Customer Experience V. Customer Service

The difference between customer service and customer experience? When you are shopping at Publix and encounter friendly team members stocking groceries, a helpful person in the deli or a happy person doing your checkout, that is customer service.

Customer service has a point where it starts and ends. The customer experience has a starting point long before a purchase decision was made and an infinite ending, all of which should be seamless to the purchaser and end user.

The customer experience started long before that, contains other components and continues on long afterward. The customer experience started from the decision to log in to shop at Publix on Instacart or walk in the store. The parking must have been easy, clean carts available, and a sense of safety as you come in the store. Having shelves stocked with items you want, clear pricing and easy to understand promotions all add in to the customer experience. As you check out, the contactless payment, ease of using digital coupons and a friendly cashier/bagger add in to this. The customer experience continues as you leave the store. Loyalty programs are a significant part of the customer experience as is finding the NPS (net promoter score) where the customer is asked how likely they are to recommend the business.

For B2B, think about it this way, how easy was it to make a buying decision whether it is a repeat decision or a new encounter? If the purchase process was simplified, product was delivered timely and concerns/questions quickly resolved, then you have superior customer service. The literal courting of a customer, the relationship that is developed over time and ability to support each other are the customer experience. Once again, this is mapping out the customer journey for the customer experience. Customer service is transactional and the customer experience is about value and increasing the customer lifetime value.

Research shows that companies that invest in the customer experience have higher stock prices and greater increases. There are three reasons why to work on the Customer Experience:

  1. Diversified revenue streams. Companies fall into patterns with revenue streams that have history and lose sight of either gaining prospects, growing customers or retaining clients. All of these impact the bottom line and need to be worked on in a variety of ways in an organization.

  2. Analyzing and selling to profitable sales accounts. Companies can look at sales as the driver to the bottom line, but they need to be generating an ROI and a percentage of profit. CX can help a company understand how their "best" customers are, what segments they are in and how to grow these.

  3. Controlling expenses. The cost to acquire a new customer is five times greater than retaining a client. Understanding the direct and indirect cost of customer acquisition and customer loyalty is tantamount to a company.

Be proactive and learn about your customer’s journey to create the ideal customer experience. With this, you can continuously delight your customers with greater ease and build your bottom line.

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