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Is Customer Service the Same as Customer Support?

By Contributing Writer
Sunny Aaron
October 31, 2022



Customer service and customer support are two terms that are often used interchangeably. Understanding their differences can be a challenge. Let's examine whether customer service and customer support are the same or different.

Are Customer Service and Customer Support the Same Thing?

When naming a customer-facing department, selecting customer support or customer service terms depends on three factors:

  • The products or services you sell.
  • Whether the products/services require ongoing customer assistance.
  • Whether the assistance customers require is technical.

The name of your customer care reps should reflect the support and assistance they give your customers or leads.

What Is Customer Service?

Customer service involves the overall support an organization gives its customers or clients before, during and after purchasing a product or service. It's about supporting a customer's general, administrative or non-technical requirements or concerns.

Customer service focuses on providing necessary assistance to customers throughout their buying lifecycle, ensuring customer satisfaction and a positive experience. For instance, in a financial advisor marketing business, after the sales team qualifies a lead, customer service reps may help the individual create an account or onboard.

In customer service, the business' customer service representatives value both existing and potential customers equally. Virtually every business or organization has customer service, but only some businesses have customer support.

What Is Customer Support?

Customer support is a subcategory of customer service that prioritizes customers who require assistance with a particular product or service. It's more technical support and is often used in IT and digital-related products or services to handle technical issues.

Customer support reps are called support teams. They have the technical knowledge to provide technical assistance or answer and sort out customer issues about their purchases or experiences. Customer support teams aim to interact with customers and help them get answers, solutions to technical issues and overall positive customer experiences.

Customer support interactions are usually reactive and short-term. For example, the financial advisor marketing business can contact the customer support team of a SaaS onboarding platform to help them upgrade their service smoothly.

Why You Need Both Customer Service and Support

Both customer service agents and customer support teams interact with your customers on a regular basis. They use various communication channels such as phone, email, website chat apps and social media messaging.

If the customer service reps provide a positive CX (customer care) and customer support, teams successfully assist with a customer's problems and the customer leaves happy. This leads to customer satisfaction and the customer will come back. 90% of customers pick brands based on the customer service they receive.

In addition, the satisfied customer may leave a positive review for the business on sites like Trustpilot or Google reviews and tell friends and family about the business. This can bring in more customers and more business to the organization.

Endnote

Customer support and customer service are both important and can work together in the organization to assist a customer. Service reps are focused on the customer journey and experience, while support teams focus on customer experience and satisfaction.



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