Customer Experience vs Customer Service vs Customer Care: Big Difference

Mai Xuan Truong

The terms such as customer experience vs customer service are usually confused or used interchangeably. They are not the same, however, they are related. The difference between customer experience vs customer service is that whereas customer service is one piece of the puzzle, which focuses on human interaction and directly supporting customers. However, customer experience is the total of the whole customer journey with your business. Let’s jump into this post and you will discover customer experience vs customer service vs customer care in more detail.

What is customer experience?

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is one of the hottest business terms in today’s world. Companies are pouring more money and resources than ever before into building up a strong customer experience, and many of them expect to soon compete on experience more than price or quality. Nowadays, we’re increasingly seeing research that companies that invest in customer experience boast a higher stock price. Customer Experience, or CX, refers to the broader customer journey across the company and includes all interactions between the business and the customer.

Customer Experience combines all the ways your company interacts with a customer, including outside of traditional direct, customer-facing service. Customer Experience shows how the customer uses your service or product, their interactions with self-service support options, customer service interactions with the team, the feeling of walking into your retail store, and more.

Customer experience includes three main elements:

  • Customer Service: This includes self-service support, Customer Success, and Customer Support — these points are where your customer interacts with your company.
  • Technology: This is the product itself — the way it works and the interactivity points.
  • Design: This is the brand touchpoint — the design, the marketing, and the feelings which your product creates for your customer.

While these three things are quite different, there are no hard lines between them. All of these three pieces combine and work together to build up the customer experience.

Good customer experience also combines user flow and good physical retail layout and flow, as well as good site design. 

What is customer service?

What is customer service?

Customer service is reactive and usually used only when a customer isn’t satisfied. This is the assistance or advice a business gives to its consumers whereas they interact with the brand. It comes only after the customer makes a purchasing decision and usually costs related to the customers’ requirements.

The customer service agents follow procedures and try to meet administrative and technical requirements. Nevertheless, they can also support customers whereas shopping, influencing their buying decision.

Moreover, customer service could be classified as a part of the customer experience. Quite often the whole customer experience can be strongly influenced by a customer service interaction. Therefore it plays a crucial role and its role is to provide support.

For example, a blip in customer experience — say, receiving a damaged package — means that a customer will contact customer service, which will turn into a make-or-break moment for keeping that customer.

What is customer care?

What is customer care?

People do not only confuse when using the term customer experience vs customer service but they also confuse when using the term customer care. This term shows a longer-term approach to taking care of a customer and actual care for customers.

Customer Care moves one step beyond basic customer service by contributing an emotional connection. It does not include the whole customer lifecycle though, but it combines a string of interactions. Therefore, customer care is the act of providing and delivering helpful, professional, high-quality assistance before, during, and after the customer’s demands are met.

You and your team have to listen to customer’s requirements, answer their questions, and provide the appropriate solution. This type of interaction you can interpret as an aim to win and maintain customers by giving reasonable price, quality service, and item differentiation.

Customer care is more of supportive management, where procedures are pretty necessary for encouraging responsiveness to your customer’s demands and finding methods to build the achievement of commercial objectives.

It’s management-oriented and needs you to create, develop, and enhance customer services with the carefully aimed customer to increase your customers’ value and raise their loyalty.

Customer experience vs customer service 

Customer experience vs customer service 

The most important difference between customer experience vs customer service is that customer experience is related to the whole customer journey, including customer service.

Customer service is limited to the interactions which a customer has when seeking advice or assistance on a product or service. Understanding the customer experience, in contrast, can involve analyzing data from non-customer-facing teams who build up a customer’s overall experience with a service or a product.

Customer experience vs customer service are both crucial elements to a company’s success, yet it’s not possible (or important) to draw hard lines between them. The line between the way customers use a product and the way they interact with the people supporting it are more blurred than ever. Customers take the whole picture into account when they think about your offerings, and you should, too.

Customer service is what happens when a customer or potential customer engages with your company in search of more information to move them down the funnel. Therefore, within this definition, let’s read a few customer service examples below. 

  • Site chatbot responses.
  • The returns process, and how a team interacts with customers going through that process.
  • Email responses of any sort.
  • Facebook messenger and Instagram direct message responses (either by a customer service team or set up with logic and AI through a messenger bot). 
  • Instagram comment responses.
  • Paid social media responses.
  • In-store associates, and how they interact with customers and potential customers.

Customer experience, in contrast, is the umbrella under which customer service lives under. Customer service, nevertheless, is not the only area of customer experience. Let’s repeat that because it is very necessary to grasp: customer experience includes customer service, but customer service is not the only area of customer experience that must be thought through. A few examples of customer experience are mentioned below:

  • The way you build out your returns process: Is it hard or is it easy to return an item.
  • The way you package your products: Branded packaging? Are there instructions? 
  • What your shipping policy is: Is there free shipping, does it get there quickly, so on and so forth.

>> Read more: 4 Differences between Customer experience vs User experience

Final Word

Today, more and more companies are taking customer experience vs customer service vs customer care seriously and then they exceed expectations and delight customers. The truth is there are numerous ways to care for and interact with your customers, but these three terms don’t mean the same and you have to stop talking about them as if they do. However, no matter how hard a company tries, not all of the customers will be completely satisfied. There should always be a demand for customer service, customer experience, and customer care. All three elements work together will help you build a satisfied customer base that is loyal to the company and will return for more.

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