Customer experience matters. But so does customer service. So, how do you decide which to focus on?
Everyone in the contact center industry talks about the importance of customer experience in the digital era. However, many businesses often confuse customer experience and customer service for a variety of reasons. Today, we set out to clear the confusion between the two once and for all. Let's get started.
Customer Experience is the sum of all the interactions a customer has with a business and its products or services. It is the customer's perception of a company. According to Forrester, Customer Experience (CX) is defined as “how customers perceive their interactions with your company.”
It can be as simple as browsing a website to receiving customer support on a raised query. Customer experience is not limited to the number of interaction mediums, nor is it a one-off experience. It is, rather, the sum of experiences at every customer-company touchpoint measured throughout the customer lifecycle.
Improving customer experience should be something all businesses should be concentrating on. This is due to the ever-increasing demands of customers in the modern age. Lets face it - customers are always hungry for more - and it isn't a good idea to provide a product or service that makes a customer say, "Oh, that was fine." A company should strive to go beyond that and exceed their customer's expectations.
Customer Experience Journey Stages
As a customer interacts with a company, he goes through various stages as part of his customer journey:
- Awareness / Interest
- Interaction / Action
Sometimes a company focuses on specific parts of the customer journey, but fails to impress the customer in the other parts. This leads to a customer experience that is lacking due to one reason or another.
Imagine having a great experience when buying a product, but having a negative experience when contacting customer service - that's the result of not focusing on all aspects of the customer journey.
In fact, according to The Harris Poll, 81% of all consumers agree that it is frustrating to be tied to a phone or computer to wait for customer service help. Read more customer experience statistics in 2017.
It happens to people all the time. You order something online and the website shows recommendations based on your personal browsing and buying habits - and its pretty impressive. So, you order and the delivery is delayed for some reason or the other. Now, you're fighting to reach customer service before the deadline passes. That's a classic case of a company not really thinking about the customer journey in the first place.
Do you know where your customer stands? To do CX the right way, it is important to focus on all interactions across the entire customer journey. Keep customer perception the top most priority, because even if you think you're CX is top-notch - the customer might have a different perception.
Defining Customer Service: What is Customer Service?
Customer Service is the advice and assistance given by the company to customers before, during and after buying or using its products / services. Customer Service strives to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty by creating everlasting relationships with customers.
Not long ago in the recent past, customer service was too often confused with customer experience. Why? Because providing good customer service meant a company delivered on its promises.
However, with the increase in the number of interaction mediums, things are not so simple anymore. Good customer experience today is not just about providing good customer service. Customer service is merely a part of customer experience. Which brings us to...what exactly is the difference between customer service and CX?
What's the difference between customer service and customer experience? Customer Service and Customer Experience are not that far apart. In fact, customer service is only one part of the overall experience.
Customer Service is reactive - it only comes into play when a dissatisfied customer contacts the company. The business can only take action once something goes wrong, and not beforehand.
Customer Experience, on the other hand, is proactive - a business can take action to optimize the customer journey before the customer becomes dissatisfied. Customer experience is a holistic approach that goes beyond customer service and takes into account the overall customer journey by building long term relationships with customers.
According to McKinsey, companies focused on providing a superior experience across customer journeys realized a 10-15% increase in revenue and a 20% increase in customer satisfaction. Read more customer service statistics on our blog.
By now, you must be wondering whether to focus on customer service or customer experience for the best business outcomes? The answer - you can't ignore either one. If you're caught in this dilemma, first concentrate on coming up with a customer service strategy to increase customer satisfaction. With that taken care of, start working on improving customer experience.
How to Improve Customer Experience
Here are the your step-by-step guide to improving customer experience in
- Customer Experience Assessment: Assess how well your company's customer experience is working out by performing CX assessment. We have a great blueprint for CX assessment - do check it out.
- Creating a Customer Journey Map: Once you know where you stand in terms of your customer experience maturity, you can proceed to creating a visual map of all customer interactions.
- Customer Experience Improvement: Once you can visually intepret all your customer interactions, you can start improving customer experience by fixing CX gaps.
- Customer Experience Optimization: Optimize customer experience across the entire customer journey by taking action on the CX assessment carried out earlier.
- Customer Experience Management: Develop a customer experience management program that is proactive, updated, and implemented across the entire organization. Don't miss a single touchpoint or interaction, and make sure to include all employees who are part of the customer journey.
Think about this - is your business fully capable of delivering awe-inspiring experiences? Although it sounds easy - it really is not. You need CX Experts! Ameyo helps companies create a level of customer experience that is seamless, engaged and real-time. Learn how you, too, can create customer experience like market leaders of the digital era with FusionCX Customer Experience Platform.