At a first glance both terms and expressions seem pretty similar. Customer Service and Customer Support are many times used as synonyms to describe the department, the professionals, tasks and skills used to help a customer through their time purchasing a product or joining a service. But if you think a little bit about the difference between the words ‘service’ and ‘support’ you will come to the conclusion that they mean different things.
Customer Service is probably the most used expression to describe the assistance provided during and after a sale. The Customer Service is aimed to provide a customer or consumer the best experience during the time they are interacting with a company, but it has also the goal of creating a relationship after a product is sold. The Customer Service team helps the customer getting assistance and information about a product or service, they handle complaints and returns and try to retain clients offering deals or discounts while making reviews on their accounts. They are the faces and voices that represent a company and with whom customers interact directly.
Customer Support is a more recent designation that started being used with the apogee of technology and tech companies. Companies with Software as Service (SaaS) products have their teams more focused on the ongoing support that their products need, acting as advisors, helping costumers with installation or troubleshooting, and guiding users through all the process of interacting with the software. This is a longer process and a customer relationship that is made to endure, since software products are constantly being updated, releasing new versions with new features, and the interaction with users tends to be more frequent, oppositely with someone who bought a toaster and once addressed the customer service to repair it.
A positive customer experience
Customer Service and Customer Support may differ on their tasks and their teams may have different skills, but both are still needed and are keys to a positive customer experience. Your company may need one more than the other but the truth is that they make an impact in the way your customers look at your business, your products or services. It is with Customer Service or Support that consumers find the answers to their concerns and it is the team that interacts with them that makes the image of the company, especially when customers contact your business through digital platforms.
The key to customer satisfaction
Having integrated tools to help your Customer Service or Customer Support team to be in touch with customers is crucial to the success of your business, and e-mail and contact forms are not efficient and outdated. The key to achieve customer satisfaction is the availability that your team has for them, and that means having an open channel where they can find the right person to talk to and when they need to. You will find that many companies have already integrated solutions to direct and immediate communication on their websites, a simple button that customers can click and start talking with who is able help them on their many questions. Tools like Okomo are bringing back the human interaction that was lost for some time, but still is the way to keep your customers happy and your business growing.
Either they want to know how the toaster they bought can be fixed or replaced or they need help finding out how to take the most advantage of the service that your company is offering, people search for simple and uncomplicated ways to reach out and find a contact that may help them, otherwise they will find another company that is capable of doing it.
Having that open channel on your company’s website and digital platforms will help both Customer Service and Customer Support provide a remarkable service that will result in happier and returning customers, because between Service or Support what customers retain is the experience.