Open up any business publication and it’s a pretty good bet you’ll see something that talks about customer service or the customer experience. In the multifamily industry, the focus by nature is on our customer - the resident.
However, one problem with much of what’s written on the topic is that customer service and customer experience is often used interchangeably. To drive the type of results you want from your initiatives, you must understand the difference between service and experience, and the continuum of customer experience.
Customer service is about process. It's a lot of the standards and internal processes. It's the basics that we have defined for our teams: the stand, smile and greet, the way that we engage with a customer when we meet them, when they come in the office, when we pick up the phone and so on.
Customer experience, on the other hand, is a journey that companies go on as they start to evolve from providing service, that’s focused on our processes, to truly focusing on the customer and crafting an experience designed for them: and equipping our teams with the necessary processes and products to deliver that experience purposefully.
Customer service is about standards, processes and techniques. Customer experience is how everything comes together to create an experience for the customer, and it’s how that experience feels to the customer.
As you design your intentional customer experience, it’s important to understand there are, in essence, four levels of experience: