Author : Vikas Kumar
Director - Customer Experience, Espire | Sitecore MVP 2021

Vikas is a Sitecore MVP who heads the Digital Experience Platform (DXP) initiatives at Espire. A skilled craftsman in competency building, Vikas is a go-to-CMS expert, known for designing & developing best practices, that consistently transforms digital journey for clients.

How Customer Service can make or break CX for your brand

Customer experience has become the top priority for companies today as customers rank businesses on the quality of service they receive from them. Customers today are no more loyal and with abundant choice at hands they tend to shift companies given the experience they have with them. Brands are thus striving hard to be remarkable in the eyes of the consumers to deliver top-notch customer experience. Customer service is the backbone of delivering superior customer experience but the question that remains is how customer service is different from customer experience. The terms customer service and customer experience are often confused and used interchangeably.

We hereby take a look at how customer service is different from customer experience and how the two are related and complementary to each other.

What Is the Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience ?

The basic difference between the two is that, customer service is one aspect to deliver customer experience by interacting and supporting customers during their pre and post purchase process. Customer experience is, however, the sum-total of the entire customer journey with a business.

Customer service is the support a company provides to its customers before, during and after buying and using its products or services. It provides the customers with satisfactory and enjoyable experience with the company leading to healthy bonds and long-term relationship.

Customer experience is the total of all experiences the customer has with the business consisting of all the interactions with the company throughout the customer journey. It is used to describe the relationship a customer has with a business. It involves every conceivable touchpoint including the brand itself, its products or services and employees who are engaged in ensuring satisfying experience with the company.

Brands cannot completely ensure that customers would not face problems after purchase
of their products or service and hence customers cannot be completely satisfied.

While customer service is reactive in nature, customer experience is proactive. Customer service comes into play when dissatisfied and frustrated customer contacts the company for grievance redressal. Hence, businesses can take action only when something goes wrong with their products or services and thereby cannot offer solution before the problem arises. Customer experience on the other hand is proactive in nature as it ensures that customers face minimum or no hassles by optimizing the customer journey. The goal of customer experience is to ensure that customers need not require to contact customer service in the first place.

Customer experience is a holistic approach that includes the entire organization along with the customer service department. Customer service focuses on interactions with the customers as they try to contact the company during the stage of experiencing issues with company’s offerings, whereas, customer experience covers entire experience of the customer along their journey with the brand in order to build long term relationship and loyalty with the company.

A seamless customer service boosts customer experience

Although seemingly different from customer experience, a seamless customer service over a period of time impacts the perception of the customer about the brand. A good customer service hence will lead to improved customer experience over time and attracts customers towards the brand. Brands thus cannot ignore customer service in place of customer experience. Brands cannot completely ensure that customers would not face problems after purchase of their products or service and hence customers cannot be completely satisfied. There will always be need of a customer service in place to ensure that customers are provided exceptional customer experience and are truly satisfied with the brand to remain loyal and return for more.

All said, customer experience is much more than just customer service. It is also about ensuring employee engagement, understanding the customer, devising plans for delivering superior customer service and empowering employees to deliver on the promise. It also encompasses training the leaders to reinforce behaviors in the organization to deliver delightful experience to customers. In the end, it is about ensuring that every step in the journey of the customer is seamless and it offers exceptional experience to the customers. Customer service ensures that your customers are taken care of during their periods of grievances and customer experience is all about discovering and acting on such areas of opportunity that attracts and keeps the customers connected with the brand.

Espire's Digital Experience Platform (DXP) solutions are transforming websites into powerful customer engagement and conversion platforms and empowering marketers with the ability to engage with the hyper-connected, on-the-go customers of today in a more meaningful, highly personalized and contextual manner, seamlessly across all brand touchpoints - globally and locally.


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