Giving services to the customer has always existed in the companies. The pattern and form has changed over the past few years. But the core principle remains the same which is to help customers in every possible way. Whether they are stuck at some problem or they want to know a way-around to get a task done, companies have to always make sure customers get what they seek.
The initial purchase of the product is just the starting point. As the relationship evolves between a customer and the company, there are many touchpoints that show up between them. These days it has become a common practice that customers get enough care from the vendors. All their queries are resolved immediately, mostly, to make sure they remain satisfied with the service. After all, every company wants a customer base that is loyal to their brand.
Having said that, we come to the point of two most common business functions of serving customers. They are customer service and customer support. At first, they sound quite similar. And most often they are used interchangeably in many places. There’s no harm in that. Yet there are few differences worth noticing. Knowing those differences would allow you to refine your own processes in your company. So, let’s see them below.
According to surrattlaw.com - customer service encompasses all the interactions between a customer and a company in a much broader sense. After the sales process, the customer interaction for raising queries related to company’s policies, product usage, problems with usage, etc. are all part of customer service. They are mainly there to serve customers in their grievances with the company or any other usage issues.
Customer support is mainly related to technical support that customers might need from the vendor. After the purchase of the product, if there are issues related to installation or configuration, then the customer support team helps the customers. They are also responsible for taking care of the login issues that a customer might face. Sometimes they give on-call training to the customer for better using the product.
Customer service employees mostly need a generic knowledge of the product or service. They must be good at communication and soft-skills. They are representatives of the company and hence must handle the customer queries with utmost patience and respectfully. For any specialized query which they can’t handle, they must redirect the query to the right personnel. They must be a good listener, empathetic and must know how to pacify a customer who is troubled with product usage.
Customer support staff on the other hand should be well-versed with every detail of the product. They must be aware of every feature and functionalities of the product so that they can guide the customers in the right direction. Customers might fail to realize the right way of using the product which is what customer support staff is there for. They must resolve the technical queries immediately. Nevertheless, they must also possess enough soft skills so that the customers don’t feel disrespectful or offended ever in dealing with them.
Customer service often requires one-time interaction with the customers. Customers raise their query, which is often non-technical, get a response to that query and go off forever. This doesn’t mean companies can be careless about dealing with such customers. Just a one-time miss in giving great customer experience can often result in customer churn.
Customer support often requires long and repeated calls with the customers. Sometimes the technical queries need multiple calls during many days to ensure that the issue has been resolved. Hence the customer support team needs to keep a check on the query and often escalate it if required to the right personnel. When there is customer training required then also, they need to make repeated calls to the customer or the customer could make so. Because of repeated calls, customer support data is often used in creating customer segmentation as well.
Customer experience is an indispensable part of top SaaS companies. Whether you deliver it through customer support or customer service, it is going to leave a measurable impact on your business. There are many customer service and customer support metrics that you can use to enhance the performance of these functions.
Which function to use in your company depends on the nature of your business. If you are into B2B selling some core technical product then customer support is a more viable option. Customer service is more viable for B2C sectors. Nevertheless, as long as you keep track of the customer satisfaction, these functions can be leveraged towards the same ends.
A passionate digital marketer possessing sound knowledge in the fields like SaaS tools, CX, churn statistics, etc. Previously, worked for top ventures like SportsKeeda and Neil Patel Digital India, and currently works at SmartKarrot Inc. He loves to read books during leisure and a great admirer of Agatha Christie’s works.