Is there really a difference between customer service vs customer experience?

Short answer is YES. Most definitely. Primarily, customer service is part of the customer experience. They aren’t mutually exclusive. Service is part of the package that the customer experience affords. But you can’t have an elevated customer experience without customer service.

The Difference between Service & Experience

Customer service makes for a good customer experience. However, customer service is the direct interaction a customer has with a business when they reach out for support. The experience is the entire journey, from start to finish, from the moment they find your brand to the after purchase behaviour. However, most businesses think only of the customer service and not the experience, forgetting that in totality in providing the best buying experience is in the customer enjoying the entire buying journey.

But why is this important? Well, you see, our brains are wired for connection, that’s just how we are made up. We remember brands when we connect with them on an emotional level. We tend to buy from businesses we feel an emotional connection to, we are emotional buyers. So if you want your customers to keep your business top of mind…design an experience that they remember. Let the experience be nostalgic.So breaking down how your customers will interact with your brand from the time they find your brand to the very experience they. have after they have made purchase is absolutely important. Let’s discuss how to break it down.

The Before, The During, The After

Let’s say you found a brand online that sells vintage designer hats at a remarkably discounted price. You saw one that looks just like the one that your grandfather had when he was alive and you used to visit in in the country. He would always wear it when he would take you on your evening walks to the community shop. So imagine your delight when you see one like it online beautifully displayed on a hat rack in this elite looking store. You reach out to company via their online chat to find out if it’s available. The rep lets you know that it has been sold. How disappointed you are.

Then a few days later, you get a call, that is has been returned unopened, that buyer made the wrong purchase. You are elated. They offer to send it to you without having to come in store because they hear how hectic you have it with the kids at home(kids screaming in the background-yaay!) They take your info and within two hours its arrives in pristine condition. The company calls to ensure that you received your hat and that is exactly what you wanted. They even sent a hat cleaning and maintenance kit…talk about an experience, now you have a freebie in the kit.

The Service made the Experience

This purchase was an experience, from the finding them online and see how beautifully displayed their items are, to how responsive they were about its availability to the follow up and the company making sure this nostalgic reminder made its way to you and that it’s exactly what you wanted. That is an experience. Service is the communication from the staff about the product. So the service made the entire journey an experience, the fact that the rep also took note of the fact that you are home with the kids and probably would not be able to come in store to pick up, was another noteworthy point, service is also about being intuitive to your customer’s needs and providing them with options. Customer service vs customer experience is not an option. Link the two.

So if you want to give exceptional service and provide an elevated experience, plan your customer journey and remember that service is part of the experience. Plan the journey including the service scripts and what to do scenarios, so that if your staff has to delineate from they plan, they know just exactly what they have autonomy to execute.

That’s it. Did you find this helpful? Were you able to now differentiate the difference between customer service vs customer experience? I would love to know your take, share with a fellow business owner or colleague. I promise to blog more and always to keep them short and informative, because one thing we know is that, Jamaicans nuh like read. LOL.

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