Customer Service & Customer Experience. What's the difference and why does it matter?

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So, what is the difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience? Customer service is a single touchpoint with your company and brand. Customer experience impacts feelings and emotions and covers your customer’s journey with you.

Research by American Express has found that 60% of customers are willing to pay more for a better experience.

When you optimize customer experience, you add revenue, decrease costs and inspire loyalty that keeps customers coming back.

This blog is intended to encourage you to think about your customer experience and how you can improve it.


What is Customer Experience?

According to Wikipedia, 'Customer Experience (CX) is the product of an interaction between an organisation and a customer over the duration of their relationship. This interaction is made up of three parts: the customer journey, the brand touchpoints the customer interacts with and the environments the customer experiences (including digital environment) during their experience.

A good customer experience means that the individual's experience during all points of contact matches the individual's expectations'

A study by Oracle found that 74% of senior executives believe that customer experience impacts the willingness of a customer to be a loyal advocate.


How can you improve the way your customers experience your brand?

Before you look at how to improve your customer experience, you need to work out how your customer experience stands today. What does your customer experience look like at each point of the customer life cycle below?



Next, you need to identify where there is room for improvement.

Having the best product or service is not enough anymore. Customers want to make connections with the brand. Essentially, customers want to:
  1.  Be recognised and remembered
  2. Be given choices
  3. Experience moments of delight

According to research by the Journal of Consumer Research, more than 50% of an experience is based on an emotion, because emotions shape the attitudes that drive decisions.


The power of creating an emotional connection with your customer

Customers become loyal because they are emotionally attached and remember how you made them feel when they used your product or service. According to Gallup, you could potentially increases your sales by 85% by optimising the emotional connection with your customer.

An example of creating an emotional connection is shown by Zappos, an online shoe and clothing retailer based in Las Vegas. A Customer was late in returning a pair of shoes because her mother had passed away. When Zappos found out, they sent a courier to pick up the shoes, free of charge. The next day, the customer came home to a bouquet of flowers with a note from the Zappos customer service team, giving their condolences.

According to a recent Harvard Business Review study, emotionally engaged customers are:

  •  At least 3 times more likely to recommend your product or service
  •  3 times more likely to buy again
  • Less likely to shop around
  • Much less price sensitive

What steps can you take to create an emotional connection with your customer?


How does your customer want to experience your brand?

It is important to understand how your customer wants to experience your brand. Once you have that information, you can:

  • Make them feel recognised and remembered
  • Give them choices that you know they will like
  • Give them those moments of delight

Capture feedback in real time via:

  1. Surveys (solicited feedback
    As soon as your customer has interacted with your brand, send out a survey or similar customer experience tools to get feedback. This can be an automated email or a follow up call.

  2. Social media (unsolicited feedback)
    See what your customers are saying about your brand on the various social media platforms. Respond to and acknowledge their comments, likes and shares.

  3.  Customer support 
    Comments from  employees who cover your customer support role, will help you to understand your customer’s attitudes, behaviours and triggers.

 

Conclusion

Customer’s expectations are higher than ever and with social media, word of mouth travels fast. Your reputation can be built and destroyed quickly!

To be successful on a long-term basis, customer experience needs to be optimised in your business.

By nurturing and focusing on your customer experience, you can positively impact  customer loyalty, retention and and therefore increase revenues.

If you haven’t optimised your customer experience, what are you waiting for?

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