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The Difference Between Customer Experience & Service

Summer is coming to a close and while enjoying the hot weather, I was reminiscing about learning how to sail, and how it relates to the customer experience.

I learned to sail when I was young.  Nothing feels better than being out in the water, smelling the salty air, hearing the wind whipping through the sales – But I have to tell you learning nautical speak was not easy. What was port(left)? Starboard(right?) It was a brave new world, and I needed a new language to navigate it.

While looking at the agenda for eTail East I realized that customer experience, branding, and eCommerce can feel the same way. The landscape has changed drastically, and with it, the language.

Customers still go through a journey and that journey differs from customer to customer. Where they are in the buying process, their demographics, and even the channel they’re on affect the journey.

The tricky part comes in when we try to separate customer experience and customer service. A lot of folks see those as the same thing, and while the differences between the two may seem minor at first, once you dig in, you can see how much they differ.

Measuring the Journey & Experience

To measure customer satisfaction you’re going to be looking at the CSAT score. This measures each interaction you have with a customer. This could be after a support call, or after you’ve engaged with a customer while they’re on your site with live chat. The CSAT measures each individual interaction.

CSAT Score definition

When you measure customer experience – you’re looking at a Net Promoter Score(NPS). This measures your overall customer experience, it is how you measure your customers’  overall perception of your brand and their overall experience with it.

NPS Definition

Once we’ve clearly defined these two key scoring metrics, the conversation quickly shifts. It no longer becomes about one or the other, but about how we can measure and integrate both to affect the overall customer journey.

With so many of your customers online, you can’t interact with them directly in brick & mortar locations anymore. Which is why you need to start reaching out to your consumers directly. When you reach your customers directly, while focusing on creating an ideal customer experience, you can create a better customer experience.