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Customer Service

Lesson 1

The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience

By the end of this lesson, you will be able to:

  • describe customer service

  • describe customer experience

  • use vocabulary essential when discussing customer service and customer experience

  • explain the difference between customer service and customer experience

LISTEN

The Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Experience
00:00 / 03:17

READ

Customer service is one of those things that, at one point, had been a buzzword. You heard it everywhere, you saw it everywhere, you read it everywhere. Everyone was talking about it. They talked about how good they were at it, how bad others were at it, and how to get better at it. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing inherently wrong with talking about customer service and how to deliver good customer service. The idea of it, in and of itself, emphasizes how employees think they should treat their customers to make them want to come back. However, with customer service, the focus is on the actions of the employee, the associate, the server, or even the manager.

But where is the customer in all this?

Strengthening customer service is valuable and it is absolutely necessary, but it’s simply no longer enough if businesses want to attract and retain loyal and repeat customers.

Nowadays, the new buzzword is customer experience. Customer Experience shifts the emphasis from how service is delivered to the customer to how service is received by the customer. In this way, the focus is on the customer, which is where it should be. As business owners and operators, we shouldn’t be patting ourselves on the back bragging about our customer service acumen or putting down others for their lack of it. We’re focusing on the wrong thing.

Instead, if we’re truly interested in the welfare of our customers, we must begin focusing on what happens to them in our stores and businesses. We need to be thinking about the quality of our interactions with them from the moment they first learn about our business to the moment they make their first purchase from our business. Thinking more about their experience forces us to place a value on our relationship with them and it requires us to evaluate our own actions, not separate from the customer but because of the customer.

RESPOND

Respond to these questions after listening to (or reading) the article above.
 

  1. How does the article describe the difference between customer service and customer experience?

  2. Do you agree with this description? If not, why?

  3. Describe the best customer experience you’ve had. What made it so good?

STUDY

buzzword (n.) - a word or phrase that becomes very popular for a period of time

Don’t get me wrong. (expression) – don’t misunderstand me or don’t misunderstand my intentions

inherently (adv.) - belonging to the basic nature of someone or something

emphasize (v.) - to give special attention to (something)

retain (v.) - to continue to have or use (something)

shift (v.) - to move or to cause (something or someone) to move to a different place, position, etc.

pat oneself on the back (idiom) - to praise or give credit to (someone) for doing good work

brag (v.) - to talk about yourself, your achievements, your family, etc., in a way that shows too much pride

acumen (n.) - the ability to think clearly and make good decisions

put down (phrasal verb) - to say critical or insulting things about (someone or something)

welfare (n.) - the state of being happy, healthy, or successful 

interaction (n.) – the act of talking or doing things with other people

evaluate (v.) - to judge the value or condition of (someone or something) in a careful and thoughtful way

QUIZ YOURSELF

Hover the pointer of your mouse over the definition to see the correct answer.

If you are using a tablet, you can touch the box to get the answer. Unfortunately, this feature does not work with smartphones.

the ability to think clearly and make good decisions

belonging to the basic nature of someone or something

the act of talking or doing things with other people

a word or phrase that becomes very popular for a period of time

PRACTICE

Choose the correct word (in the correct form) to complete the sentences. Double click with your mouse or press and hold with your finger on the blank space in each sentence to highlight the answer.

  1. If you want to do well in the corporate world, you must improve your business acumen.

  2. Larry is in the breakroom bragging about winning his case.

  3. One of the things I love about this company is that they’re always concerned about the welfare of their employees.

  4. The company culture began shifting shortly after we got our new CEO.

  5. Please don't get me wrong. I like Beverly, but she’s not focused enough to be on my team.

retain

brag

acumen

welfare

shift

evaluate

put down

Don’t get me wrong

  1. If you want to do well in the corporate world, you must improve your business 
     

  2. Larry is in the breakroom                                        about winning his case.

  3. One of the things I love about this company is that they’re always concerned about the                              of their employees.

  4. The company culture began                               shortly after we got our new CEO.

  5. Please                                                   . I like Beverly, but she’s not focused enough to be on my team.

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PRACTICE

Write five sentences using the vocabulary words in the STUDY section.

ON YOUR OWN

In your own words, explain the difference between customer service and customer experience. You can write your response, but I recommend you use this opportunity to speak your response aloud. Record yourself then listen to it. Where can you improve? Do it again and make those improvements