Maintaining a good relationship with the client should always be a top company goal, regardless of its size, niche, and area (online/offline). Attracting new clients is not easy in late capitalism, but increasing the value of the existing ones is even more challenging.
That's why the customer service departments exist. The customer service agents solve the clients' issues and answer their questions to maximize their experience with the product or service. It's a foundation of a strong bond between the company of the client. Does that mean that customer service and customer experience are the same thing? Although used interchangeably, these two terms have slightly different meanings. Let's take a closer look into that!
What is customer service?
Customer service is an area of activities focused on solving customer issues. It usually covers helpdesk and service desk, returns and complaints-related service, and all the communication via such channels as e-mails, live chat, and call center. Today, many of these areas get automatized with such AI-based tools as chatbots and virtual assistants in order to increase productivity and optimize the costs of sustaining a customer service department. Customer success is another essential part of customer service since it aims at making it easier for the customers to reach their desired outcomes with the company's product or service.
What is customer experience?
Customer experience is an umbrella term covering all the interactions between the brand and the customers, involving the whole customer journey. Customer service is a big part of customer experience, but besides that area, it also includes technology and design. Great assistance of customer service agents and automatized services is a must, but the audience's perception of the brand also depends on the product's features, functionalities, usability, and relevance. It should be designed in a coherent yet eye-catching way but also respond to the users' needs and reflect their customs.
UI&UX design, branding, marketing strategy, customer service, technical support - all these areas are crucial to customer experience.
When comparing the customer service vs customer experience, let's not forget about another crucial difference. While customer service depends entirely on the company, it's not that easy with customer experience, particularly in the case of e-commerce companies or producers. Since they have to involve other parties (like logistic outsourcing partners, delivery partners, resources providers) in the process, their issues may backfire at the company's reputation. To maximize the customer experience, it's worth introducing a complex automized system that allows monitoring its various aspects and outsourcing customer service and technical support.