Customer experience has become a buzz word in recent years, with businesses prioritizing customer experience above all else to attract and retain loyal customers. If you’re in IT customer service, you might wonder how your job fits into this new business culture. What is customer service? What about customer experience? Here’s what you need to know about the relationship between customer experience and customer service, with how it relates to you as an IT customer service professional.
What is Customer Experience?
The customer experience is the sum of a person’s interactions with a brand across multiple channels, with multiple people, at multiple touchpoints. It’s the feeling evoked by a brand or the promised lifestyle that draws in the customer. Customer experience has become so important recently because of the global economy – in a world with endless competition, products are no longer unique. It’s the customer’s experience that makes one company stand out from another and keeps customers coming back time and again. Each business has its own unique take on what they want their “customer experience” to be, but they all have one thing in common: It must be positive.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is the process of helping a client or customer with a question, serving them to meet a need, or helping them solve a problem. Customer service is a reactive interaction with a customer, usually customer-initiated when they reach out for help.
Whereas the customer experience is the broad collection of a customer’s experiences, customer service occurs in distinct, individual interactions. It contributes to the customer experience but isn’t the whole of it. However, just because it’s a small piece of the puzzle doesn’t diminish its importance. In fact, nearly 70% of consumers will abandon a brand after a single negative customer service experience.
Companies invest heavily in designing an exceptional customer experience to stand out from the crowd, but one poor customer service interaction can send a customer right into the arms of the competition. For this reason, customer service is an integral part of the overall customer experience.
Why Does Customer Experience Matter in IT?
You’re not a brand. You’re an IT professional. So why should you be concerned with customer experience?
It’s simple. The focus on customer experience has caused a shift from traditional product-focused marketing to a carefully curated experience throughout each company’s culture. Employees at every level are expected to maintain a customer-centric focus and exemplify company values.
That includes you, whether you’re representing your department to an internal colleague or representing your company to an external customer.
As a professional providing IT customer service, you are responsible for crafting a positive interaction that your customer will remember. A customer can walk away from their encounter with you feeling confused, angry, and embarrassed; or relieved, happy, and satisfied. Either way, the customer internalizes these feelings and allows them to color their perception of your department or company for a long time.
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