It’s pushing 11 pm on a summer night. The waitress, the only one still working, is in deep conversation with a passerby, politely indifferent to you and the other two tables remaining.
But you’re content. And why shouldn’t you be?
When you reflect on the meal–from the endless assortment of savory tapas, the sugary sangria, the subtle flan, and the plaza in the foreground scattered with families young and old, each happily chatting away without a care in the world–you realize that it’s the experience that matters most to you.
Yes, back in Boston you may get more “attention” from the waitstaff, but they’re working for tips, and you’d be overpaying for food that isn’t half as good.
Restaurants and service industries alike make the same mistake–they think customer service is the same thing as customer experience.
And those two concepts couldn’t be more different.
Customer Service (CS) vs. Customer Experience (CX)
It’s easiest to think of this in two this way:
Customer service is a one-way conversation that typically happens post-purchase. And 99 times out of 100, the customer is unhappy and contacts your customer service team to let them have one final, proverbial clapback before moving onto another company.
Customer experience, on the other hand, is rooted in two-way dialogue. It is the overall perception a customer has after weighing all of their previous interactions with your company.
Or simply put: what your customers say about you when you’re not in the room.
Don’t grow your company only around Customer Service (CS)
On the surface, the concept of customer service makes complete sense: customer A is unhappy with your product, they come to you to complain, so you offer as much support as possible to hopefully prevent them from leaving your business forever.
The problem is that most times you’ve probably already lost this customer regardless of the time you put into reconciling their issue. This happens a lot with field service companies who employ customer service teams to decipher complaints about previous home repair jobs. Often these teams have to piece together information after the fact when the technician has already left the job, and your client is determinedly unhappy with their experience.
However, some customer service tactics help contribute to a positive overall customer experience. These happen when companies stop waiting and start acting–they reach out to their clients mid-purchase, or mid-service, and become part of the customer journey, not just a detour after the fact.
This type of instant customer service is effective because it hedges potential problems that can develop later on in the customer journey. Everybody feels part of the same team, and nothing is left in doubt.
Embracing a Customer Experience (CX) philosophy
Ultimately, all of the little interactions you have with your customers will factor into a final CX “score” that can make or break your company.
However, please know this, a large factor in your company’s rating depends upon your ability to provide two-way communication from the very first interaction with your business until the last.
At Dispatch, we actually take this a step further. With our web-hosted mobile messaging service, we connect homeowner, field technician, and service company into one conversation the minute a request for help is made until after a service job is complete.
By inviting your customers into the service process rather than excluding them, you help eliminate their anxieties and connect with them on a psychological and emotional level that couldn’t be done otherwise.
Leverage the home environment to create powerful customer experiences
The home repair industry is uniquely positioned to deliver powerful customer experiences because they operate exclusively in an environment that is very personal.
Nothing is more intimate than being invited into another person’s private home.
The household is where people let their guard down, where they recoil into their basic human roles. The second you step foot into their living room, your customers stop being the banker, doctor, or teacher, and become a father, mother, and homeowner.
So, as a home service company, you must recognize the sanctity of your workspace, and connect with your customers at a human level too, and not treat them as just one-dimensional consumers.
Every tiny detail that goes into assuring a customer is informed and comfortable before, during, and after their service job can pay big dividends in the long run. First time customers become repeat customers, and repeat customers spread the word about your brand, and get you quality leads to expand your business.
If you are interested in learning more how Dispatch can help you create meaningful customer experiences, then contact us below. Let’s start a conversation.