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What is the Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Support?

Posted by Swapnil Shukla
Difference-between-Customer-Service-and-Customer-Support

There is a thin line difference between customer support and customer service. Both come from the same parent industry and involve in providing support to the customers facing any query regarding the product of the client or any service. You can understand the difference like this, customer service focus on providing more value to their customers whereas customer support works on the principle of technical support related to the services that deal in the working of the product or software. They generally make use of the same tools i.e. calls, chats, mails etc. to discuss the issues and being empathic with the users.

So basically customer service is dealing with non-technical concerns like banking, billing etc. Think customer service as an umbrella and customer support lies under it but they reach their customers with the help by different perspective.

Lets’ understand the difference with an example. Imagine a hypothetical situation in which you are calling your respective bank’s customer care to convert your normal account to a recurring deposit account. You get the service as per your requirement, apart from that the customer care executive also tries to convince you to enjoy the credit card services of their bank. This is customer service or what we generally call “call center India” where you cannot take any information back with you or any other feedback.  Now imagine an another scenario wherein you are facing some technical issue in configuring your email ID on outlook and you are not able to solve at your end then you require a technical representative who will guide you with the steps to how to resolve the issue. Then if the issue is still not resolved, he or she will the remote of your system and then will do the task for you. Then at the end of the support, there will be a feedback which will be asked by the customer support representative. The rating of the support of your representative is shared with the company and according to that they are also rated all the year round.

Though customer support representatives make use of the customer service tools and etiquettes but that is not enough for them. They have to technically sound and good at documentation as each and every technical issue is properly documented through some ticketing tools as they are further examined by the company for further development of the product. Hence, a customer support representative is more valuable to a company as compared to a customer service representative.  

Read More: 5 Best Examples of Good Customer Service

These were some superficial differentiating, let’s dig deeper to understand more about what is the difference between customer service and customer support.

Customer support representatives should know about their client’s software from in and out

Companies like Adobe, Microsoft etc. offers such technical and complex products and services that need deep knowledge about them to answer any query that may arise and not only this the representative should be technically sound beforehand. They have this Learn and Support department, which provides people that they can anytime call their customer support and can get any kind information related to any query or issue. Problems related to the procedure of installation and also about any feature of that product or service.

For this each and every customer support representative should be thorough with all the troubleshooting steps and conflict resolution. By the efficiency with which they handle any customer and how early they can resolve their issue makes them good in their job.

Read More: Want to give Exhilarating Customer Service Experience? Follow these tips!!

The customer support representatives don’t get into talk anything apart from the product or service with which the customer is facing the problem. Their approach needs to be straightforward with no other purpose except providing the customers satisfaction with the assistance on the specific problem. Therefore, in customer support representatives have to impress the customers with their technical service and knowledge and not just by accent or empathy.

A lot more learning involved in the case of customer support as compared to customer service

When a customer calls at customer service, then the customer service representatives have a defined set of solutions and unidirectional approach to their problems or queries. Whereas in customer support, although there are set steps to how to resolve a technical glitch but they can go beyond that to help the customer. If the technical issue is not getting resolved by the set steps, then they can explore more ways to resolve the issue. By trying out alternative resolutions for the same kind of issues stores a very good potential to learn new things on a daily basis. For the customer’s best experience, the customer support representatives go that extra mile and make a long-lasting relationship with the customers and thus impacting the business revenue for their company as well as for their client.

How customer support stores much better future prospects

Though customer service is not bad to start your career, but the future prospects which customer support stores in makes it quite different from customer service. In customer service except to get into managerial position, there are no more options. Whereas in customer support there are numerous future opportunities for growth. The customer support employees can get into managerial positions and apart from this there are many technical specialized fields in which they can get into and make a good career out of it.

There is this very good prospect in customer support that if a customer support representative performs exceptionally then many a times, the parent client company take them under their payroll. Though chances of these comes with a very low probability but are not bleak. This is not in the case of these call center India.

Read More: What is the difference between Call Centre and BPO?

With the proliferation of customer support, using chat system to attend customer’s issues and queries gained popularity. The customers also even prefer the chat system to register their technical queries due to many reasons. Resolving technical issues over chat is more proactive wherein you can inform your customers if there is any upcoming downtime. Also it frees the customer to wait for longer waiting minutes when they were put on hold on calls.

Thus customer support and customer service come from the same family but serves different purposes by using the same set of standard tools. So don’t consider customer support just a fancier version of customer service. It’s a lot more than that.


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