Customer Experience v. Customer Service

by Jeannie Walters

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It was another great #CXO chat this week. I was lucky enough to be the invited guest, and we had a blast discussing the topic “walking in your customer’s shoes.”

In any discussion about customer experience, the idea of service comes up in many forms. Who is responsible for customer service? (Everyone.) When should it start. (Right away.)

To easily define the difference, I look at it this way.

Customer Service = Reactive

Customer Experience = Proactive

Service departments are created as a way to handle the input from customers. The reps are trained to respond to customer requests, questions and complaints. The idea of customer service really starts after purchase.

The Experience is something much broader and more proactive. The way the experience is designed, maintained and nurtured is what leads to happy customers. They respond to the experience you present to them, not the other way around.

These are my explanations. How do you define the difference?


Photo credit: WSDOT via Creative Commons license

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Jeannie Walters

Jeannie Walters is the CEO/Founder of Experience Investigators, a global Customer Experience consulting firm. She has 20 years of experience helping companies improve loyalty and retention, employee engagement, and overall customer experience. Jeannie is a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP,) a charter member of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (CXPA,) a Professional Member of the National Speakers Association, LinkedIn Learning instructor, TEDx speaker, and President-Elect of the National Speakers Association Illinois chapter. Learn more here.

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