Working in business and marketing means you hear terms like “customer service,” “customer care,” and “customer experience” used often and sometimes interchangeably. These three terms are separate and essential concepts regarding your company’s health, so knowing how they are defined and how they interact can help you boost your performance.
What Is Customer Experience?
Customer Experience, called CX by those in the industry, is how customers describe their combined interactions with a company or brand. In other words, Customer Experience is how customers feel about a company or their impressions of that business. As a consumer, you may be most familiar with this concept regarding reviews, surveys, and customer suggestions. Those three data-gathering tools are how facilities such as hospitals, shopping malls, and universities evaluate this metric.
What Is Customer Service?
Customer service is how you take care of your customers’ needs before, during, and after a purchase. Customer service is most visible in the service and hospitality industries, where your clients expect to interact with employees trained to provide helpful information and assist with transactions. For instance, shelf design, friendly employees, and convenient check-outs are ways retail stores meet customer needs during purchases and are part of customer service.
Where Does Customer Care Fit In?
If customer service is what the company and employee provide the client, and customer experience is the client’s feelings on the interaction, then what is customer care? This term is used less often and can be seen as a bridge between the other two, as it evaluates how well the company’s customer service policies and personnel care for the client’s needs. In practice, providing customer care is about listening to the customer’s questions and working to find the best solutions for the needs of each client. It can also be seen as taking customer service out of the rote performance of job tasks and focusing on caring for the client instead.
How Do They Work Together?
While customer experience, customer service, and customer care seem to have similar definitions, one must remember that the first is how customers feel, while the other two are what the company does. The quality of your customer service will affect the customer’s experience, so knowing how your clients perceive interactions with your brand can go a long way to boosting sales. This is one reason why the term “customer care” is starting to be distinguished from “customer service,” by increasing your customer service to treating your clients with care, you are improving their experiences with your brand. For instance, some companies view the three terms by defining customer service as a department that provides care to enhance customer experiences.
How Can You Boost Them?
An excellent way to boost both metrics is to remember that they feed into each other. For instance, if you receive reviews stating that customers had negative experiences with wait times, then you can improve your customer service by hiring more employees to help reduce those times. The influx of helpful workers will then enhance the customers’ experiences. Sometimes, it is just not possible to give customers what they want all the time. Still, you can keep those denials from tanking customer experience by how your policies and procedures handle the service aspect of the transaction. For instance, saying “no” when asked if you have a specific item is likely to be a less helpful and positive experience for the customer than taking the time to explain that it is no longer available or on backorder.
Knowing the difference between business terms involving the interactions with clients can help you better understand the dynamic between your company and your customers and can help you find better advice from professionals on improving the impressions customers have of your brand. You can enhance beliefs and experiences by showing customers that you care about solving their needs beyond selling products and services. This can, in turn, entice clients to return for future transactions.