The concepts of customer support and customer service are often confused. Some companies use the term "service" when they are really just providing "support". When it comes to customer support and service, it is important to understand that "support" and "service" are not synonymous. The key is the attitude towards the customer.
Customer support: A reaction to a particular problem
Let's start at the beginning. "Support" is defined by Webopedia as "a service that computer and software manufacturers, and third-party service companies, provide to customers". "Support" is indeed a service for the customer, but it is focused on solving problems with the contracted products or services. The ultimate goal is their correct and efficient use. To achieve this goal, the people in charge of this task must have the necessary technical expertise.
However, this is not enough. The term "support" also refers to the company's reactive attitude to a customer action. When confronted with a request or complaint, which usually expresses a negative experience, the customer support department reacts. In other words, it provides assistance to solve a particular problem.
It usually applies to companies focused on developing or selling technology. Its function is to ensure that customers get what they pay for and that it works effectively. It also tries to avoid any kind of conflict between the customer and the service or product. In short, the customer service department focuses its efforts on keeping the business running.
Customer service: A proactive attitude that generates value
The picture changes when it comes to providing a complete customer experience. This is where customer service comes in. This is a more complex department that deals with communication with customers at all levels. It may include customer support, but it goes far beyond that. It includes sales, payment, after sales, communication, among others. Customer service involves a proactive attitude that generates added value. And therein lies the most important difference between "support" and "service": "Service" gives priority to the total satisfaction of the customer.
A company with an effective customer service department assists customers and supports them throughout the purchasing process. It is important to understand that the relationship does not end when the customer buys the product or service. Nor does it end when problems are resolved (or not). For a company, the relationship with a customer can be lifelong. So it's critical to ensure their satisfaction before, during and after the transaction. An incredible experience will set a company apart from its competitors and build lasting relationships with its customers.
The knowledge and skills of customer service agents will also be broader. They must have excellent communication skills and use the appropriate language for each contact channel. They must be trained to identify the real needs of different customers and act accordingly. In addition, it is essential that they are aligned with the company's values. And finally, they must always show respect, professionalism and goodwill.
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Why does customer service make a difference?
Once the differences between customer support and customer service are clear, it's no surprise that many companies prioritize the development of strong customer service. According to ForresterOne of the trends in 2018 was the increase in the number of people hired to work in this department. This was necessary to cope with the increase in customer interactions across different channels.
If customer service requires greater investment, it should be viewed as an asset to the business rather than a bottomless pit where money is disappearing. As a report by McKinsey & Company, "satisfied customers spend more money, demonstrate greater loyalty to companies, and create favorable conditions for reducing costs and increasing employee engagement."
Clear definitions for successful decisions
Recognizing the differences between customer support and customer service is key to setting goals that are achievable and representative of the company's culture. Always remember that these terms are not synonymous. Therefore, they must be used with an understanding of the tasks that belong to each. If you are looking for new ways to enrich your company's customer service, discover the solutions of Locuta. The omnichannel solutions of Locuta s omnichannel solutions for customer service with artificial intelligence will take your customer relations to the next level. Discover our omnichannel solutions