What’s the Difference Between Customer Service, Customer Care and Customer Support?
⏱ Reading Time: 6 minutes
Mixing up customer service and customer care seems like a slip of the tongue. At first glance, these two terms might look the same. They both basically mean the same thing, right? Wrong! Their function varies, and you shouldn’t mix them up. Although they often cross over, you should have a different strategy for each.
By including customer service and customer care, you can exceed the expectations of customers. Customers love knowing that you have their back and that they always have somebody to communicate with. Especially, if they have an issue. Customer care and customer support are different things but they share the main goal, making customers happy!
Let’s break them down by definition!
What is Customer Service?
Customer Service is the advice or assistance a company gives to its customers while they interact with the brand. It’s usually cost-related to the customers’ requirements. In many instances, it comes only after the customer makes a purchasing decision. The customer service agents follow procedures and strive to meet technical and administrative requirements. However, they can also assist customers while shopping, influencing their buying decision. Customer service is a very important part of customer retention too. Customers form an opinion about the company while speaking to those who should represent its value the most!
It’s reactive and often used only when a customer isn’t satisfied!
Moreover, customer service could be classified as an area of customer experience. Quite often the entire customer experience can be heavily influenced by a customer service interaction. Thus it’s a key area and its core role is to provide support. For instance, a blip in customer experience — say, receiving a damaged package — means that a customer will contact customer service. This will turn into a make-or-break moment for keeping that customer.
Picture 1. How to provide excellent customer service
What is Customer Care?
Customer Care moves one step beyond basic customer service by building an emotional connection. It doesn’t include the entire customer lifecycle though, but it consists of a string of interactions. Hence customer care is the act of providing and delivering professional, helpful, high-quality assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met.
It’s a longer-term approach to taking care of a customer. Customer care is showing actual care for customers!
You should listen to their needs, answer their questions, and offer the right solution. This kind of interaction you can interpret as an aim to win and maintain customers. You can achieve that by giving quality service, price, and item differentiation. Customer care is more of supportive management, where procedures are pretty essential in encouraging responsiveness to your client’s needs. Of course, all with finding complementary methods to support the achievement of commercial goals.
It’s management-oriented and requires you to create, develop, and enhance customer services. Achieve that with the carefully targeted customer to maximize your customers’ value and increase their loyalty.
Picture 2. Importance of Customer Service
What is Customer Support?
Customer support is usually defined as service efforts from IT company’s vendors who provide the support that is focusing on helping customers to use products and services. Many see this specific type of support as part of a broader category of customer service. While customer support is often provided in response to customer demand, and it is also part of intelligent planning for IT companies.
While customer service is building a customer-centric relationship, customer support is a business-oriented relationship. Customer support teams provide needed assistance to solve customer issues focusing on troubleshooting and closing conflict situations.
Sometimes, customer support agents also provide consultations for their clients intending to better understanding the benefits of the product or service. Also, big IT companies have very complex solutions, and technical support needs to assist from the beginning and whenever it is required.
Can Customer Service and Customer Care Be Measured?
Customer service and customer care both affect the bottom line. There’s a reason why the old saying goes, the customer is always right. So you always need to appease an upset customer not to take their business elsewhere.
Also, these days you need to try your best so that you get positive reviews on socials! Let the customers know that you are always available for improvements. Listen to their feedback and try implementing ones that, just make sense!
In this case, one of the elements that make a big difference for customer happiness is the time it takes to get responses. Namely, this is the point where you have to be very fast and act professionally. Slow service and support responses kill retention.
You can, actually, measure them. For instance, you can measure customer service through the customer satisfaction score (CSAT). It measures how satisfied your customers are with the experience. Likewise, customer care can be measured by a variety of other metrics.
Picture 3. You can even use emojis to measure customer satisfaction on a CSAT survey.
Breaking them down by stats:
Oberlo reports that 92% of consumers said that they would stop buying from a company after 3 poor customer service experiences.
This means that if a customer contacts you for support, and they are met with customer service protocol or vice versa – they will be frustrated.
According to New Voice Media 49% of American consumers switched companies last year due to poor customer service.
They also found that the #1 reason customers switch to a new brand is feeling unappreciated. You can always improve in this area!
Moreover, according to Glance, it takes 12 positive customer experiences to make up for one negative experience. And a whopping 78% of customers have backed out of purchase due to a poor customer experience. Business2community says that 59% of customers don’t return after one bad customer service experience. And with a number of new businesses every day, it would be best for you to make those customers happy and retain them.
Picture 4. Good customer service can contribute to revenue increase
Enhance Customer Support With Live Chat
Both customer service and customer care teams are critical to the customer experience your business delivers. They both use similar tools like email, chat, and phone to communicate.
But, 79% of customers prefer to live chat for customer service over other means of customer support channels. They feel comfortable using live chat support either in discovering answers on their own or interacting with the agents.
With Live Chat for Online Sales and Customer Support, you can engage and convert website visitors into customers, provide support and increase customer retention. Hence offering personalized support over live chat creates loyal customers.
Picture 5. Solve problems and resolve issues, grow your product or service satisfaction.
Therefore, investing in a Live Chat Support Software can get you the compound interest on your existing range of support channels that can increase your follow up potential toward first-time visitors and drive sales in a more human way.
If You Don’t Take Care of Your Customers, Someone Else Will
Without a quality Customer Service and Customer Care, there will be no harmony in business. So, in order to reduce your customer churn, you need to create outstanding services and engage with your customers. To do that, you need to keep tracking their particular needs and make personalized offers.
Demand is there but businesses aren’t keeping up.
Those who implement live chat will be offering something customers want and can’t get everywhere. So, think twice! Once it becomes non-negotiable to adopt live chat, you’ll already have your well-oiled setup running at full speed.
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