Customer Experience is not a new concept, in fact it was first predicated 10 years ago that one day, the experience a customer has with a product, brand or service would become the key differentiating factor in highly competitive markets, and that day has arrived!
Yet, there remains confusion among many about the difference between customer service and customer experience. For the sake of clarity, let me explain.
Customer Service is a key element of customer experience, but it is just one of a number of key elements. Customer Service takes a one-dimensional view of the customer; focused primarily on the face-to-face interaction that front line staff have with customers.
Customer Experience on the other hand, takes a 360 degree view of the customer; from the time a customer starts considering using a product or service, all the way through the purchase process and after sales cycle. The process requires mapping every touch point where a customer either interacts or comes into contact with the brand, whether that is online, in store or in person. A strong CX strategy takes it even further by devising innovative ways of encouraging further customer engagement after the purchase to drive loyalty and get customers to return. Ultimately, Customer Experience management is about attracting new customers, retaining current customers and reducing churn – all of which increase revenue and drive profitability.
Many customers today consider the experience of buying a product, brand or service, to be just as important as the products they buy or the price they pay. According to a recent study almost 70%of customers switch brands because of below par experiences. The concept of Customer Experience requires business to scrutinize each and every touch point where a customer interacts with a brand – whether it be via phone, email, website, retail outlet, call centre, social media or through sales representatives to find obstacles, uncover areas of weakness and identify opportunities for improvement.