All businesses want to keep their customers, and prospects, happy. Satisfied customers are the difference between a successful and highly-profitable company, or a business that is struggling to compete with its competitors.In fact, the importance of great customer service has never been more important. A study from NewVoiceMedia found that US-based companies alone are losing $74 billion a year due to poor customer experiences, a staggering $13 billion increase from its previous study in 2016.
Mastering a customer-centric approach that puts customer satisfaction at the forefront of your organization’s mission, relies on a seamless customer experience (CX), a highly thought-out customer service program and world-class customer care.
Yet in today’s business world all of these terms have become interchangeable. In truth, there are a huge number of ways in which your organization can look after its customers and customer care, customer experience and customer service all have their own unique definitions.
To create a customer service program that delights your customers, it’s crucial that you understand the difference between these terms. Let’s kick it off by looking at customer service
What is customer service?
Customer service refers to the customer support function of a business, which can either be housed internally or outsourced to a contact center third party who is highly-experienced and specially skilled in building world-class customer service programs.
Customer service, in a nutshell, is the support you offer your customers before, during and after a purchase. Customer service now goes far beyond traditional phone support and can be delivered through email support, text message, self-service, social media, web and artificial intelligence (such as chatbots).
Based around answering customer queries in a seamless manner to ensure customer satisfaction, customer service includes queries such as product information, troubleshooting issues, sales questions, technical support, complaints and much more.
What is customer care?
Customer care is defined by how people are treated when they interact with your brand. It’s the processes and interactions put in place by your company and customer service agents that actually show your customers (and prospects) that you care about them.
Customer care is a strategy that aims at building an emotional connection with your brand and its customers, creating a community of loyal followers who spread awareness of your business through word-of-mouth.
In essence, customer care is about genuinely caring for your customers, listening to their needs and seamlessly finding the right solutions. It’s a step beyond just basic customer service.
What is the customer experience?
The customer experience, often referred to as CX, is the impression that customers have of your brand as a whole throughout every step of their journey with your company - from the moment they first discover your brand to every interaction that follows.
Unlike customer service, customer experience isn’t based on a one-off interaction. It includes the entire customer lifecycle and every touchpoint and interaction that a customer has with your brand, your products and your people.
A positive customer experience typically leads to brand loyalty, improved customer retention and encourages brand advocacy.
So, what does all this mean for your brand’s customer service program?
While these three concepts may all sound similar, they all involve different strategies, technologies, processes and expertise to implement successfully.
Unfortunately, most organizations believe that if they just implement high-quality customer service then great customer care and a seamless customer experience will follow. This simply isn’t true.
The customer experience is the emotional connection that customers’ have with your entire brand, and customer service and customer care are vital pieces that fall within that puzzle. To truly satisfy your customers, your brand must implement processes that build customer care, customer service and CX as one unified strategy.
Want to learn more about how you can improve your customer care, customer service and CX strategies? Contact Advantage Communications today. Our highly-skilled team based in our Jamaican, Canadian and Mexican outsourced call centers has helped organization’s deliver the highest level of customer care, customer service and CX through world-class strategies and innovative technologies. We would love to help you do the same.