“90% of people believe brand recommendations from friends.” (HubSpot)
“52% of consumers say they made an additional purchase from a company after a positive experience” (American Express, “Customer Service Barometer” report)
When you search for how top-notch customer service drives your word-of-mouth marketing, purchase decisions, and your bottom line, you’ll find countless metrics like the ones above.
To stand out and compete for people’s attention in today’s noisy world (especially online) and increase recommendations from your customers, simply having customer service in place isn’t enough. It’s more important than ever to include a customer experience strategy in your marketing and sales plans.
Understanding the difference between customer service and customer experience and how they align in your business or organization makes it easier to achieve achieve your marketing and growth goals.
What is customer service?
Customer service is a reactive strategy — make no mistake it needs to be in place. It occurs when your customers contact you because they need assistance before and after they make a purchase. It also requires empowering your frontline team to resolve customers’ problems and increase satisfaction by making various solutions available that they can use without getting your approval first.
What is customer experience?
Creating a customer experience plan is a proactive strategy that anticipates your customers’ needs and manages their expectations at every on/offline touchpoint they have with your brand. Touchpoints can include anything from social media posts, eblasts, special offers, your purchase pathway, signage, how your team interacts with them, and more. The goal is to communicate enough information about your product or service to make them feel like they don’t have any needs. You can take it a step further by creating delightful moments so they feel excited to come back and tell their friends.
We’re writing a follow-up post on ways you can improve your customer experience strategies. In the meantime, you can learn more about improving your customers’ experiences by receiving our free e-booklet, Creating a “Yes” Customer Journey, when you opt in to our email list. Click here to opt-in.