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Customer Service vs. Customer Support

Customer service and customer support are terms often used interchangeably. And it’s easy to see how these concepts can get confused. After all, the end goal of both customer service and customer support is to deliver a fantastic experience to your customer. However, the steps involved in cultivating customer satisfaction with customer support and service can be very different.

Knowing how to separate “service” from “support” means you can train your subsequent teams correctly, track the right metrics, and drive the proper outcomes for your brand.

The Difference Between Customer Service and Support

One of the reasons customer support and customer service often get confused is there is overlap between them. Many companies run customer service and support from the same department. There should be some differences between employees committed to customer service and those offering support.

A customer service team is a group of people dedicated to “serving” your consumers with value. They might provide information about a specific product or help your customer understand a particular feature.

A customer service expert can help onboard new customers and pass them to the “customer success” team. Customer service teams use their agent dashboards to track important metrics such as customer satisfaction, number of calls answered, and NPS score.

Customer “support” teams are made up of agents that handle mostly technical issues or customer problems. Support professionals have a deep understanding of the available products and services and have the skills to troubleshoot concerns or issues when they arise.

Where customer service agents support the entire customer journey customer support technicians deal mostly with specific issues. The metrics support agents track include things like “First time resolution” rates.

What Does a Customer Service or Support Team Do?

A customer service team is a group of CX professionals committed to guiding your customers through their overall experience with your brand. They answer questions about products, policies and procedures, provide guidance to customers who need help choosing the right products, and even help to build relationships with your customers over time. A customer service team can even help your sales team by addressing any customers’ concerns about their purchase during the early stages of the buying cycle.

A customer support team is a group of technically skilled professionals who have a deep understanding of the inner workings of your product or service. When something goes wrong, these professionals are who your “service” team will hand a call or conversation over. Support teams can alert the IT team if an unexpected problem affects several customers and handle issues on behalf of individual clients. Depending on your organization, support teams may also help with billing errors, changes to customer accounts, and subscriptions.

Many support services in today’s CX-focused world also help brands provision and install their new technology or learn how to use new upgraded features.

Separating Customer Service and Support

Customer service and support professionals are committed to delivering an excellent experience to your end-user. However, they both focus on different areas of the CX environment. Customer service agents use soft skills and communication talents to help customers understand your product better and get the most out of their purchases.

Customer support agents require specific technical skills to solve specific problems for customers. They may require additional training when it comes to understanding how various products and systems work to troubleshoot issues effectively.

Both support and service agents are necessary to deliver the memorable CX your customers are looking for. So, how do you make sure your service and support teams can accomplish their goals? Try these steps:

  • Provide the right resources: Both customer service and support teams will need regular access to plenty of up-to-date information about your business, products, and services. Make sure you have a cloud-based repository for your team to access.
  • Deliver regular training: Use dedicated training for both service and support professionals to enhance their skills. Support teams may need more technical training, while service teams may need help making the most of their soft skills (such as communication skills).
  • Leverage the right technology: Investing in innovative technology, like CCaaS solutions for live in-call coaching, can help your support and service agents to do a better job, even when they’re facing complicated issues. Built-in CRM tools and reports can also help staff members to get a better understanding of your customers.
  • Use wallboards: Using wallboards and dashboards will help your service and support agents to track metrics relevant to them. You can customize your wallboards with a focus on the KPIs that matter most to each of your CX professionals.

Make sure your customer support and your customer service teams have what it takes to succeed in today’s competitive landscape, with help from Geomant.

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