The Difference Between “Customer Experience” and “Customer Service”

The Difference Between “Customer Experience” and “Customer Service”

Kayla Graham

Corrina Owens believes that customer service/support is more reactive, whereas customer experience is more proactive. When Corrina builds a program from scratch, her main concern is solving the problem she said she would solve. It’s that simple. If the problem isn’t being solved, she works with her team to determine a solution. The bottom line is that building out a customer experience program requires gathering a lot of data and having internal meetings.

Where do you start?

You have to start from the beginning and consider these questions:

  • What is your potential customer hearing about you?
  • What are they reading online?
  • What impression do they get when they come to your website?
  • How are you engaging with them?
  • How is their experience when they speak with someone for the first time?
  • What about their experience with your product?

Corrina emphasizes that you have to measure and be aware of the customer’s experience throughout their entire life cycle. Looking at it holistically allowed Corrina to operationalize, get executive buy-in, and think about the process at scale. You need to know their impression of you with every digital or non-digital touchpoint.

How do you measure customer experience?

Corrina notes that before you even get into the tools to help you measure customer experience, it’s essential to agree on the key metrics that matter with your internal teams. It could be being a thought leader or expert in a niche. So how do you determine that? A customer is going to go to channels to get trusted content related to that. So you need to make sure that you have a positive presence there.

Corrina believes where you establish a presence as a thought leader varies by industry. A healthcare IT leader will consume content differently than an IT leader in manufacturing. You need to look at your ideal persona by industry and do detailed research to determine where they consume content. You need to be mindful of the different stages of the buyer journey. Some channels are just for building awareness while others are for someone ready to speak to you now.

A unique way a marketer can provide customer service

Corrina wanted to get involved with G2 Crowd at a previous company because she saw the value as a consumer. She realized that they could not be an expert at everything (i.e., they weren’t experts in procurement technology). So Corrina took the time to meet with their research and development team to explain the difference between P2P, spend analysis, etc., and how a buyer segments that out. If you come to the table with information and are educated, many vendors are more than willing to work with you and learn from you.

A couple of meetings with their research team led to a spend analysis category being segmented out from the tech stack. It paved the way for some niche companies to get a presence on G2. Marketers really do have influence, even when there’s not a subscription or a buy-in. There are ways to leverage relationships to help them be successful.

In episode #52 of the Content Callout podcast, Corrina shares how building empathy into their marketing and outreach has contributed to retaining their clients. Listen to the episode to learn more about their strategies!