Category Compare: Customer Service vs. Customer Experience

In this report, we’ll define and compare customer service and customer experience software so you can determine which tool is right for your business.

What’s the difference between customer service software and customer experience software? While the names sound similar, their real-life applications differ significantly. In this report, we’ll look at what makes these two software types unique, and similar, to help you determine which tool is best suited for your business needs.

What is customer service software?

Customer service software is a tool that helps businesses manage customer inquiries and requests across multiple channels including phone, email, live chat, and self-service.

It’s used by organizations across customer-driven industries to manage all phases of the customer service process, from purchase to issue resolution. Some platforms also offer functionality for internal support.

What is customer experience software?

Customer experience software, aka CXM or CEM, is used to collect, organize, and track customer feedback.

These tools include a variety of applications for collecting customer opinions and offer businesses the ability to convert text-based feedback into numeric information that can later be used for marketing purposes.

What do they have in common?

Customer service software is used to resolve customer inquiries and requests, while customer experience software is used specifically to collect customer feedback and convert it into data.

Despite this distinction, the two software types do have some common functionality, including:

  • Multi-channel communication (aka multi-channel data collection). Gather and share information across multiple channels including email, live chat, phone, and social media.
  • Reporting (aka analytics, dashboards). Track and aggregate data—often visually— regarding business performance and productivity.

Customer service software features

Feature Description
Support ticketing
(aka issue tracking, case management)
Track interactions and automate the issue resolution process.
Knowledge base
(aka KBase)
Store descriptions for common or previously resolved problems, some of which might be available publicly to customers and incorporate search technologies to help users find the right answer.
SLA management
(aka service level agreement management)
Prioritize triggers, automate escalations, and apply other custom rules to ensure issues are handled in compliance with an SLA.
Interaction tracking
(aka interaction history, contact activity)
Document conversations held by phone, in person, or through digital channels such as live chat and email.
(aka prioritization)
Assign priority levels to each ticket and/or escalate ticket priority.
Canned responses
(aka macros, canned messages)
Choose from a variety of templated responses for responding quickly to recurring support requests.

Customer experience software features

Feature Description
Feedback management Collect and analyze feedback and reactions from end users.
Predictive analytics Predict future data based on historical data sets.
Sentiment analysis Categorize emotions expressed in written text as positive, negative, or neutral.
Survey management
(aka poll management)
Create and administer polls and surveys.
Text analysis
(aka prioritization)
Extract, quantify, and classify data from texts such as tweets, emails, and product reviews.

Which tool is right for you?

Now you hopefully have a better understanding of whether you need customer service software software or customer experience software. But which specific tool is right for your business? Take a look at the following Capterra resources to create your shortlist.

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Looking for Customer Service software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Service software solutions.

About the Author



At Capterra, we believe that software makes the world a better place. Why? Because software can help every organization become a more efficient, effective version of itself.


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