Customers are the priority for any business. Businesses focus on customer experience (CX) to increase loyalty and the revenue. Customer service and customer support are crucial aspects of creating an outstanding experience.
Customer service and customer support employ similar tools and skills to improve the overall satisfaction of the end users. Due to this, both the terms are used interchangeably.
Customer service is an umbrella term that includes customer support as one of its components. Customer support focuses on product feedback, documentation, and technical issue resolutions.
Understanding this difference is essential to make better hiring decisions and delegate relevant job tasks to employees so that customers immediately have access to the services they want. We discuss the two terms customer service and customer support here in detail to clear up any confusion.
What is Customer Service?
Customer service is an umbrella term that includes all activities your business performs during the phases of a customer lifecycle to meet expectations and enhance the overall experience. It is a long-term process that aims to help customers gain the maximum benefit from the service or solutions that you provide them.
Once a potential customer is interested in your business, your customer service has a massive role in influencing them to be long-lasting business customers. The customer interacts with service agents to gain assistance or advice for buying different offerings or using them effectively. The agents must readily resolve all customer concerns and issues.
You must have well-organized and trained customer service teams along with the most relevant tools for ensuring impressive service. The teams must meet all administrative and technical requirements. In addition, they must be given a well-planned procedure to follow.
Which Industries Rely Mostly on Customer Service?
A reliable customer service system is a must for any business in today’s world. But for many industries, customer service is a core area for building business-customer relationships and can make or break a business. Some of the main sectors using a customer service solution to ensure outstanding service are:
Customers trust banks with their finances and sensitive information. The transparency and promptness of bank employees can promote financial literacy and help customers make crucial decisions in terms of financial assets. Delay in services and other reasons for dissatisfaction can cause customers to move their assets to another financial institution.
- Event Planning
Customer service can provide a competitive advantage to event management businesses. From corporate conferences to weddings, events are critical to the hosts, and they are willing to spend their money to ensure success.
Customer service in event planning involves understanding and anticipating customer needs, staying in touch, and meeting deadlines.
- Food & Beverage
Not just preparing the best meals but serving them well is essential in the restaurant industry. From greeting your customers properly at the first meeting to being as flexible as possible to meet their customized needs, the staff is responsible for it all.
A customer service tool can help in personalizing the experience. A delightful customer is more likely to come again and recommend your services to others.
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Whether it is a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce business, good customer service can quickly improve the retention rate of customers. Instances such as complex navigation due to a disorganized retail store or the unavailability of help can lead to negative reviews for your retail business. You can also lose potential customers to competitors.
- Technology Based Industry
Technology evolution is happening at a rapid pace. After successfully implementing innovative technologies, tech companies also need to help their customers understand these innovations and create demand. In addition, customer service can help build the trust of your customers so that they readily spend their money on your solutions and services.
Major Activities Involved with Customer Service
Types of customer service activities that you choose depend on your business needs and customer demands. The following activities are performed during the customer journey.
- Onboarding new customers
This is the first stage in the customer lifecycle. You need to communicate clearly and closely understand the unique requirements of an individual, team, or business to recommend your best solutions. By providing pre-and post-sales assistance, you can build a strong relationship with the client.
- Engaging on social media platforms
Customer service agents have an overall understanding of the business and can engage with customers on social media platforms to answer common queries. Businesses can grow their reach by engaging with customers on different communication channels. In case of complex questions, they can direct the customers to relevant experts.
- Resolving non-technical issues
Customer service focuses on instantly resolving standard and non-technical problems. You must listen carefully to the issue and offer the most viable solution to the customer. By being empathetic and patient, you can help them choose the best fix for their needs.
- Assisting with billing and shipping issues
When a customer orders a product or service, the customer service team is responsible for helping them with any issues during delivery, billing, etc. This assistance is vital in e-commerce businesses.
- Gathering customer feedback
Customer feedback is necessary for any business to understand their level of satisfaction and improvements that the business can make in its services. Customer service teams interact with customers, and hence, they are the ones who collect this feedback for the calculation of customer satisfaction score (CSAT).
- Recommending techniques or tools
Customer service is not just about reactive but also about proactive assistance. Customer service teams educate and recommend different ways and tools to maximize their investment. The tips from customer service agents can also help users avoid unforeseen issues.
What is Customer Support?
Customer support is a short-term, reactive process in which agents help customers solve issues that might arise when they use the services or products offered by the business.
It is a subset of customer service where support teams solve a technical problem by implementing the solution themselves or guiding the customers to implement it. Response time matters and companies often use customer support software to streamline their workflow.
Apart from closing conflicts and troubleshooting problems in response to customer demand, support teams also provide consultations to understand the offering.
Which Industries Rely Mostly on Customer Support?
Customer support is a core aspect of many businesses. Let’s understand the importance of customer support across major industries.
Mobile phones have become the go-to device for people to perform daily tasks and communicate with others. Remote work has further resulted in the increased dependence on telecommunication services.
Hence, customers can contact the business over data usage, billing, and more. Telecom businesses need to have proper customer support services to ensure that customer questions are readily answered, and communication is not disrupted in any form.
All customer records must be linked so that when a customer requests support, the agents can readily investigate the matter. Mobile phone carriers can offer customer support via in-app chats, IVR/mobile, web chat, text, etc.
- On-demand delivery services
Zomato and Swiggy food delivery are the perfect examples of on-demand delivery services. However, a lousy customer support solution can make the customers switch their vendor choice.
Many issues like delays, wrong delivery, incomplete orders, and more can arise in such situations. You can use real-time IVR/voice support to ensure customer convenience.
The apps must have in-app chats, FAQs, real-time status, and other details to meet customer expectations. Also, support tickets must be attached to customer account history to improve on-demand services.
- Financial services
Customers perform most financial transactions and other functions themselves via the self-service portal. Customers can also check their balance and transaction/ investment history.
However, a customer may not have complete knowledge of specific capabilities or may often want the bank’s expertise in resolving different matters like loans.
Also, customers can be targeted in financial frauds in which situation they would want the bank’s assistance.
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E-commerce stores are slowly becoming the standard for purchase worldwide. These websites and apps have diverse options and pricing models like subscription, EMIs, buy now, pay later, etc.
A customer support tool is required for online account-related queries, product issues, returns, payments, and delivery problems. By requesting images and videos, agents can better understand and resolve the issue.
Travel agencies do their best to plan the itinerary for the people. But unexpected issues like lost reservations and cancelled flights can still happen.
Customers are often new to their travel location and need immediate resolution in such situations. Any terrible experience with a customer support system can damage your reputation as a brand.
Major Activities Involved with Customer Support
Some common customer support activities are:
- Helping customers during product/service lifecycle
Customer support agents can provide consultations related to technical issues during installation, maintenance, upgradation, or disposal of a solution owned by the customer. Speed, empathy, proficiency, and other factors can make a huge difference to users.
- Live troubleshooting
Customers have different preferred modes of communication like emails and live chat. Hence, customer support teams these days involve using multiple channels to connect with customers and resolve their issues quickly.
- Creating product documentation and other resources
Customer support teams have an in-depth knowledge of their company’s offerings. They often utilize their technical expertise in creating customer support portal/ center guides. This guides can include FAQs, help manuals, troubleshooting guides, and so on.
- Assisting in product development
Support teams know about different customer complaints regarding the solution offered by the business. Therefore, they often work with the product development team and provide their input to improve and optimize the products. This input can improve customer experience significantly.
Customer Service Vs. Customer Support: What’s the Difference
Customer service and customer support focus on the customer, but with different approaches.
|Parameter||Customer Service||Customer Support|
|Duration||Long-term, covers the complete customer lifecycle||Short-term, whenever technical difficulties arise in a solution|
|Approach||Proactive and reactive||Usually, reactive|
|Nature||Customer-centric, works to ensure customer satisfaction||Business-centric, works to ensure proper functioning of solutions with innovative approaches|
|Skills required||Soft skills, no advanced technical knowledge||Soft skills and tech skills|
|Industries relying on it||Retail, banking, hospitality, etc.||IT/SaaS, e-commerce, etc.|
|Impact||Entire business and customers||Some business and customers|
|Metrics||Transactional like average handle time, CSAT, etc.||Transactional and business metrics like CSAT, churn, net promoter score, etc.|
The Role of Vision Helpdesk in Delivering Excellent Customer Service & Support
Vision Helpdesk software tool is a multi-channel solution for centralizing all tickets and responding to incident or service requests.
- Helpdesk Automation
You can automate any number of tickets based on the pre-defined rules. When a ticket matches a specified criterion, it is assigned to the relevant department/ staff. You can also set up actions for tickets that do not match the rules. Staff and customer notifications can also be defined in the workflow to automate repetitive processes and save time.
- Self-Service Portal
A self-service portal allows users to manage tasks like getting answers to frequent questions, tracking existing tickets, opening new tickets, accessing the knowledge base, etc. Customers can find solutions to many issues on their own and do not need to contact your staff.
- Staff Collaboration
Vision Helpdesk offers a staff collaboration tool, Blabby, that enables team members to collaborate on issues, have private/ group discussions, share multimedia content, etc. You can also share posts, view trending hashtags, get notifications, etc.
- Support in Multiple Languages
You can set up the default company and client languages. You can translate or modify existing languages and even add new ones. The autoresponder emails and knowledge base can be set up in several languages to support a global target audience.
- Apps & Integrations
Vision Helpdesk app is available on both iOS and Android for incident management. You can also integrate with other third-party software solutions like remote desktop tools, project management tools, CRM, etc. Examples include WordPress, LinkedIn, PayPal, Twitter, and more.
- Live Chat
Vision Helpdesk also offers live chat software, a secure messaging platform to improve customer engagement and provide instant support. You can go for satellite help desk software or live chat software when you want to manage several brands, products, or companies at a specific location.
Customer service and support have different purposes. You should understand the difference between the two for streamlining the tasks and executing them well. Software solutions like Vision Helpdesk can help businesses speed up the process and make customers happy. You can try customer service/ support solutions like Vision Helpdesk at techjockey.com.
- What's the role of customer service?
The role of customer service is to build a long-lasting relationship with customers by fulfilling their needs with an enhanced end-to-end experience.
- What's the role of customer support?
The role of customer support is to assist the customers when they have issues while using your product. Customer support teams also assist product development teams in making improvements to the solution.
- What are the best customer service software?
- What are the best customer support software?