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The Difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience

Last Modified: 20/12/2017

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Because they are two things that are so closely related, there are organizations that often confuse customer experience and customer service. Do you know the difference? We find out the real difference between the two concepts.

What is Customer Experience?


Simply put, customer experience is the perception the customer has of your brand. It’s how customers perceive their interactions with your company or brand. While you may think your customer experience and brand is the same thing, a customer may have a different perception, and that would be regarded as the customer experience.


Customer experience is not restricted to how many interaction mediums you have, and it’s also not to be confused with a once-off experience. It is the overall experience a customer has across platforms where they can engage with your company, measured across an entire purchase cycle.


A company may focus on certain parts of the customer journey but may fail to impress the customer on other aspects. That results in a customer experience that is weak due to ignoring an aspect of the customer’s journey. For example, a customer may have a wonderful experience when purchasing a product, but have a negative experience when requiring assistance from customer service. That happens when you don’t pay attention to all aspects of the customer journey.


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What is Customer Service?


Customer service is the assistance a company provides to customers before, during and after purchasing or using its products or services. Good customer service leaves customers satisfied and involves creating bonds with customers, with the aim of developing them into long-term relationships. According to Study.com, some elements of good customer service include:

  • Professionalism: You need to treat all your customers professionally. Professionalism makes customers feel cared for.

  • Promptness: You must meet customers’ expectations with regards to delivery timelines. Avoid delays at all costs. This includes replying to customer messages promptly.

  • Politeness: Whether the customer makes a purchase or not, it’s important to remain polite. Greeting the customer appropriately and saying “thank you very much” are a part of good customer service.

  • Personalization: Every customer feels good when the company they are doing business with addresses them on a personal level.

A good customer experience means the company has provided great customer service, and that the service offered has left the customer happy and satisfied with the service received. That brings us to the question “What exactly is the difference between customer service and customer experience (CX)?”.

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Difference between Customer Service and Customer Experience


There is a fine line between customer service and customer experience. Customer service actually involves the overall experience. An Agency Nation article highlighted that customer service is limited to one aspect of the customer’s journey. This is when the customer is experiencing some sort of issue with your product or service. When a business assists the customer with the help they require it’s good customer service.


Customer experience, however, is more extensive. “It’s understanding how your customer is feeling and what they’re thinking every single time they interact with your business, from the moment they’re aware you exist”. It involves every aspect of what a company has to offer, including how its customer care is rated, packaging, product and service features, reliability, ease of use, and other elements.


Customer service is reactive, whereas customer experience is proactive. When you are reactive to your customers, you’re not preventing disasters from occurring, you are simply fixing what needs to be fixed once it has taken place. When you are proactive with your customers, it’s taking the time to analyze what issues may potentially arise and stopping them from taking place before they do. With customer experience, the business’ objective is to provide customers with a better overall experience, which leads to happier customers.

"Customer Experience is understanding how your customer is feeling and what they’re thinking every single time they interact with your business, from the moment they’re aware you exist"


What Customer Experience is not


  • Customer experience is not a department: Every team in your organization, from marketing and sales to customer support, should be involved in the customer experience.

  • Customer experience isn’t reactive: As previously mentioned, you don’t wait for the customer to raise up an issue to resolve their problem or meet their requirements. To provide customers with a great CX companies need to become intuitive, learn from previous or common issues, and should get a better understanding of the customer’s needs and expectations.

With today’s evolving customer expectations, your company may excel at providing satisfactory customer service, however, delivering great customer experience is not easy, but Customer Management Outsourcing makes it possible to meet your customers’ demands without breaking the bank through already trained staff and modern technology.


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