Is customer service a part of customer experience or is it vice versa? Is customer experience more important than customer excellence? Are these the same? The terms – customer service, customer experience, and customer excellence are often used interchangeably. However, there is difference in these terms. Let us know the definition of these terms, differences between them, and how to develop better customer experiences and move towards customer excellence and eventual customer advocacy.
It is necessary to know the difference for improving the customer journey. Let us know in depth the three terms- customer service, experience, and customer excellence.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the help provided to customers before, during, and after they make a purchase. Customer service expectations have increased from customers by a whooping 54% as per Microsoft. As per Harvard Business Review, customer service is important across all platforms. The components of customer service are emails, text messages, social media, website or phone calls.
- Prioritize customer convenience
- Follow up with customers regularly
- Personalise customer via social media
- Create an awesome customer service process
- Show customers you care
- Build a brand voice
- Listen to customers and make an effort to solve their problems
What is Customer Experience?
Customer experience is the wholesome journey that customers have with a brand. Customer experience is the sum total of all interaction with the customer across the journey. It is all the interactions, processes and information a customer encounters using your product. Customers will even pay more (86% of customers have confirmed) if they have a better customer experience. To create an awesome customer experience, you need to keep these tips in mind.
- Minimise the time to value. Make sure the effort for customers making purchases online is less.
- Evaluate opportunities that will streamline the process and boost results.
- Improve the user experience or design
- Keep branding similar across the entire organisation
- Monitor customer satisfaction conversion rate metrics and more
- Keep training for better results
The core components of customer experience are-
· Customer service
This means customer service, customer support, customer success and even self-help points or support. These are all the points where a customer interacts with your company.
This is how the brand works for the customer. Is the customer happy with the communication? This includes marketing, branding, design, and whatever feeling you evoke while interacting with the customer.
This aspect is the product. How it works and what are its interactions with the customer? Is the customer happy with the product or wishes to change?
What is Customer Excellence?
Customer excellence is being excellent according to your customers. It drives profitable growth by putting your customer at the center of everything. It means ensuring customers love you and the experience you provide. Customers should feel you are offering excellent service and continue being interested in your product/service. It is essentially driving long term customer satisfaction that helps build a successful path in your organisation.
How to Build Customer Excellence in your Organisation
There are some key steps to building and sustaining customer excellence in your business. They include-
· Being clear about customer needs
Every business needs to be clear on what customer needs are. Doing market research and refining how customers think will help. Understanding the core problems, issues, and pain points will help build solutions to alleviate it. Once you get to know these challenges, you can build better ways to deal with them.
· Adding clear value to customers
Once you know what customers want, you need to add value. This needs to be through the product or service you offer. You can also know to exceed customer expectations if you offer them the value. This value is what will drive your business. It will increase positive word of mouth and create a brand identity.
· Improving communication
Be sure about improving communication across the organisation. Keep all teams invested- internally and externally. Make all stakeholders aware of product changes, process changes or more. Ensure they feel important in the business.
· Empowering staff who faces customers
This is an important step. Make sure customer-facing staff feel good and empowered. They need to be trained to deal with situations of all kinds. This is what will build customer excellence in your brand. In that sense, you need to show empathy to them. You need to address their concerns first, before they are expected to address others’ complaints or concerns.
· Learning about customers, through complaints
Learn about customers. What are their issues especially through complaints? What are the most frequent issues they face? Know these issues and help solve them through video tutorials, blogs, and more.
· Listening to customers
This is the most important step- listening to customers. Customer survey feedback is a great place to listen directly. Customer-facing teams often know the exact pain points and listening to them can be of supreme help.
· Measuring customer excellence
Measure customer excellence and customer loyalty. Some tools are NPS, CLV, expansion revenue and more. Delivering an excellent customer experience is not measured by time. It is a measure of value and also requires continuous improvement.
Now that we have know the three- customer service, customer experience, and customer excellence in detail- we will look at the differences.
Customer service is essentially limited to help or interactions about the product or service. Customer experience involves design, data, branding, and the overall feel with the product/service. Customer excellence is driven by customer perceptions. Customer excellence is building customer centricity into the organisational culture. Customer excellence is the highest form of customer satisfaction when customers feel most happy.
Customers need to be serviced and satisfied- no matter what. This line of how customers feel with the product is blurred and needs to be measured. Companies need to analyse the overall customer experience often with some metrics. To sum up, customer experience is building an appealing brand that customers enjoy. Businesses who put customers at the centre will gain in this competitive landscape.
Author Bio: Jafar Sadhik
A passionate digital marketer possessing sound knowledge in the fields like SaaS tools, CX, churn statistics, etc. Previously, worked for top ventures like SportsKeeda and Neil Patel Digital India, and currently works at SmartKarrot Inc, a customer success software platform. He loves to read books during leisure and a great admirer of Agatha Christie’s works.