From Customer Service to Customer Experience

From Customer Service to Customer Experience

by Dr. R. Kay Green

Good customer service is more than important. It is an integral part of any business’s success. In today’s oversaturated business world, there is simply no room for subpar service, because there will always be another business willing to do the job quicker and more pleasantly.

And this is exactly why telling people you have “good customer service” is a poor marketing tactic.

Marketing is about differentiating yourself. Your business should be marketed on the things that make it unique, the things that other businesses in your industry either do not think or do not care to do. This is what makes your business memorable, and “memorable” is the best thing that a marketing campaign can be.

The reason that good customer service doesn’t work as a marketing tactic is that it is not unique, and it is not optional — it is expected. If good customer service is the only thing your business has going for it, then you certainly will not be memorable to potential customers.

To put it simply, saying that your business has “good customer service” is about as effective as a restaurant telling people that they serve food, or a clothing store trying to differentiate by making it clear that they sell pants.

Customer service should not be the focus of your marketing campaign. Instead, customer experience should be.

Customer experience is defined by Forrester as “How customers perceive their interactions with your company.” They go on to describe a good customer experience as something that is “useful (deliver value), usable (make it easy to find and engage with the value), and enjoyable (emotionally engaging so that people want to use them).”

A lot of these words could, potentially, be used to describe customer service. But they are not, and that is what makes customer experience so important.

When you think of “good customer service,” you think of your employees. You think of things that employees can do, specifically, to make customers happy. You probably have rules and regulations in place to ensure that good customer service happens.

Customer experience, on the other hand, is reliant on your customer’s perceptions alone. It is about how your customers interact with your business, and what they get out of it. It is a metric that is slightly less tangible to the company, but far more tangible to the customer.

Your type of business will determine how to ensure a tangible experience for the customer. For example, in the context of banks and credit unions, you cannot underestimate the role trust and comfort play. Customer experience means everything to this type of business if the establishment wants more clients. While background music for banks and credit unions may not mean much to the core of daily operations, it contributes to the ambiance that makes customers comfortable.

In other words, switching your focus to customer experience reframes the discussion to make your customer the focus, not your employees. And this is what makes it so powerful as a marketing tool.

To understand exactly what your customer experience is, you have to ask your most loyal customers: why do they continue to do business with you?

The answer might be something that you did not expect. Maybe your service is personal in an industry where things are usually automated. Maybe you have a specific feature that no one else does. Maybe you provide a luxury that people would not get to experience otherwise.

Whatever this feature is, once you understand it, you can make it the cornerstone of your marketing. By doing this, you will attract the same type of person as your most loyal customers — which means even more people who love what you do.




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