Customer Service: Unit 1: Outstanding C.S.: Lesson 1: Foundations: Topic 4: Customer Service vs. Customer Support

April 16, 2022 By AM

Customer service and customer support seem similar or maybe interchangeable names.

They both:

  •  involve helping customers.
  • tools like email, chat, and phone to communicate.
  • employ similar skills to increase customer satisfaction.

And both are critical to the customer experience delivered by all businesses.

Customer support is a specific type of customer service that involves documentation, product feedback, and technical problem-solving. They support a product

The terms customer service and customer support aren’t interchangeable. Customer service is an umbrella term; customer support is a specific type of customer service.

Customer Service teams provide service to a customer.

A customer walks into a retail store looking for a size large red Tee Shirt. A customer service rep could help locate the T-shirt, ring the customer up, and pack up the shirt for them. They might try to upsell by suggesting a sweater that looks nice with the shirt.

The customer has everything they want, but there’s no other feedback or information that goes into the experience. It’s transactional.

By comparison, consider a customer who emails Dropbox about an issue they have sharing a file with colleagues. The customer support agent:

immediately links the customer to documentation they wrote and walks them through the appropriate steps categorizes the conversation to help give feedback to the product team about the share function starts a conversation about improving sharing follows up with the customer about their experience.

A customer support agent’s role is more about improving the customer experience than interacting transactionally with the customer.

Customer support professionals use customer service skills, but that’s only one part of their job. Customer support also includes writing knowledge base documentation, providing product feedback, and conducting usability studies.

Customer support teams are often closely integrated with product teams. They have a seat at the table where decisions involving the product are made.

Not all teams define customer support and customer service the same way. At the end of the day, it’s all about providing the best possible experience to your customers and understanding how your role helps your company meet that goal.