Know the difference between customer service and customer experience?

How do you get from providing good customer service to providing a great customer experience? Why not try walking in your customers’ shoes. Think about their journey and every touch point they experience with your offer.

Only if you understand the end to end journey your customer takes, listen to their needs (and their expectations) can you build a customer experience that exceeds their expectations and delivers delight.

Customer service is just one part of the customer experience – crucial to know if you are looking at repeat purchases or if you are in the tourism industry, looking at getting client to return or to repeat their experience.  And it today’s market, you need something magical.

Walking the path your customer takes will provide you with the emotional intelligence of your customer – allowing you to understand and improve your customer experience and how this can influence retention and return.

Global brands use customer journey mapping to get happier customers, loyalty and better understanding of needs.  Although brands can spend small fortunes of mapping out the customer journey – there is a far simpler route for us mere mortals! 

Our latest session now added to the Better Business Skills programme covers how to plot your customer journey – available to anyone that lives and works in Northumberland, North Tyneside and Newcastle but first its useful to get to grips with the difference between service and experience.

There are several key differences between service and experience and we’ve delved into three main points for you to consider:

Overall experience v specific contact

The major difference in service and experience is the number of interactions and contact.  Experience refers to the entire customer journey – at every touchpoint across the business.  Not every journey may tread the same path – so make sure you’ve put yourself in their shoes.  Customer service is only one element of the customer journey – it usually solves an issue and relates to a specific contact.

Action v reaction?

Its always good to understand who owns your customer process? Is it reactive or proactive? How often do you talk to your customers or do you wait till they talk to you? Think about how you talk to your customers – how do you show you care – rather monitor how they care about you? 

Anticipate need v finding a solution?

Customer experience is all about thinking about the customer – anticipating the next need.  By contrast, customer service is always reactive – usually initiated by the customer that needs a particular answer or solution reaching out to a valued support service with the business thinking it now excels in its customer experience!