Customer Experience vs Customer Service

Think of your least favorite help desk experience. Your account is locked and you just need someone to unlock it. You can’t find the help desk contact information.

When you do, you call the number then wait on hold for 5 minutes before finally receiving an agent who says “Help desk – what’s your issue” in a cold, annoyed tone. When you explain your issue, the agent sighs, unlocks your accounts, then says “ok, it’s fixed, try again”.

You’re able to log in now and you thank the agent for the help and there is no return acknowledgment. You disconnect the call. You’re left unsatisfied with the experience even though your issue is resolved and you’re back to work in a reasonable amount of time.

The difference between customer service and customer experience can be well illustrated with this example. In this instance, customer service, resolution of the lockout problem, is only one piece of a larger interaction.

Customer service focuses mainly on helping the customer — Customer experience is the entire customer journey from start to finish; from before the call to after the call is completed. Customer service is mainly a representation of an individual, in this case the agent, where customer experience is a representation of the entire company the agent works for.

Customer experience is critical to a service organization’s success as well as its improvement. Below are considerations to make when it comes to designing customer experience within your organization.

How to deliver the ultimate customer experience

  • Treat your teammates the way you want them to treat your customers
    • When a teammate is treated well, their attitude will be positive, they’ll enjoy coming to work, and their personality will shine when dealing with customers. This is especially important for teammates who are the first contact with clients. Starting the communication on a positive note sets the tone for the entire interaction.
  • Teammates should focus on energy, voice, and body language
    • In a call center environment, you have dozens of opportunities to make a first impression with clients or end-users each day. Your personality and interaction with the customer can make or break how they feel about the company. Feedback will always come back to decision-makers, so you want to make sure that it is positive when it does.
  • Agents should listen with the intent to help
    • Having to repeat your issue to a support agent who is not listening is one of the most frustrating experiences. Listening to the end user’s requests with the intent to help will allow agents to put together possible solutions for the end-user as opposed to just turning into a note taker. Focusing on service and issue resolution will produce a better experience for all involved.
  • Respect the customer
    • Most businesses deal with a small number of individuals when conducting their business. With a service desk, this is different. Each person calling the service desk is a client and they should be treated with the utmost respect. As noted above, feedback will always get back to decisionmakers – make sure it is positive.

How do you measure the customer’s experience?

Net Promoter Score (NPS)

NPS measures the end-user’s experience with support by asking one question. Would you recommend the support to someone else? Based on their answers between 1-10, users will fall into three categories: Promoters, Neutral, or Detractors. A strong NPS score shows that the organization has a developed customer experience culture and can lead to more referrals and higher client retention.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)

CSAT can be measured in a variety of ways. Traditionally, CSAT is a survey of questions grading different areas of the service. Speed, friendliness, overall satisfaction are a few common factors. The data provided from these surveys will be critical to improving customer experience within your organization.

Client Retention

There’s no better way to prove a strong customer service by showing that your company retains a high percentage of their customers. Contract renewals and offers to be a reference for your service are two ways to prove that you’re providing a great customer experience.

Questions to ask when designing your customer experience program

How will you roll this out to your team? How will you train them?

Leveraging your current staff to help with the design and development of your plan will help drive the team-oriented culture you desire.

What types of investments will you need to make?

Setting up a good CX program usually isn’t free, but higher customer retention and satisfaction may result in more business.

If you received the experience, how would you feel? Will your experience bring customers back?

Your program needs to provide value and result in customer retention and acquisition. Being able to back your product and your service 100% tells a lot about a company.

Do you need to develop incentive or recognition programs to acknowledge feedback from clients about the exceptional service they received?

Incentives, encouragement, and the like can make large culture or procedural changes more bearable to those that must implement them.

 Customer experience covers many aspects of an organization from user interactions to internal team cohesion. At a service desk, thousands of client or user interactions happen each day. That is thousands of opportunities to create lasting positive impressions.

If you do not have a positive experience when working with your service desk, contact us to see how we can help.

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