Customer Service versus Customer Experience – What’s the Difference?
Let me clear up any confusion between these two terms, Customer Service & Customer Experience.
Many think that Customer Experience is a new and fancy term for Customer Service, not at all
Customer Service is the “transaction” part of a total Customer Experience. This is any direct interaction that takes part between a customer or prospective customer and a business. These days that could be email, telephone or face to face.
Customer Experience on the other hand is “the total experience” a customer has with an organisation, including the customer service part of the total experience.
Just as an example, often I hear a customer talk about their experience with a business in these terms-
“Their product range and prices are really good and their people know what they are talking about but, their service is terrible, I waited two days for someone to call me back.”
When we talk about the total experience, that experience could start back when a customer came in contact with a businesses marketing, a newspaper or magazine ad, a visit to a website or a recommendation from a friend and go all the way through to after sales service and in many cases, the life of the product.
In evaluating businesses Customer Experience performance, customers will take into account all the contacts they have had with an organisation especially the direct contact, which is where the Customer Service performance is taken into account.
I think US business guru Tom Peters explained it best when he said “Customer Service is the transaction, Customer Experience is the main event” – Chris Bell