The Difference Between Customer Care and Customer Experience

Why aren’t they the same?

This is how customer care and customer experience (CX) differ: customer care describes one slice of the pie, focused on interaction and directly customer support; CX defines the entire customer journey with your company. Customer care covers what transpires between customers throughout their time with your company, addressing any individual problems or needs, and any questions they have regarding their financing. Customer care happens one customer at a time.

Customer care is part of the CX, but there is much more to the CX than just this element.  It’s the entire journey, from the moment a customer thinks about doing business with you to any and every interaction point across the whole company.  Providing an excellent CX will allow your customer care to be proactive rather than reactive.

“…If you book a vacation on the phone and the person you are speaking with is friendly and helpful, that’s good customer service.  Yet, if your tickets arrive early and the hotel upgrades your room, then that’s a good customer experience.” – Steven MacDonald, SuperOffice

Research has found that customers are willing to pay more for a better experience and that providing a great CX will positively impact the loyalty of your customers.

You can enhance the customer experience by providing positivity, transparency, engaging your customers at every level, as well as anticipating customer needs.  Here are six tips for improving your business’s CX strategy.

How Businesses Can Provide an Excellent Customer Experience

1. Consistently use your core values and mission statements.

Integrate your company’s core values in every customer touchpoint.  This includes your marketing material and keeping the customer in mind with your IT capabilities.  Be sure to keep ease of use in mind when creating tools, resources and processes.

2. Understand the customer’s needs.

Differentiate how you provide support to a tech savvy customer compared to one who may be intimidated by technology.  Some customers need more guidance than others; by thoughtfully helping them, you improve their experience.

3. Create an emotional connection with the customer.

Remember it is not what you say but how you say it.  When you use empathy and listen, you show the customer you care and appreciate him or her.  The Journal of Consumer Research found that 50% of an experience is based on an emotion.  And make sure to leave your own personal emotion out of all situations.

4. Ask yourself “How can I make their day better?

Ensure an overall positive CX by asking yourself this question at each touchpoint with customers.  Ask clarifying questions to develop a thorough understanding of their needs and expectations.  Repeat back so the customer is aware you are listening to, and understanding, his or her concerns.

5. Ask your customers for their feedback.

Take every opportunity to ask customers for feedback.  Customer feedback can provide powerful data about where you are succeeding as well as areas that require improvement.  Bad reviews can be a learning experience for all: as a company you should want to do better as a result, not make excuses.

6. Use quality development for your team

Offer your team ideas for development on a recurring basis and provide additional training via e-learning or group training sessions.  Ask your team for their input on particular areas which they would like to receive additional training.

As the customer becomes even more empowered with the use of social media, the importance of CX increases dramatically.  Customer expectations are higher and word of mouth travels fast.  Take it from the Disney Institute: while no one “owns the Guest”, someone in every case “owns the moment.”  Own your moments!