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Customer Experience, Customer Service & Customer Support: Overview & Distinction

Updated: Jan 20


Customer Experience v/s Customer Service

When it comes to customers, businesses must provide proper assistance to reach their growth targets successfully. Serving customers involves customer experience, customer service, and customer support, and all these terms are used interchangeably, but do these terms mean the same, or are they different? In this article, we will understand customer service, support, and experience and how they are different from each other.


What is Customer Experience?

Customer experience is how a customer feels about their interactions with a business or brand, and it involves every customer interaction throughout the journey. Customer experience starts with marketing materials and ends with the service received by customers post-purchase. Customer experience or CX involves 3 Ps, namely, people, process, and product.

  • People involve sales agents or live chat support agents who need to be helpful and kind while handling customer inquiries.

  • Process means a seamless experience throughout the buyer's journey.

  • The product involves items that are intuitive to help customers solve their problems with ease.


What is Customer Service?

Assisting or advocating for customers is what customer service is all about. The process involves services provided during purchase, pre-purchase, and post-purchase. Great customer service is much more than providing basic responses and should be about solving customer's problems with the best solutions possible.

Customers expect fast responses from brands, and businesses need to keep customer interactions empathetic and kind. Companies also need to focus on the preferred channels of communication to provide better customer service. A good customer service agent has the following traits -

  • Empathy and active listening to make customers feel seen and heard. A well-tempered and calm composure to deal with rude customers without being rude themselves. Along with this, emotional intelligence is critical to help them stay level-headed on the job.

  • Transparency and minimum waiting time to reduce the risk of frustrated customers. For this, digital literacy is also essential, as having proper knowledge about the company and products leads to a faster resolution.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills to create trust and relationships with customers, and a customer-first mindset to prioritize their overall experience and meet every customer's individual needs even when they disagree.

  • Multi-tasking skills to provide excellent service even when bombarded with tons of questions and collaboration skills to work with other teams and help deal with customers in a faster way.


What is Customer Support?

Customer support refers to interactions that a customer might or might not share with a business, and not all customers require customer support. This support is provided only to specific customers who need help or assistance out of the ordinary. It includes a team of people who guide and assist buyers who have trouble or are facing challenges with the brand's products and services.

  • It involves supporting customers via their preferred channels and being proactive in anticipating customer needs.

  • To provide better customer support, you need to offer 24*7 assistance via a knowledge base and chatbots and create personalized interactions for buyers.


Customer Experience VS Customer Service

If you are confused about the distinction between these terms, don't worry; you are not alone. In a nutshell, customer service is a part of the customer journey, while customer experience is an umbrella term that encompasses all the interactions. Here are some more detailed distinctions between CX and customer service -

  • A business has complete control over customer service but only limited control in driving customer experience due to factors like how the customers perceive your brand.

  • Measuring customer service involves only a few metrics, whereas customer experience is way more complicated to calculate and involves customer lifetime value and retention rate.

  • While customer service is the responsibility of the service agents and managers, customer experience is a shared responsibility throughout the organization and involves various touchpoints.


Customer Service VS Customer Support

Customer support is another term used almost synonymously with customer experience and service. Here are some factors that make customer support different from customer service -

  • Customer service is a set of processes aimed at improving customer interactions, while customer support aims at assisting customers in need.

  • Customer support is a subset of customer service that involves a support team with in-depth knowledge of a particular product.

  • Customer support interactions involve product or feature-specific assistance to find solutions to customer issues, while customer service includes all the interactions.

  • Servicing customers involves building relationships, and customer support involves fixing technical issues faced by the buyers.


Conclusion

Thus, all these terms are interrelated and positively affect each other. Focusing on these parameters leads to customer satisfaction, retention, and a better brand reputation. Better customer service and customer support will lead to an increase in customer experience, making it the perfect recipe for a company's success.

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