The importance of customer interaction, especially within the framework of business process offshoring or customer support offshoring, is undeniable. Within this context, we have two essential elements: customer service vs customer support, which are frequently used interchangeably despite their distinct roles. This may be due to the fact that both play a vital role in fortifying the relationship between a business and its customers. However, it’s crucial to understand that these two terms are not synonymous. In this infographic, we will delve into the similarities and differences between these concepts while also sharing some best practices to assist your business.
Customer Service vs Customer Support
In the fierce competition between businesses, putting customers first is no longer an option. Customer-centricity has already become a top strategy for companies because it is now a key that could make customers stay, therefore, helping businesses become more profitable.
Navigating the realm of customer-centric business operations, it’s essential to grasp the nuances between two fundamental pillars: Customer Service and Customer Support. These terms are often mixed up, but they have important roles in making customers happy and maintaining a good company image. Let’s get you started with their definitions.
What is Customer Service?
Customer Service is a broad term that encompasses all customer interactions aimed at enhancing their overall journey. It’s more than just resolving issues; it also involves understanding customer needs, meeting their expectations, and building lasting relationships. Moreover, customer service provides interactions before, during, and after the sales, ensuring a positive overall experience. It’s a proactive approach, aiming to prevent issues before they occur by offering start-to-end assistance and improving customer satisfaction.
What is Customer Support?
Customer Support, on the other hand, is primarily focused on addressing technical problems and queries related to a company’s products or services. They provide immediate solutions to customers’ issues, ensuring an uninterrupted experience. As a reactive approach, customer support kicks in whenever a customer encounters a problem and reaches out for assistance. It is a subset of customer service so a customer support team is part of a larger customer service department.
To summarize, customer service provides end-to-end service to a customer, while customer support focuses on product technicalities.
Related post: 7 Benefits of Delivering Good Customer Service
Similarities: Customer Service vs Customer Support
The two terms could almost pass as the same thing since they share significant similarities.
Enhancing Customer Experience
At the heart of both customer service and customer support is the pursuit of an outstanding customer experience. They both aim to enhance the customer’s interaction with your brand, whether through direct support or providing information and assistance. The goal is to make the customer feel valued, understood, and cared for, and both strive to provide a positive customer experience, which in turn boosts customer satisfaction.
Utilizing Similar Resources
Customer service and customer support utilize similar resources to deliver their services. Traditional communication channels like phone and e-mail continue to be essential, but chat platforms have emerged as a crucial tool. Live chat, chatbots, and social media messaging allow both teams to interact with customers in real-time, providing quick responses and solutions. This instant, interactive communication enhances the customer experience, making it more personalized and efficient.
Promoting Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is a crucial outcome of both good customer service and effective customer support. According to a report, 73% of consumers trust a brand more when they have a positive experience with it. This positive experience can come from a helpful customer service agent who resolves a complaint or a customer support representative who fixes a technical issue. When customers trust your brand, they’re more likely to remain loyal, making repeat purchases and recommending your brand to others.
The impact of excellent customer service and support extends beyond customer satisfaction and loyalty—it also directly affects the company’s bottom line. Based from the abovementioned report, businesses that provide a great customer experience can increase their revenue 5.7 times more than competitors who offer poor customer experience. This revenue boost can be attributed to increased customer retention, repeat sales, and positive word-of-mouth marketing.
Differences: Customer Service vs Customer Support
There are things that make the two terms different despite our synonymous impression of them. For you to further understand their differences, here is a more detailed list.
Customer service covers almost everything that involves the customers. The main objective is to help the customers before, during, and after sales to get the value out of their purchase. Some of their roles are answering questions, collecting product or service reviews, and upselling.
Customer support provides assistance with troubleshooting and technical problem-solving. Their job involves walking customers through technical issues or processes like installation, offering insights into product development, recovering account data, and more.
Customer service is more focused on nurturing long-term business relationships with customers requiring non-technical and soft skills. It is mostly about improving the overall customer experience wherein a customer service representative requires a broader understanding of customer needs and expectations.
Customer support is transactional in nature and requires technical skills. A customer support staff needs specific technical knowledge depending on the company’s products or services. This could be knowledge about product installations, upgrades, and other technical activities.
Customer service is proactive, striving to prevent problems before they occur and reaching out to customers as well. They also give full assistance as their role encompasses broad customer interaction.
Customer support is reactive, addressing concerns when they arise. Their assistance is intervention-based as they intervene only when there are technical issues from customers.
Customer service is long-term. As mentioned, the customer service process starts the moment a customer shows interest in your product or service. This could last years after the purchase was made.
Customer support is usually for a short term. It works to resolve a problem once a customer reaches out. There are cases wherein the solution may be easy as sharing some details. However, there are problems that may need other quick solutions and relevant steps.
Customer service is something that all businesses requires since it covers almost everything related to consumers. May it be e-commerce or physical stores, having somebody who is available to assist customers for any inquiry is a must.
Customer support, on the other hand, may or may not be a requirement for some businesses. For example, restaurants and clothing shops usually don’t need to offer technical support. Customer support is more common for e-commerce, IT businesses, and telecommunications.
Customer service is measured by businesses mainly through customer satisfaction. One of the best metrics used is the customer satisfaction score (CSAT). It provides a summary of feedback from your customers to know their overall experience.
Customer support is measured by efficiency. Some businesses ask their customers to answer a customer effort survey (CES) after the resolution. Also, evaluating ticket closure and the time of response would help to know if customer support is improving.
Customer service and customer support are considered critical components for your business. That’s why it is important to know the similarities and differences between the two. This would help you to properly use your resources and measure their effectiveness for your business goals.
Best Practices for Customer Care
After understanding the key points, you should now know some tips that would help you provide better customer service and support. Here is a short list that you should remember.
Define your brand’s service standards.
Establish a clear customer service standards that outlines how your staff should approach and resolve customer issues. These guidelines will help ensure consistency in handling customer interactions. Additionally, now that customer support offshoring is in demand, it is only right to set a standard for everyone to follow.
Provide the right tools for your representatives.
Equipping your team with the right resources would help them be efficient as possible. One common example is a helpdesk system that can help manage customer queries and issues more effectively, ensuring a smoother customer experience.
Hire people with the necessary skills and qualities.
Hiring the right staff with traits or skills such as empathy, patience, and rapport-building would make customers feel valued and understood. These qualities can help nurture positive customer interactions and boost satisfaction. In a setup of customer support offshoring, for instance, ensure that you work closely with your provider to get the right people for the job.
Unclear communication leads to misunderstandings and confusion. Train your staff to speak with clarity and avoid using jargons. They must use simple words and avoid overwhelming your customers with too much information.
Practice active listening.
Active listening involves genuinely understanding the customer’s concerns and needs. Most customers would want to be heard in order to feel that their concerns are truly valued by your company. By doing so, your representatives can offer more personalized and effective solutions.
Use positive language.
Positive language can help maintain positive interaction with customers. For example, as simple as greeting “Nice to meet you!” or saying, “Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” could give customers a good impression. Not only that, this approach is also a way of de-escalate tense situations when they arise.
Prioritize first-contact resolution.
Resolving customer issues at the first point of contact can greatly improve customer satisfaction and reduces the need for follow-up interactions.
Save time with response templates.
Response templates can help your customer service staff quicken the resolution process, especially for common issues. However, they should be customized according to your process, product, or service, to avoid sounding impersonal.
Add a personal touch.
According to McKinsey, 76% of customers get frustrated when they experience impersonal interaction. Consumers nowadays expect personalized experience with companies and implementing this approach could help in strengthening the relationship with your customers. A simple example could be simply addressing your customers by their names during live chat support.
Involve other teams in your customer service department can help ensure that all aspects of the customer’s experience are addressed. For instance, your support specialists might want to ask your product expert team about further product knowledge when needed.
Related post: Customer Service Best Practices: Top 7 Strategies
Different Purpose, Similar Goal: Customer Service and Support
Distinguishing between Customer Service and Customer Support is vital for optimizing the customer experience. Understanding their unique roles empowers your business to tailor your strategies effectively, combining the strengths of proactive assistance and efficient issue resolution to foster customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall success.
So, when evaluating your customer engagement strategy, consider these distinctions, particularly in the context of customer support offshoring, to better meet your customers’ needs and exceed their expectations.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1: What is the main objective of Customer Service, and how does it differ from Customer Support?
Customer Service’s main objective is to enhance the overall customer journey, including addressing needs, expectations, and building relationships. Customer Support, on the other hand, focuses on technical problem-solving and addressing product-related queries.
Q2: What are the similarities between Customer Service and Customer Support?
Both Customer Service and Customer Support aim to enhance the customer experience, use similar communication tools, promote customer loyalty, and have a positive impact on a company’s revenue.
Q3: How does Customer Service differ from Customer Support in terms of expertise?
Customer Service requires non-technical and soft skills, while Customer Support demands specific technical knowledge related to a company’s products or services.
Q4: What is the key difference between the approach of Customer Service and Customer Support?
Customer Service is proactive, aiming to prevent issues before they occur, while Customer Support is reactive and intervenes when technical problems are encountered.
Q5: How do businesses typically measure the effectiveness of Customer Service and Customer Support?
Customer Service is usually measured through customer satisfaction, often using metrics like Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT). Customer Support, on the other hand, is measured by efficiency, which includes factors like response time and ticket closure.
Having your own business means going above and beyond to make your customers happy. This include hiring the right people to interact with your customers. If you require customer support offshoring, we can provide you our Employer of Record expertise and help you get skilled customer service staff.
One CoreDev IT (CORE) is an Employer of Record (EOR) company providing a range of HR and compliance services for your workforce. Whether you’re building or growing your teams for back-office, project management, or software development, you can rely on us for a hassle-free employment in the Philippines.
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