Customer Service Vs. Customer Experience
By Alyssa Browning
Customer service and customer experience are not the same thing. These terms are often used interchangeably, but this is a mistake. You can have good customer service, but a poor customer experience. This is because the customer experience is all about perception. In fact, 75% of customers who leave, do so because of perceived poor customer service (Morgan, B., 2018). The difference between customer experience and customer service is that customer experience is the sum of a customer's entire journey with your self-storage facility where customer service is one interaction and the service the customer receives during that interaction (Blackstock, S., 2018). Another major difference between customer service and customer experience is that customer service is reactive and customer experience is proactive (Morgan, B., 2018). For example, customer service is missing a phone call because you are helping another customer, but calling back promptly. This reactive approach makes your potential customer feel satisfied. Customer experience would be having a backup call answering service to take that call as soon as soon as it comes in. This is the proactive approach that allows your customers to feel taken care of.
There are three major categories associated with customer experience (Blackstock, S., 2018). The three categories are customer service, technology, and design (Blackstock, S., 2018). These three categories include a plethora of small things that make your business great. For example, customer service would include your employees, and the way they approach a question, concern, or rental. Engaged employees approach situations more proactively and in turn help to create the best possible customer experience (Jones, B., 2016). Technology could include the functionality of your website, and the ability to rent units online- features any good management software will possess. Finally, design touches on your brand. This includes the messaging that you send to your customers and potential customers through your website, billboards, and customer service. The functionality and satisfaction of these categories make all the difference to a customer. This could be the difference between a customer experience that will get you a referral and customer service that won’t get you a referral (Morgan, B., 2018).
With regard to proactivity, owners of self-storage facilities often feel they have to have the lowest price to gain rentals, but they worry that a lower price means they need to offer sub-par customer service. With the idea of customer experience that isn’t always true. For example, 42% of consumers said they would “pay more for a friendly, welcoming experience”. Furthermore, 52% “would pay more for a speedy and efficient customer experience”. Finally, although price and quality are still some of the top considerations for people, 73% said that “a good experience is key in influencing their brand loyalties” (Ambramovich, G., 2018). In other words, you don’t have to have the lowest price to be competitive. In fact, having a higher price with better service will gain you long term and repeat customers, whereas “the lowest price” will not.
In conclusion, customer service and customer experience are very different. Customer experience goes beyond a question and answer and more towards a conversation. Get to know your tenants and potential tenants. Make them feel taken care of instead of merely satisfied.
Blackstock, S. (2018, July 24). What's the Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience? Retrieved from https://www.helpscout.com/blog/customer-service-vs-customer-experience/
Bleier, A., Harmeling, C. M., & Palmatier, R. W. (2019). Creating Effective Online Customer Experiences. Journal of Marketing, 83(2), 98–119. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1177/0022242918809930
Abramovich, G. (2018, April 26). Consumers Say They Will Pay More For A Better Experience. Retrieved from https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2018/4/19/new-study-finds-consumers-would-pay-more-for-better-cx-pwc.html#gs.d7f3fx
Dickinson, B. (2018). Providing Customer Service Versus Creating a Customer Experience. Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News, (16). Retrieved from https://search-ebscohost-com.ezproxy.snhu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=edsbig&AN=edsbig.A569203360&site=eds-live&scope=site