What's the difference between customer service and customer experience?
In simple terms the customer experience is the sum total of all his / her touchpoints with your business or organisation.
From your website, to phone calls, to face to face interactions.
For customers staying in a hotel this is the sum of all the contact they have across their stay - from booking to paying- the website, the online booking process or the contact centre agent, how easy it is to park, the receptionist, the concierge, the room and its cleanliness, the restaurant and its welcome and the quality of its food.
For customers of the retail store, it might be the feel of the store, the range and availability of products you are looking for, the helpfulness and attitude of the employees.
So many touch points or "moments of truth" where the customer makes an intuitive judgement about the level of service they are receiving and which adds up to their overall experience. And for those businesses who are "omni-channelled" where there a number of ways of doing business with customers ( phone, web chat, social media, email, face to face ) there a range of touchpoints where the customer can do business with you, and escalate if things go wrong.
Looking at the experience of your customers is actually about making sure things go right. Simple to use processes with lashings of good old fashioned customer care incorporated into modern communication methods build into the overall impression that people have about your business or your organisation.
Your reputation is key. The customer's experience is one way you can shape what people think about you, and one things for sure you can't forget customer service skills and training for your front line facing people.
The video below has some useful insights into the difference between customer service and customer experience. Aimed at entrepreneurs it's still relevant for anyone of us who works in a customer facing environment.