Some time in our lives, we all found ourselves waiting in queue for customer service, may it be for cellphone, internet, cable, or utility services. Some of us might just want to ask a question about an additional feature, while others, because of bad service, might be furiously listening to hold music while planning his or her onslaught towards the oblivious incoming representative. Whatever the reason may be, we all have comedies or tragedies to tell about that one time we spoke to a phone agent. It’s an accepted fact that some unfortunate encounters end up with the customer giving up and just switching to another provider. The way to avoid a customer jumping ship is for companies to provide an outstanding customer experience. Customer Service Before we understand what excellent customer experience means, we must first describe what customer service is. Customer service (CS) is the one-on-one interaction between a customer and a representative of a company before, during, and after the purchase of a product or service. Most retailers see this direct interaction as a critical factor in ensuring customer satisfaction and encouraging repeat business. Nowadays, with the advent of chatbots and automated self-serve systems, companies still deem it necessary to have live, human customer service because most customers still prefer to speak to an actual human being that can empathize and understand thoughts and feelings. Customer Experience Customer experience (CX), on the other hand, is the way your customers perceive your company as a whole. It is the result of everything you have done for the customer from pre-to-post sales and beyond. Your company’s relationship with your consumers does not end when they give you their money and your product is handed over to them. These days we have to ensure that during every point of contact, your customer is taken care of and ensured that he or she is beyond satisfied every step of the way. So how do we do that? CS and CX: The Progression It is easy for any consumer-oriented company to conclude that customer experience matters more than customer service, but upon closer inspection , we may see that CX is the natural advancement of CS. CS is a part of CX, while CX is all-inclusive. Customer service is important without a doubt, but consumer interaction behaviors have changed, and CS has progressed to the next level. In the resulting phase, CS is a significant part of CX which encompasses all the interactions between you and the customer. CS begins as a reaction, while CX becomes proactive. Since customer service is only a part of the entire customer experience, the purpose of CS is to help companies respond to customer requests and grievances. When consumers need customer service, it is they who usually get in touch with the company. As soon as companies and organizations fully understand what it takes to deliver great CS, the apparent next step is the improvement of customer experience: it involves taking initiative and preemptively planning how to make comprehensive customer interaction better by hiring competent employees, having them undertake the finest training, revolutionizing CX technology through technological innovation of tools and apps, and ensuring that the CX is sustained in practice through the use of metrics and KPI to evaluate employee performance measure their progress. CS urges personal interaction, while CX encourages relationships. Customer service is every company’s response to customers’ needs, and often, these are grievances and complaints. As much as possible, issues being faced by service providers are contained, determined, and resolved in the soonest possible time, and interactions for problem-solving are done privately. Customer experience, conversely, involves the total relationship between consumer and provider, so it encourages the more positive aspects of customer interaction and ensures that customers are happy and will continue to utilize your company’s services for years to come. The Undisputable Next Step It is easy for companies to draw a line between customer experience and customer service, but these two do not necessarily have to go against each other. Legendary CX grows from good CS, and both are important to the growth and evolution of your organization. We say that CX cannot succeed without CS, so weigh your options carefully, plan your customer experience thoroughly, and execute your plans to the fullest. If you are facing customer experience setbacks, allow VXI to help you get through them. We are a customer experience company, passionate about designing solutions that augment our clients’ business processes to deliver higher revenue, greater profitability, and happier customers. Contact us now and allow us to provide you with the best experience your customers could ever have.