Customer Service vs Customer Experience: How To Improve Both
Customer service and customer experience are the top priority for most of the successful companies you come across. When a company focuses on providing excellent customer service, it adds to a positive customer experience and success.
Competition is high for many businesses, and with limited product features, the customer experience is the primary thing that separates one company from the next. For this reason, many brands are obsessing over providing the best customer experience to stand out from their competitors.
And it’s totally paying off.
Importance of Customer Service and Customer Experience
In business, the customer’s experience is a good indicator of whether a company succeeds or fails. Poor customer service adds to a negative experience with a brand and likely a high churn rate. On the other hand, if the business provides great service, it adds to a positive customer experience, creating a following of loyal customers who return to purchase repeatedly.
Delivering poor customer service and customer experience absolutely destroys your brand's image. Dissatisfied and unhappy customers tell on average nine to 15 people about their experience. Many will also go on to write negative reviews online about their experience with the company for potentially thousands to see.
A satisfied customer is a huge asset for an organization. Not only do you gain a loyal customer, but many also become brand advocates doing quite a bit of marketing for your organization which equates to free marketing! Happy customers typically refer friends and family to the company, and many write positive online reviews about their satisfaction with the brand. The truth is, consumers are willing to pay more to receive great service.
How to Improve Customer Service and Customer Experience
Now that we’ve gone over the importance of providing excellent customer service and customer experience, let’s get down to how you could improve both. Keep in mind, best practices may be different for your organization than for others, so it’s critical to determine what works best for your business and its customers.
Customer service is commonly delivered through human interactions or self-service options. Proving both options is ideal as each customer could choose how they would like to receive service. It is true that human interaction helps bring a sense of closeness your customers have with your brand.
The goal for great customer service is to go above and beyond to satisfy your customer’s needs. But how could you do that?
Speed - Consumers today expect service quickly. Ensure your team is delivering solutions to your customers' issues fast with little delay.
Self-service - Provide self-service options such as a knowledge base with common Q&As online for customers to get their answers without needing to talk to an agent.
Personalize - Personalizing service makes your customers feel important rather than just another number. It’s also a great way to get to know your customers better. When you understand your customers' likes and dislikes, you can personalize their service better as well as the product offerings and ads you show to them, increasing their worth.
Empathy - A service agent that shows empathy towards a customer goes a long way and could even turn an unhappy customer around. Invest in empathy training if needed.
Friendly - When a service agent is upbeat and friendly, the customers will enjoy talking with them while being serviced, which brings a sense of closeness to your brand. Investing in your staff to ensure they’re happy, feel valued, and appreciated will help ensure they are committed to the organization’s success including maintaining a customer-first mindset.
Your business is indeed only as good as the staff you keep, so ensure your service team is awesome.
Proactive - Identifying and fixing customer issues before they tell you are providing great proactive service. It is vital to have a plan of how problems will be identified and who will solve them ahead of time.
While customer service is a large part of customer experience, there’s much more to it. Customer experience includes the entire journey your customers have with your brand. Customer experience consists of the people, the process, and the product. Customer experience management is proactively ensuring your customers are happy and satisfied.
Less effort - Your customers will gladly buy from you again if you don’t require them to make a lot of effort to do so. Take a look at your customer's journey with your business. Are there areas that require unnecessary extra effort? Could you make your process simpler and easier to use?
Multiple channels - Consumers today expect to contact a business through multiple channels, including phone, SMS, online chat, email, and social media. To stay competitive, you must make it simple for customers to contact you through the channel they choose.
Up-to-date technology - Keeping your technology updated with the latest trends is critical. Staying in the know will help you meet the current consumer demands.
Loyalty program - Let’s face it, we all like discounts, rewards, and free stuff. A loyalty program that gives rewards for purchases for sure adds to a great customer experience and keeps them coming back for more. Loyalty programs make a consumer feel special and more connected to the brand.
Customer service and customer experience go hand in hand but are very different by definition. Sharp business leaders place a high level of importance on both customer service and customer experience, which pays off big time. When customers are happy and satisfied with the products and services provided and have a positive experience with a brand, they’re likely to become loyal repeat buyers and brand advocates referring others.
If you want to grow your business and increase revenue, putting attention on improving customer service and customer experience is a must. Remember, it costs more to acquire a new customer than it does to retain an existing one – so invest in your customer’s experience to keep them coming back.
Are you ready to provide awesome customer service to improve your customer’s experience? If so, contact Awesome CX today, and we’ll show you the way!