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. Even Google makes no difference between them.
They both basically mean the same thing, right?
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 expectations and delight customers.
Let’s break them down by definition:
What is Customer Service?
It’s reactive and often used only when a customer isn’t satisfied.
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, and, 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.
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. Customer service vs customer care
What is Customer Care?
It’s a longer-term approach to taking care of a customer.
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.
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 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 and finding methods to support the achievement of commercial goals.
It’s management-oriented and requires you to create, develop, and enhance customer services with the carefully targeted customer to maximize your customers’ value and increase their loyalty.
What is Customer Support?
Customer support is usually defined as service efforts from IT companies vendors and providers support that is focusing on helping customers to use products and services correctly, efficiently, and effectively.
Many see this specific type of support as part of a broader category of customer service, but 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.
Picture 2. Customer support excellence
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.
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:
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.
Picture 4. Share of customers in the United States who stopped doing business with a company due to poor customer service from 2016 to 2018.
According to RightNow Technologies, 73% of customers leave because they are dissatisfied with customer service, while companies think that only 21% go because of that.
Also, the company thinks that 48% leave because of price. However, according to the customer perspective, this happens only 25% of the time.
Moreover, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce research shows that 68% of customers leave because they are upset with the Customer Service treatment they’ve received. Likewise, only 14% are dissatisfied with the product or service itself.
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, over 51% 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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