your core brand messaging and its values through impactful communication, it resonates and builds a stronger brand connection with your audience.
For instance, when a steel company recreated its brand messaging as ‘building a safer nation,’ the entire chain of its eco-system- from advisors to masons- slowly aligned to safety as a prime customer theme. They lived it in their conversation, design, and execution - creating an excellent customer experience.
Ways to Improve the Customer Experience
Get to Know Your Customers
By understanding what’s important to your customers, you can offer a personalized service that they haven’t seen or experienced anywhere before. You can do this by incorporating essential initiatives throughout the customer service experience, whether that might be having one of your service agents proactively explain the company’s values and social missions or incorporating relevant statistics or facts within your website. This attention to detail ends up earning you a loyal customer who is happily recommending your services to their friends and family.
Develop Processes to Act on Agent Feedback Quickly
Your customer service agents are on the frontlines and can spot common themes and trends with your customers. What are your processes right now to help capture customer sentiment and data points they’re collecting “on the ground’? By quickly incorporating regular agent feedback, this can be the easiest way you can turn an okay customer experience into an excellent customer experience.
Capture Customer Feedback in Real-Time
How happy are your customers after they’ve interacted with you? This is a critical piece in understanding more about your customer and what type of experiences they’re having with your brand. Organizations can send an immediate and automatic feedback survey each time a customer has finished interacting with the right technology.
Companies are having a hard time finding unique ways to deliver a personalized customer experience. Through investment in digital - automation, AI, and machine learning, companies strive to free up service rep time and build more meaningful relationships with their customers instead of being bogged down in busy work.