Customer experience Vs Customer service

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What’s the difference between customer experience and customer service? What does good look like? Why should SMEs care?

The events of last year seem to have hyper-accelerated the drive to get closer to our customers, understand what they care about, and deliver it to them in increasingly meaningful ways. But exactly how do you build a customer experience mindset into your business?

What's the difference between that and customer service and what does good look like? To explore this subject, host Asif Moghal welcomes Ilham Said, CEO and founder of Engineer 2 Engineer (E2E), and Richard Hagan, Managing Director of Crystal Doors.


The episode starts with a debate around the definition of customer experience, and its difference from customer service. Customer experience seems to be a proactive way of delivering the tangible and intangible needs of your customers and making them feel really good about doing business with you. Speaking of customers, those can be internal or external to your point of view. Think of everyone that your business interacts with as a customer. 

Companies looking into ways to enhance their customer experience should develop a customer experience mindset. Start with the ‘whys’ – why does your company exist? Think as the end-user of your product would. Understand their pain points. This can be easily done by simply talking to them. Immerse yourself in the journey that your customer will probably take with you. Then, take a step back and evaluate how you’d feel if you went through the experience you are delivering. As a leader, ask yourself: am I delivering everything my customer needs? Am I just giving the minimum or am I exceeding expectations and making them feel good?

Perhaps a good starting point when it comes to building a customer-centric organizational culture would be to get a third-party consultant involved to assess the relationship between your company and your customers. Other potential practical things to look at including your ability to understand the behavior of the usage of your products, and the use of data to inform the health of that relationship.

The episode concluded with a call to action for SMEs to align their businesses with the purpose that, in turn, most aligns with their customers. Out of all the examples mentioned in the podcast, the one that seems to be the most relevant at the moment is sustainability. More and more people are caring about the planet. That care seems to spill into their investment choices in terms of the products and services they buy.

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Adrienne Houston

Adrienne is a Company Director/Owner of Eurovacuum Products Ltd. She studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nottingham and obtained a PhD in Physics. Adrienne’s company specializes in vacuum and low-pressure compressor systems, designing, installing, and servicing vacuum pumps and air blowers in several industry sectors. With over 15 years of experience, she has gained a broad knowledge that spans a wide range of applications. This is not only theoretical knowledge but also very practical.

To complement her professional work, she is a keen promoter and champion of women in engineering, diversity, and inclusion. In 2019 she was appointed by the Royal Academy of Engineering for the role of Diversity and Inclusion Visiting Professor at the University of Birmingham. The visiting professor role at the School of Engineering furthers her commitment to undergraduate education and helps to embed inclusion into engineering curricula.

Tom Mongan

Tom Mongan, President of the Coventry & Warwickshire Chamber of Commerce & General Manager at the multi-award-winning company Subcon Laser Cutting Ltd based in Nuneaton.

Subcon is one of the UK’s largest and longest established companies that use 2D & 3D laser technology to manufacture parts. Tom has been involved in the manufacturing industry since 1973, having started his career as a Technical Apprentice at Alvis Ltd in Coventry, however for the last 27 years he has been involved with Subcon in the high tech world of lasers.

He is also the current chair of the C&W Chamber of Commerce North Warwickshire Branch, an Ambassador for the Made in the Midlands organization, a Fellow at the Institute of Sales & Marketing, a Top 100 manufacturing award winner, and also a Freeman of Coventry City”.