In recent years there has been a buzz about creating the perfect Customer Experience (CX). It isn’t anything new, but it is now more important than ever to distinguish between the customer experience as a distinctly separate consideration than the customer service that you deliver. There is often mismanagement and misunderstanding of CX and it can easily become mangled in with how you approach customer service. It is important to understand that both are linked, but there is a need for your whole company to understand how each individual can improve the customer experience, whether the individual is customer facing or not.
Customer service should always relate to the support system that directly interacts with your customers. This includes any advice given, help, assistance, or support through your brand. Customer service does include how your company deals with complaints, but it is much more than that. It should be geared towards helping your customer in any form of enquiry. This could be providing advice and guidance on specific products or services that you sell, helping a customer set up a product they have already purchased, and dealing with any post-purchase enquiries, including complaints.
Putting all this together you can see how even though it is a distinct process to undertake, Customer Service is vital to the Customer Experience.
Customer Experience (CX) on the other hand is all encompassing and includes any interaction that a customer or potential customer has with your brand. This process begins the moment that a potential customer has started to dig in and do some research on your products, services, brand, and company. CX encompasses all touch points between a customer and your brand, both online and offline and is the perception that they have of your brand, not just how your customer service department works in terms of answering questions and complaints.
What this means is that a company has to be more responsible for things that previously wouldn’t have been thought about. Reaching potential customers and enhancing the customer experience is more important than ever, and it now happens sometimes before there is any direct interaction between customer and company. Customer Experience is about creating a way of life, a brand aesthetic that lasts for a lifetime, not just for one purchase. It is about genuinely creating long-term relationships with customers where they feel that the brand belongs to them on an emotional level, and not just on a one-off basis to purchase a product or service that is a necessity at that time.
Understanding brand importance and the customer experience brings a greater chance of success in the future so you should be placing great importance into researching it. Brand audits and customer experience specialists can help you develop a plan of action that speaks to the company brand ideals, the aesthetic you are looking to create, and the customers you are attempting to target. It also helps you to intertwine customer service and the customer experience perfectly.