Customer service and customer experience: is there a difference?
This week has been customer service week, myself being a passionate advocate for CX (#customerexperience) I never miss an opportunity to highlight this. It has been great to see all the positive interactions, reading the initiatives and bringing to life what the Security Industry does, however, we can always learn more, especially from other industries doing it better, I will come back to that one though in another CX musing, at another time.
If we have met you are likely aware of my highlighting of the difference between customer service and customer experience, if you have not you have this to look forward to! But take a moment, ask yourself, is there a difference?
Customer experience has evolved and is very different than it was even five years ago. Many companies, some of them the most prominent, preach about CX and do so often. This is great to see but do they fully understand what this really is, how it is created and most importantly how it is the most fundamental part of any business, no matter what you do! I will explain further.
We are all client driven. We provide a service, client buys said service and for many in the past that transactional nature would be fine. But the purchaser of today is interested in much more, they are interested in how your business goes about providing those services, what you stand for and if your values match their own, so we must accept we are all in the business of feelings. You may say that is "just fluffy Natalie" but I am afraid this will not change what is and will always be the truth. We are all humans and how we feel and how we make each other feel is no different in business as it is when we are with our colleagues or family, for the most part we are driven for mutual and beneficial interactions, we are all in the business of making others happy, we are all selling an experience.
The reason so many companies get customer experience strategy wrong is because they don't know how their customers feel or in many instances don't care until it is too late. I am not saying this is easy, even the best get it wrong of course but this needs consistent tending and a CX business culture is not created overnight so this needs a top down, all in approach, a total culture change. “Hiring some woman from the banking industry, who does customer service” (that's me by the way) is only part of that process.
Customer experience is not a department, it's a decision and it's a decision we make every day. It is something we can improve and cultivate by listening to our customers. It requires hard work and sometimes we get this wrong and that's ok as long as we learn and adapt. I have tried to avoid stats and speak from the heart but I can’t help but let you know customers are 2.4 x more likely to be loyal when their problems are solved or reacted to quickly, it is not the mistakes it’s how you deal with them that matter to most and there you have it customer service Vs customer experience, two distinctly different things.
Two thirds of customers now say that customer experience is the number one thing they consider when purchasing. It is not a project, fad or trend it's a mind-set, it is what you sell, everyone's business is customer experience.
"There is no such thing as Customer Service week only Customer Experience always".
Natalie Freakley, Customer Experience Director & Company Secretary, Fenix Monitoring