Written by Riccardo Lorenzi and Natalia Kawana
From our personal professional experience and interest for customer relationship analysis, I would like to propose a reflection on the services which accompany the selling of a product. Often, when we talk about services and customers, we think of customer service and customer care. But these terms are often misunderstood.
We often think that they are the same thing, but they are not. They differ when it comes to customer fidelization and the rapport between companies and customers. For customer care, what is commonly meant is attention for customers, the understanding of their needs and the identification of their potential problems before it is too late. For customer service, what is generally meant is anything which regards offering services and all the methodologies about establishing faster processes and issue resolution, such as addressing technical issues, malfunctioning, and so on.
Today, virtually any company in the market has the chance to get closer to their customers and assist them before and after purchasing. Fidelizing customers and enterprises nowadays is a must: economical and historical changes have forced the market to change, to manage itself to find a new balance.
The era in which we are living brings some cultural changes which inevitably influence all sectors, mostly the technological one, and today these companies are strongly influenced by increased competition. And from different customer needs. Customers seek for product/services composed of material and immaterial components, linked together to provide an experience. Experiences bring sensations, memories, preferences… all of this is now part of what a customer considers when choosing a product or brand.
That means that the product/service offers have to adapt to the new market demand, which is more complex and has to be considered as a system where the product is amplified and completed by support services, and, especially, take care of communication contents such as the integration of material and immaterial components of a product.
In other words, the material components of the product (i.e. the product itself) are enhanced and empowered by the immaterial components (customer care and services), which can either boost or diminish the perceived value of the product, and, as a consequence, influence on how lasting this relationship will be.
Immaterial properties are a very important part of modern companies, and are an essential part of the maintenance and the interaction between a company and its customers, even after the purchase phase, opening the route to fidelization.
Market needs are changing, and thus each company which wants to keep competitive during the Customer Experience era and raise its profits has to enhance the relational aspects which help fidelize the customer. Customer care and customer services are getting more and more important.
As the customer became the heart of the market, it’s difficult to say that every time a company speaks with them we are in the customer care field. Things went pretty far from there, since all activities addressed to customer satisfaction took different names and branches like “customer experience”, “customer service” and “customer care”.
So, going back to the topic of this article: what is the difference between customer service, customer care and customer experience?
While customer care and customer service are a single department affair, customer experience includes all the departments, everyone in the company is responsible for the customer journey.
How about an application that enables companies to deliver perfect customer experience along all the departments?
This is what Newired is for. Newired products are a powerful customer experience tool for web applications, which is able to connect and align all support activities on the same page. Sometimes users are just willing to be accompanied along a process because they don’t feel confident in their own capabilities, even using remote control, external video sources and other ways to support him out of the application.