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Customer Care vs. Customer Experience: What’s the Difference?

Blog Post
In this post, we’ll break down the pros and cons of customer experience and customer care and explain our perspective on the best strategy moving forward.
woman on headset in call center

It’s no longer enough to support customers at predefined junctures in the buyer’s journey. Now, people expect the retail and eCommerce businesses they buy from to provide a positive, personalized experience every step of the way.  

This has encouraged businesses of all sizes to embrace one of two major strategies. Many have chosen customer experience to please their customers. But for others, customer care has offered an even more intriguing approach to keeping customers happy.  

In this post, we’ll break down the pros and cons of customer experience and customer care and explain our perspective on the best strategy moving forward.  

Customer Experience 

Customer experience (CX) is the collection of interactions a person has with a brand. It begins the moment they come into contact with your business — whether that be via a digital ad or a spur-of-the-moment decision to walk into a brick-and-mortar store for the first time. And from that moment on, everything from how user-friendly your website is to the length of your order cycle plays a role in your customer experience.  

Even interactions your customers have with your brand post-purchase fall under your CX strategy. For example, if you send automated “thank you” emails to customers after they buy a product and send push notifications to help them track their package while it’s in transit — these actions fall under the customer experience umbrella as well.   

But the real question is, what are the pros and cons of customer experience? 

Put simply, customer experience strategy helps you make sure that every customer touchpoint is on-brand and appealing to your customers. It cleans up little annoyances and makes interacting with your brand (no matter how they choose to do it) an overall pleasant experience for your customers. And as a result, customer experience enables you to build better relationships with shoppers and increase customer loyalty.  

However, customer experience is not necessarily the best strategy for retail and eCommerce businesses looking to provide personalized customer support to their customers. The reason? It largely avoids doing so. Because CX is tailored to meet the needs of the entire audience, many of the processes are impersonal. As a result, customers are unable to get the real empathy and care they crave from the businesses they buy from.   

Customer Care 

Like customer experience strategies, customer care is all about delivering a positive experience to customers before, during, and after they make a purchase. But customer care doesn’t stop there. It goes beyond standard customer experience strategies by prioritizing personalized support at each step of the shopper’s journey. 

Rather than simply relying on auto-replies and passive touchpoints, customer care teams actively seek to engage one-on-one with each customer by providing personalized product recommendations, personally answering questions via customers’ preferred methods of communication, and solving complex problems promptly.  

For example, if a customer were to visit an eCommerce site looking for a sweater to gift a friend for their birthday, they might run into issues finding the right material, cut, color, and size. In this instance, a customer care agent would respond to their live chat inquiry by offering product suggestions, providing insight on shrinking likelihood, sharing true-to-life pictures of the product color, and explaining the sizing chart. And once the customer is ready to purchase the product, they can direct the customer to the shopping cart and give additional insights that might help the shopper navigate check-out more easily.  

What are the pros and cons of this approach, though? 

If the customer care team responds quickly and professionally, the experience is not only a lot easier for the shopper, but it’s also more personalized. As a result, customers feel more valued by the companies they buy from and more enthusiastic about purchasing from them again.  

Now, of course, the trick is finding or creating a customer care team that can scale to handle hundreds of shoppers a day and can deliver actionable solutions and clear answers to customers. And truthfully, this is difficult to do. However, by partnering with a Customer Care team like Radial’s, you can provide top-notch customer care to your shoppers — and thereby create a positive customer experience they’ll love — with ease. 

When it really boils down to it, there’s more than one way to keep your customers happy. However, if you’re looking to provide a genuinely positive and personalized experience to your customers, customer care is arguably the best route to go.