Customer Service vs Customer Experience

Posted on July 9, 2014 by


Image via Brian Solis on Flickr

Image via Brian Solis on Flickr


Have you ever heard a company tout their customer service as excellent and thought, “That’s not true, they’re terrible.” I have done that more times than I can count. When I really think about it, the service is usually fine, but the experience is the issue.  I agree with Brian Solis, that businesses have to focus on a meaningful and shareable customer experience. Customer service is just a part of that overall customer experience. When there is a gap between the two, it can be detrimental to the organization, even for those organizations that have focused on achieving/maintaining a high level of service.

There are several organizations who are really trying to utilize social media to provide good customer service. Even when they do that well, there is still existing frustration for the service representatives and customers alike when the same overall customer experience problems continue to arise. (Cable companies and airlines seem to face this problem regularly.) A company can provide excellent customer service and still have customers who have an overall substandard customer experience – this gap can be a costly proposition.

Customer acquisition and retention can suffer greatly as a direct result of customer service and/or customer experience. Customers share both and when they share either via social media, their impressions are amplified. When the sharing is positive, it can create additional opportunities for an organization to grow the bottom line. When it’s negative, the ramifications can be costly and lingering.

Today’s #SMChat will focus on how to identify and address the gap between customer service and customer experience.  We will discuss the questions below at 1pm ET.  We hope you will join us!

  1. What can companies do to benchmark and measure the customer service that they are currently providing?
  2. What is the best practice for measuring customer experience?
  3. How do you compare the metrics for customer service vs customer experience?
  4. How do you share the data in a way that is meaningful across business units?
  5. If there is a gap between customer service and customer experience, how do you close it?