Understand the differences between customer service and customer support. Discover how they can work together to improve your business’ bottom line.
Customer Service vs. Customer Support: Explained
Customer service and Customer support.
They may appear to mean the same thing. But the truth is, customer service and customer support are very different. They may both center around the customer, involve solving problems, and require customer feedback to be used for future improvements.
Yet they’re not the same. And it’s crucial for your business that you understand why.
Ensure you don’t focus more on one than the other— leaving your customers without the quality experience they need to return. Let’s take a closer look at this difference, and determine how you can use both to set up your business for success.
Customer Service vs. Customer Support
What is customer service?
Customer service is about bringing customers more value during their experience with your business, whether they’re buying from your online store or subscribing to a monthly service.
A customer service representative draws on soft skills rather than technical expertise. Useful soft skills include:
- clear communication
- problem-solving capabilities
- effective time management
- ability to keep a cool head even when customers become frustrated or even abusive
- a positive, can-do attitude
Good customer service can be as simple as explaining t-shirt sizes to a potential buyer via a live-chat interaction. The consumer will get the information they need to make a purchase.
Perhaps, a customer calls to complain about a late delivery. An agent offers a sincere apology and tracks down the package. They may even refund the cost of delivery or provide a partial refund for the product itself. This interaction can result in a happy customer who will know where en route their order is , and will feel satisfied with your business’ quality of service.
95% of consumers say quality service affects their brand choices and loyalty.
What is customer support?
Customer support is about helping customers by solving problems.
It usually revolves around delivering assistance with a technical issue, troubleshooting, or step-by-step instructions. Customer support agents focus on helping the customer use a product properly, employing a combination of technical and soft skills.
Customer support reps may have general knowledge of potential issues users could run into, or specialize in particular features/functions of your product or service. They’re prevalent in tech, e-commerce, and SaaS companies.
A customer might reach out to a support team if a piece of software won’t install on their system, if their brand-new smartphone won’t switch on, or a particular feature is malfunctioning.
Any of these issues would prevent the customer from getting maximum value out of their purchase.
Disgruntled consumers can vent their frustration across social media and review sites. Their bad experience could turn off other potential customers from purchasing your product or service and cost you future sales.
Almost 60% of consumers worldwide have higher expectations of customer service now than they did a year ago.
This is especially important in IT because technical issues can:
- Disrupt productivity
- Cause delays
- Strain client relationships
That’s why businesses have to provide a seamless service experience for customers to align with current expectations.
Customer service vs. customer support: The real difference
So, you want to know the difference between customer service and customer support?
One focuses on providing value to the customer, and the other on helping them get the most out of a product. Great customer service is vital for any successful business. No matter your industry. No matter your target audience. American companies lose a massive $62bn each year because of bad customer service.
Good customer service hinges on being available through multiple touchpoints (hello, omnichannel strategy!), being transparent and responsive.
It’s essential that users get exactly what they need from a product or service. This may include walkthroughs via live chat or an update to solve technical glitches.
But customer service is also a part of customer support: reps must be friendly, warm, responsive, and polite.
How customer service and customer support work together
Customer service and customer support play key roles in the consumer journey.
Providing good customer service involves everything from how user-friendly your website is to the contact methods you offer and your agents’ responsiveness on social media. You want to make a positive impact on new customers and help them find the solutions to their problems in the fastest, simplest way.
Efficient customer support is crucial for building relationships and maximizing product value. If a user has a problem with a product they bought from your site, your team should be ready to offer a fast fix to keep the customer satisfied.
This can improve the brand experience and help to retain customers. Buyers will be impressed by your service and recommend it to others.
Effective customer care is a must across both service and support. ach prospective or existing customer should be treated with respect and importance. Your customers are key to your company’s ongoing success.
Great customer care will help to cultivate an emotional connection with your audience, no matter where they are on the customer journey.
How to enhance your customer relationships
Customer relationships are integral to achieve success, growth, and long-term stability.
Loyal buyers are five times as likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer friends. And more than 80% of businesses consider customer experience to be a competitive differentiator.
But maintaining a high standard of customer service and support can be tough. That’s why automated on-demand customer support teams are the perfect solution.
Bradza can help you reduce your first-response times, boost ticket resolution, and take your customer satisfaction to the next level.