Learn to Differentiate Between Customer Experience and Customer Service

Most often we get confused between Customer Experience & Customer Support. Are both the terms same? Let’s discuss the most confusing topic here, elaborately.

What is Customer Service?

Customer service is the assistance & support provided by the human agent or a bot in each stage of the customer journey cycle starting from awareness to pre-purchase then purchase, post-purchase, use & lastly, troubleshooting. The motivation of the customer service team should not be only to resolve the complex customer queries but also they should focus more on building a long-term bond with the customer in their end-to-end buying Journey. 

Why Customer Service is Important?

  • Happier customers are more likely will continue the business with the same organization. Retaining the existing customer is less costly & easier than acquiring a new customer.
  • Customer service is the key differentiator which will make the organization stand out from the competition.
  • According to Salesforce analysis, ‘80% of customer tells that good customer service which leads to creating a better customer experience is as important as the company’s order & services.’
  • A bad experience will lead to customer churn. According to a Salesforce report, ‘80% of the customer will abandon the company after three consecutive bad experiences.’

The key elements that will help to deliver great Customer Service

Omni Channel Customer Support

Smart IVR: 

  • A smart Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is beyond the traditional press 1,2,3 prompt. It helps to improve the matrices such as Average Handling Time (AHT) & First Call Resolution (FCR) in the contact center world.
  • It has other features like auto-routing of an inbound call to the agents, facilitating the payments, voice interaction, and customer recognition by name.
  • A well-planned IVR reflects your customers’ needs with menu options that prioritize the previously documented customer journey.

Mobile App:

Mobile App offers asynchronous communication. Customer & agent both can keep past conversation records and they can continue their conversation for an extended period.

Social Media: 

According to a Salesforce analysis report, ‘71% of service organization uses social media channels.’ It helps to integrate both marketing & customer service data to give a single view of the customer to the Customer Service team. This will help them to give appropriate solutions when customers reach out for a problem.

Self-Service Channel:

  • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), online knowledgebase, IVR phone system, online discussion forum, and virtual assistant are the common self-service channel widely used by the customer
  • First level resolution rate, average time to answer, and call abandonment rate are the matrices most improved by implementing self-service.


According to a Salesforce report, ‘67% of organization uses chatbot.’ Chatbots are using AI to analyze the data to answer repetitive & routine questions by the customer. Based on the customers’ request, chatbot tries to resolve the basic queries. If the queries are complex, chatbot redirects the chat to a live agent.


Some complex queries need face-to-face interaction. According to a Salesforce report, ‘there has been a spike in video support by 42% in the service organizations.’ Video support gives a personalized experience to the customer. The agent also can connect with customers to resolve complex queries by visual remote assistance.

(Source: Zendesk Customer Service Report)

Illustration of the Best Customer Service Practices:

To deliver Fast First Response Time: 

According to a Zendesk survey report, ‘76% of Customers want to engage with a human agent or virtual agent immodestly once they try to contact the company so wait time is annoying for customers leading to a poor experience.’

Meeting Customers where they want to:

The customer wants to talk to an agent on the same channel about how they interact with others. So, providing omnichannel support will help to improve the customer service experience for the customer. According to a Zendesk report, ‘73% of customer wants to pick-up the conversation on one channel and later on they want to pick it up back on another channel. So, omnichannel support gives this experience to customer by integrating all channels’ data. Making customers happy by eliminating gaps & reducing customer effort & friction.

Promoting self-service: 

According to the Zendesk report, ‘89% of customer wants to resolve their queries by self-learning & a knowledgebase by leveraging the company’s website without contacting anyone.


Resolves your customers’ queries before they reach out to you. Anticipate your customer’s issues before & proactively try to address their issue by contacting them.

Customer Service Statistics

According to the Zendesk customer experience trend report.

  • 73% of business leaders have witnessed a direct connection between customer service & business performance.
  • Best customer service results in increasing the cross-sell by 47%.
  • Customer retention got improved by 60%.
  • 64% of business leaders think good customer service results in business growth. 
  • 81% of customers admitted that a good customer service experience motivates them to purchase another product.

What is Customer Experience (CX)?

Customer Experience is all about how a customer feels about the cumulative interactions with the business. Customer Experience represents the entire customer journey. In a business for customer experience entire team of the organization is involved. It includes the marketing where awareness about the product is done, sales to purchase the product, operation & delivery to receive the product & service, and at the end customer service team for the post-purchase support.

Three major parts of customer experience:

People: Customers want to connect with a person who has empathy whether they are in a call with a sales agent or a live chat with the customer support agent.

Process: Customers want everything to be seamless in their buying journey be it a simplified payment process or to connect with customer care more easily.

Technology: Customers always want their problems to be resolved quicker & faster. So, leveraging the Digital Customer Experience (DCX) technology service organization can get a competitive advantage and they can retain customer trust & loyalty. Better technological advancement will give a better customer experience.

Why CX is Important? 

According to the Zendesk customer experience trend report: 

  • 75% of customer is ready to overlook the price if the company is offering a good customer experience.
  • 77% of customer is more loyal to a company that offers them a good customer experience.
  • 80% of customers will switch to the competitors’ brand if they encounter a single bad experience.
  • Companies that take customer experience as a top priority are 6 times more like to surpass their customer retention goal.


Customer service is just one part of the entire customer journey. While customer experience encompasses all the interactions between the brand & the customer. The major three parameters to distinguish customer service & experience are: 

1:  Level of control: 

An organization has full control over its customer service. Though organizations can shape the CX they have limited control as many factors impact how customers perceive the brand.

2: Matrices:

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Net Promotor Score (NPS) are the metrics by which the customer service team can measure the quality of their customer service. Customer experience can also be analyzed by these matrices but there are other metrics like Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV), Customer Retention Rate (CRR), and Customer Churn Rate (CCR) to measure the customer experience.

3. Ownership:

Mainly customer support team, agent & customer support manager is responsible for delivering the best customer service. Other teams of the organization also connect with the customer, but the customer support team is accountable for delivering the customer support that customers ask for.

While CX is shared responsibility in the organization. Each team starting from marketing, sales, operation, automation, analytics, IT, CX, etc. is responsible to provide the best customer experience at the customer touch point.

Author’s Bio –


Nikhil Pereira is Contact Center expert with 20 years of end-to-end contact center expertise. He has experience across the Contact Center spanning Hiring, Training, Quality, Workforce Management, Performance Management etc. Nikhil comes with deep expertise in Contact Center Transformation leverage Digital-First tools and technologies. Conducted multiple Contact Center consulting studies across the globe for some of the leading brands across North America, UK, Middle East and Australia. He is a certified “Design Thinker”, UiPath and Microsoft certified.

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