Customer Service ≠ Brand Experience. They’re Chalk & Cheese? A Few Reasons Why….

By 9th November 2012blog

At a recent “customer experience” conference in Dubai some interesting and striking comments were made.  However, it soon became apparent a broader view on customer experience was required.  Customer experience and customer service were frequently confused or used interchangeably.  The latter is part of the former. They are related but they’re not the same.   Chalk and cheese if you will.


At Wavelength we’d make the following distinctions with regards to customer experience and customer service:

Customer Experience Customer Service
Scope Whole customer journey Part of customer journey
Brand values, promise, essence, positioning etc., Brought to life at all touch points along the customer journey (before, during and after sales) Brought to life through “in life” contact with customer
Source of value Value in interaction/ brand engagement Value in issue / complaint resolution
Managing customer expectations Aims to exceed customer expectations at multiple points in customer journey Aims to meet (or exceed as best possible) customer expectations when they contact the company
Value perspective Proactive creation of value Primarily reactive creation of value
Initiator Brand, customer or broader stakeholders e.g. local community. Primarily the customer
Place on organisational chart Multiple employees in multiple departments (if not all) A formal function exists to support the customer and has primary responsibility for customer service
Drivers Tend to be emotionally driven being characterised by human interaction and flexibile / customer focused behaviour. Tend to be rationally/ functionally driven e.g. how quickly the phone can be answered, opening hours, support SLA’s etc.

We feel these are the key areas that make customer service a subset of customer experience. There may well be others. We’d love to hear your views..….

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