At a recent “customer experience” conference in Dubai it soon became apparent a broader view on customer experience was required. The terms “customer experience” and “customer service” were frequently used interchangeably. This was a problem because we feel customer service is an important part of the customer experience. They’re related but not the same. It can be useful to think of customer service as a crucial cog in the customer experience wheel.
At Wavelength we’d make the following distinctions with regards to customer experience and customer service:
|Customer Experience||Customer Service|
|Scope||Whole customer journey||Part of customer journey|
|Brand values, promise, essence, positioning etc.,||Brought to life at all touch points along the customer journey (before, during and after sales)||Brought to life through “in life” contact with customer|
|Source of value||Value in interaction/ brand engagement||Value in issue / complaint resolution|
|Managing customer expectations||Aims to exceed customer expectations at multiple points in customer journey||Aims to meet (or exceed as best possible) customer expectations when they contact the company|
|Value perspective||Proactive creation of value||Primarily reactive creation of value|
|Initiator||Brand or customer||Primarily the customer|
|Place on organisational chart||Multiple employees in multiple departments (if not all)||A formal function exists to support the customer and has primary responsibility for customer service|
We feel these are the key areas that make customer service a subset of customer experience. There may well be others but, based on our experience with a number of service brands, these drive brand equity. We’d love to hear your views..….