Customer support vs Customer service

Customer support vs Customer service

Opinion ·

In a highly competitive, digital-first market, providing your customers with proactive and relevant support has become more crucial than ever. Studies show that over 90% of customers choose a brand based on customer service. Therefore, whether it is over email, telephone, or social media, helping customers should be every brand's first-rate priority.

However, understanding the difference between customer support and customer service can be challenging. At first glance, these terms seem similar and they are usually used interchangeably. Although both fields involve assisting customers and employing similar tools and skills to improve the overall customer experience delivered by a brand, they are not synonymous.

Customer service can be considered as an umbrella term that covers all the touchpoints between your brand and its customers. In customer service, the brand focuses on delivering value by helping customers make the most of their products.

In contrast, customer support refers to a specific aspect of customer service. In customer support, the brand provides technical customer assistance that involves documentation, product feedback, problem-solving, etc.

In today's blog, we will dive into the details of customer support vs. customer service for a clear understanding.

What is customer service?

Customer service aims to support a customer's primary non-technical issues, such as locating a product, billing, upgrading, or getting a refund. The company's customer service department focuses on helping clients throughout the entire user journey while putting customer care and satisfaction first.

Customer service includes the interactions between a company and a customer that are intended to improve the overall customer experience and relationship with the brand.

Customer service representatives prioritize interacting with clients and offering proactive support. They also inform, advise, and provide strategic guidance to maximize the return on a customer's investment in the business.

It comprises welcoming new customers, responding to inquiries received through various customer service channels, following up with consumers, gathering customer feedback, and, if necessary, upselling products.

Customer service representatives need soft skills to provide excellent customer care. These include strong communication skills, the capacity for using positive language, active listening, empathy, conflict resolution abilities, and more.

What is customer support?

Customer support is a more narrowly defined aspect of customer service. It is mostly about handling technical issues faced by buyers where customer support agents need to have advanced technical knowledge.

The range of customer support services includes helping customers with installation, troubleshooting, maintenance, upgrading, and product disposal.

As we said, customer support representatives need to be exceptionally knowledgeable about their brand's products. They might also write articles for the customer support center. They also collaborate with product development teams to optimize and improve the end-to-end customer experience.

However, in today's technologically advanced world, customer support can also be automated by bots that aim to assist clients in the fastest and most effective way possible. Whether you employ humans or bots, offering technical support to aid customers with their problems is the aim of customer support.

Customer service Vs. Customer support: differences

Customers are at the center of both customer service and customer support, but they approach assisting in different ways. Here are some of the fundamental differences between customer service and customer support:

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The basic distinction between customer support and customer service is that customer support teams are focused on the product, while customer service teams offer services to customers. So how does that work in practice?

The customer service team makes sure that every interaction with the customers is valuable. In practice, customer service is about onboarding customers, boosting the user experience after sales, leveraging upselling opportunities when customers express a new necessity and so forth.

In a different scenario, consider a customer who emails Slack about a problem they are having sharing a file with coworkers. The customer support agent will probably do the following:

  • The customer will be assisted in sending the documentation they created and guided through the necessary procedures.
  • The dialogue will then be classified to assist the product team.
  • The customer will receive input on how to improve sharing.
  • The customer support representative will follow up with the user to learn more about their experience.

Therefore, instead of only transacting business with customers, a customer support agent's responsibility is more concerned with enhancing the user experience with a perspective that is more product-centered. Support teams are typically more involved with the customer experience than customer service teams.

Customer support specialists use customer service skills, but that is only one aspect of their work. Writing knowledge base articles, offering product comments, and carrying out usability tests are all examples of customer support.

Often, product and customer support teams collaborate and are given a place at the table where decisions are made about the product.

According to Jonathan Brummel, Director of Enterprise Support at Zendesk, the difference between customer service and customer support is that a customer support team can resolve a technical issue in the short term, whereas offering good customer service helps establish relationships and a true partnership in the long run.

Customer service is the reason why it's advised to set up your cloud account in a particular way or why today's problem could become a bigger problem in the future if certain steps aren't taken. On the other hand, customer support is the how, such as the specifics of troubleshooting an issue.

The client experience is enhanced, and agents are helped to develop when the "why" is incorporated into the support process. As an illustration, a client might have contacted you regarding a stolen credit card. Apart from identifying if data was compromised and taking steps to damage control, going the extra mile can mean a lot. This includes following up with the client, helping them apply for a new card, sharing relevant tips and tricks on social media sites on what to do if a card is stolen, and so on.

How to combine them to offer a superior experience to your customers?

To deliver a superior customer experience, brands should combine customer support and customer service effectively. Here's how:

1. Define your brand's customer service and customer support philosophy

Every brand is unique. Your strategy for providing both general and specific customer help should be consistent. Without a consistent strategy, your customer service delivery would be in disarray.

It is crucial to establish your customer service guiding principles and philosophy first. This will codify the set of principles that will govern every customer service interaction your brand has, such as promptness, accessibility, and proactiveness.

You can also write a customer service playbook for your team that outlines standard procedures and best practices. This will include standards for recording client feedback and directions for procedures like reporting bugs and mistakes, creating helpful content, and when to do so.

2. Train your agents with the right tools

Giving your employees the appropriate tools allows them more time and resources to serve your consumers. Both clients and agents have considerably easier lives thanks to high-quality support tools. They also convey the idea that you have a polished and professional brand.

A good example of an advanced post-sales enablement tool that can significantly help your agents when connecting with customers is Layerise. Layerise allows you to communicate in real-time with your customers through the Chat feature. To make it even easier for you to help your customers, Layerise collects data about customers and displays them while you are chatting with the users.

This feature is very helpful because it provides an immediate overview of the customer's needs and history to any agent that connects with them. Customer support agents can now productively solve problems faster while customers are saved the trouble of having to repeat themselves.

3. End all conversations with resolution

Up to 91% of unhappy customers walk away without making a fuss. This is why your customer service and support staff need to satisfactorily handle every interaction with customers. You can't know if a consumer had a positive experience unless you ensure they were happy with the interaction.

Always inquire if there is anything further you can do to help when a client interaction seems to be lagging. This shows the customer that you want to resolve their problem and are willing to take as much time as they require.

How does Layerise help you combine customer service and customer support successfully?

To help brands improve their customer experience, Layerise offers a unique solution that combines both customer service and customer support.

Brands can use Layerise to collect customer information and use that information to personalize the customer experience.

With Layerise, you can start collecting important customer information throughout the onboarding procedure. Layerise was created with accessibility in mind and uses QR technology to ensure that every consumer has the best potential product experience. It improves the onboarding process and leaves customers impressed.

Using this customer data, you can create personalized and pertinent send-outs to increase conversions and automate marketing campaigns based on your target demographic.

By combining Layerise's cutting-edge customer experience capabilities with CRM and marketing, brands can forge lasting relationships with their customers and generate a recurring revenue stream.

We can assist you by giving your customers 24/7 real-time chat assistance, instructive and engaging content, and self-service support.

If you want to learn more about how Layerise can help your business growing, book a demo with us now!

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