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Customer service (CS) and customer experience (CX) are two terms that are used interchangeably, but do they really mean the same thing? Is the customer experience just a buzzword?

Well, not exactly, and companies that prioritize customer experience are seeing a higher level of growth than those who don’t.

So, what is the difference between customer service and customer experience?

Customer Experience vs Customer Service

Customer Service is all about solving problems and increasing customer satisfaction. While customer service can include the service you provide helping a customer to make the right purchase for them, it mostly includes the service you provide post-purchase.

Free Post-Purchase Survey Template

It’s the service you provide to ensure they know how best to use your product, guide them through any issues, and put right any wrongs. When people talk about customer service they are usually talking about the service they received after becoming a customer.

Customer Experience differs from customer service because it takes into account all the contact a customer has with a brand.

From the moment the customer first discovers you, through their research, the purchase, receiving and using the product, and any experience they have with the brand following purchase.

Customer Experience isn’t just about your direct interaction with a customer. It’s also about how your brand makes them feel – it includes every moment your customer sees your brand.

Both customer service and customer experience are vital for the success of your business – so how can you make sure you are effectively providing your customers with the best experiences?

One of the very best ways to do so is to utilize surveys to find out directly from the customer what it is you’re doing right, and what you still need to improve.

Why Surveys are Essential to Great Customer Experience and Customer Service

If you want to be a company that strives to give its customers the best possible experience, you need to know what it is you are doing right and wrong, and you can’t do that if you don’t give your customers the opportunity to give you feedback.

The only way to do this without influencing what your customers tell you is to give them a survey.

Here are some of the different ways you can implement surveys and how they will benefit you:

Customer service evaluation

This is one of the most familiar forms of surveys we see as consumers because it is one of the easiest to implement and seems the most necessary. These are the surveys that pop up after an online chat interaction or at the end of a phone call to a company.

Run a survey to your customers after a support ticket is closed to check the effectiveness of your overall customer support service, as well as individual agents.

Customer service surveys are easy to set up and implement and will give both you and your staff ample opportunity to improve on a case-by-case level.

Free Customer Service Survey Template

They will also let you track overall trends and spot problem areas in your customer support system.

NPS and CSAT surveys

To get the most out of surveying your customers, you should run NPS (Net Promoter Score) surveys and CSAT (Customer Satisfaction) surveys quarterly (or as frequently as needed) to see how well your company is perceived by your customers.

It's also a good practice to benchmark your NPS against industry averages. This will help you find out if you're able to maintain a competitive edge with your current customer satisfaction levels. Here at Survicate, we prepared a report on NPS benchmarks to help you see how you stack up against your competitors.

NPS surveys are a great way to measure customer loyalty, and CSAT surveys keep track of your audience satisfaction and help you excel at customer experience. Feel free to use our NPS and CSAT survey templates.

If your NPS score isn’t where you’d like it to be, you need to figure out why. Surveys are by far the best way to do this because they allow you to ask open-ended questions that give a voice to your NPS detractors.

Nobody likes negative feedback – especially when it doesn’t seem to be rooted in reality. But there will be some value in the negative feedback that will help you understand why these people have such a strong reaction to your brand. You'll learn if there’s anything you can do to keep future customers from feeling a similar way.

FURTHER READING: What is Net Promoter Score? 2021 Guide to Top NPS Surveys

CES Surveys

CES surveys (Customer Effort Score) is another way to measure customer satisfaction by asking them to rank their experience on a range from “very difficult” to “very easy”.

Free CES Survey Template

This is a great way of measuring how easy it is for your customers to actually complete a transaction, action, or use your product or platform. This kind of feedback is relevant to almost all the teams in your company – not just those in customer service.

This feedback will be useful to those in relevant design teams, for product managers or buyers, logistics teams, among others.


Customer surveys go well beyond simply getting feedback after a customer service call, they are also useful for understanding your brand’s overall relationship with your customers and if your branding is proving effective – do your customers see you the way you want to be represented? If, not why?

Great customer experience comes from a relationship with customers that is a two-way street, in other words, while they give you business, you do everything you can to give them the experience, products, and service they are looking for.

To get the most out of your surveying efforts, utilize more than one type, and consider the options listed above to get a full view of your business from a wide range of customers.

Survicate offers over 300 ready-to-use survey templates so you can start collecting feedback in a matter of minutes. With our 10-day free trial, you'll also get access to all Business plan features, free of charge. Sign up today!