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Written by April W Sullivan
on November 05, 2020

In today's economically challenging COVID times, companies are more reliant than ever on their customers' loyalty and patronage. Companies have placed emphasis and focus on the organization's various customer interactions as they make their journey, hopefully, to purchase their goods and services. But is this focus on maximizing customer satisfaction too narrow, and are they missing the much larger customer synergy picture? By diverting their all-important attention on what matters from a customer perspective - the customer's end-to-end journey.

In this article, we will define, understand, and compare how customer service differs from customer experience and why Customer Experience (CX) is vital for any organization.

 And finally, we at TABLE will share with you what we believe are the three essential elements to an amazing customer experience:

1.     Immediate answers

2.     Simple interactions

3.     Seamless communications

How Customer Service Differs From Customer Experience

It is vital to our understanding to make a clear distinction concerning our knowledge of CS and CX. Despite what some people may believe, customer service and customer experience are two completely different ideas. They are definitely interlinked and often overlap; however, companies need to understand both business terms intrinsically and have specific strategies for both.

Customer Service (CS): Customer service is the advice, information, guidance, and general and specific assistance an organization provides to its customers.

Customer service's ultimate goal is to increase customer satisfaction, which is typically achieved by answering the customers' questions on their goods and services, regardless of where the customer is situated within the purchasing lifecycle. Customer service is assisting and helping a customer select the right product based on their requirements before they make a purchase. However, it most often occurs after a purchase has been made. Customer service involves assisting customers with understanding how to use the product, troubleshooting any issues with them, and ensuring they had a great purchasing experience.

Customer Experience (CX): Customer experience is the complete and total journey of a customer’s interactions with an organization’s brand, regardless of whether a purchase has occurred or not.

Customer experience is the overall contact, from first discovering and researching a product to shopping and purchasing to actually using the product and following up with the organization afterward. But what makes for a good customer experience? Customer experience measures how a customer perceives a company overall and includes the emotional, physical, and psychological connection customers have with a brand. It is not a one-off interaction, but more accurately consists of understanding and measuring the entire customer lifecycle and every touchpoint a customer has with a product or service within an organization.Office boardroom with people sitting around a table

Why the Customer Experience Journey Is Vital for Your Business

With this understanding at hand, we can further delve into why customer experience is essential for your business. 

There is a distinct correlation between customer experience and customer loyalty. Those businesses that understand, nurture, and nourish this notion are more likely to not only retain those customers, but experience those exact same customers recommend their products or services to a friend, colleague, or acquaintance. Studies have shown that there is a strong relationship between a customer’s positive experience and their willingness to purchase from the same company again. 

With advertising and marketing heavily utilizing the Internet channel, it can be challenging to differentiate yourself from other businesses when everyone shares the same online message: powerful, meaningful, and informative content. But customer experience is proven to be the perfect tool to gain that competitive advantage over your rivals and help you stand out from your competitors.

Customer experience is more than just a new catchphrase—it should be the central focus of everything an organization does. By including customer service, brands can not only meet, but exceed, expectations and totally delight their customers. As Jerry Gregoire, the former CIO at Dell, said, “The customer experience is the next competitive battleground."

How TABLE's CX Software Platform Can Deliver Positive Change for Your Customers

At TABLE, we want every one of your customer experiences to be nothing short of amazing. CX is a whole customer journey cycle that includes coming into an e-commerce experience (your website!), when you get connected to one of our sales people, purchase, receiving of said product or service, ongoing experience, and finally—off boarding.

At TABLE, we believe the three essential elements to an amazing customer experience are:

1. Immediate Answers

Offering customers immediate answers to their questions whenever they reach out is absolutely critical. In addition to using chatbots to feed people answers to the most frequently asked questions around the clock, you should also weave in live chat technology to make sure there’s a living, breathing human around to help—for those times when more difficult or complicated issues arise that bots can’t solve on their own.

2. Simple Interactions

There’s nothing worse than having to jump between platforms or devices to get things done. Today’s customers expect their interactions with brands and businesses to be absolutely seamless. No one has time to waste, and customers certainly don’t have the patience to waste time with a sub-par experience. This is why messaging platforms, in many ways, have become the new customer experience playground. A single interface now makes it possible for customers to do all sorts of things—from accessing product information to booking appointments (and everything in between)—all in one place.

3. Seamless Communications

Having to repeat the same question over and over again is one of the most common frustrations customers have whenever dealing with customer service. A single thread of communication that seamlessly follows customers across multiple platforms and devices is quickly becoming the new gold standard for customer communications.

Not only does this more asynchronous communication simplify and streamline the customer experience, but it also, and perhaps more importantly, makes it easier for customer service reps to follow them along that omnichannel customer journey to provide more personalized services at every touchpoint.

With TABLE, you can deliver amazing online and offline customer experiences all the time. If you’re ready to transform your customer experience, be sure to request a demo today.

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