Why Customer Experience Should Be a Holistic Effort
Many companies struggle to deliver positive customer experience throughout their organization, yet doing so is key to running a successful business. In fact, by 2017, nearly all marketers expect customer experience to be their primary differentiator, according to a Gartner study.
To find out more about how customer service is changing and how companies can deliver positive customer experience holistically, One Paper Lane connected with Chad Armel, an experienced customer service, marketing, and PR professional.
One Paper Lane: How is technology changing customer service?
Chad Armel: In recent years, technology has taken on a new role in customer service, moving from an additional tool in the customer service tool box, to the backbone of all customer service. With video calling, 24/7 online chat, social media and a massive amount of customer data at lightning speed, customer service professionals certainly have an amazing toolbox filled to the top with technological tools to utilize to create a top-notch customer experience. The main tool is mobile, as this is quickly becoming the first choice of digital communication.
OPL: Is there a real difference between customer service and customer experience?
CA: In most businesses, there is a difference between customer service and customer experience. I believe however, that they should be one in the same when dealing with customers. Customer service tends to be issue/solution driven, while customer experience is the overall combined experience a customer has while doing business with a company. From the front desk of a hotel to the bathroom, the bellhop to the housekeeper, for instance, the customer experience is a combination of all aspects. In order to create the perfect customer experience, I believe that each and every employee must be customer-first minded, meaning they should all have customer service at the top of their priorities. This in the end would make customer service and customer experience one in the same.
OPL: Do companies need to be doing more to involve more employees in delivering positive customer experience rather than just the customer service department?
CA: Absolutely, and as I touched on in the previous answer, customer experience is the job of every employee, whether customer-facing or not. All employees, whether it is a cashier or an accountant, must be involved with the customer experience, because customer service is a 24/7 job for the company. A customer could stop an I.T. Manager in the hallway to ask for directions to the parking lot, and all of a sudden, his or her job description now includes customer service.
OPL: Why is customer experience a challenge for many companies? Is the importance of this function not understood enough?
CA: Many companies struggle with customer experience because they designate customer service to only a few groups, such as the front desk staff, customer service department, etc. At the same time, they fail to realize that the overall customer experience should not be designated to a small group of employees, but to the entire organization.
Responses by: Chad Armel, a customer service, marketing, and PR professional with a combined 15 years of experience. Through his latest project, he shares his passion and diverse skill set at www.chadarmel.com.
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