Customer Experience (CX) vs Customer Service
By Jana Barrett
Customer experience (CX) is a term we’re hearing about a lot these days.
Research has called customer experience the ultimate competitive advantage and companies are creating new tools to help businesses monitor and manage it effectively. It’s clear that CX increasingly important to organizations around the globe, but what does it really mean?
Customer experience feels like a buzzword that you could easily swap out for “customer service” or other more tangible concepts, but it’s actually much larger.
In this post, we’ll discuss what CX really is and how it differs from customer service. Plus, we’ll dig into the other aspects of business that impact it, like marketing, sales, and product.
According to the Harvard Business Review, customer experience is the sum of all customer interactions across company touchpoints. From the online checkout experience to social media interactions to customer service and beyond, every individual experience creates the customer experience as a whole.
On the other hand, customer service refers to a specific aspect or factor of the customer experience. Customers receive service from a support staff member or use self-service resources, like forums, FAQs, and how-to articles, to find solutions themselves.
The big difference between the two is that customer experience encompasses every interaction between customer and company. Customer service only includes interactions in which customers seek and/or receive “support.”
Think about it like this: You may have experienced stellar customer service when a support agent for an online retailer walked you through an issue with a coupon code. However, you were ultimately frustrated because you couldn’t place your order through the company’s mobile website. Plus, the product pages don’t include enough photos… and the item you ordered showed up damaged.
Even though you received outstanding customer service, the customer experience as a whole was lacking. That poor overall experience might make you think twice about shopping with this company in the future.
Everyone impacts the customer experience
Now that we’ve established the difference between CX and service, let’s look at examples of how other departments and functions contribute to the customer experience.
We don’t often think of marketing roles as a “customer-facing” because their interactions are more indirect than service or sales. But the way a company markets itself has a major impact on the customer experience. From the content of its campaigns to the audiences it targets, a company’s marketing initiatives mold public brand perception and get people thinking and talking about it.
Say you own an outerwear company. A potential customer is researching the best option for a new winter coat and she finds a helpful blog post on your site comparing different types of winter coats based on needs, weather, and style. With that info in mind, she’s able to pinpoint and purchase the perfect coat for her next expedition.
This is one example of marketing’s impact on customer experience. In this case, it was positive for the company and the customer—marketing content fulfilled its purpose.
But consider the opposite scenario. Maybe your blog post lacked substance because it was written more Go to the full article.