Your customers are the most important part of your business. Everything you do within your organisation, from the employees you hire, to the hardware and software you use on a daily basis, to the products and services you devise, the marketing you put together, and the post-sales care programmes you develop, are all aimed at pleasing your customers. It is no good being a company that focuses only on a single transaction, getting a new customer to buy a product or service from you once. Instead, you must always be looking to balance between brand-new clients and building a loyal customer base of people who will return to you time and again and promote your brand to other people in their lives.
This is where it becomes so important to understand the mindset of a customer, but also where you need to understand how there is a difference between customer service and customer support. This knowledge is a vital component of the most successful companies, ensuring that they not only provide a stellar level of customer service, but that they also build long-term relationships with customers through a brilliant level of customer support.
The simple difference between customer service and customer support is that customer service is the process of dealing with anything that is of a non-technical concern to your customers. This could be dealing with payments and banking issues, customer and delivery information, where there is a need for a service to help a customer move forward with a transaction or query. Customer support on the other hand, deals with technical and physical issues, mostly after a customer has completed a transaction. Customer support comes under the wider remit of customer service, and feeds into the standards of customer service that your organisation offers, but it is more readily linked to post-sale care.
This can be seen in the way in which customers are interacted with when they have made a complaint about a product or service that they have purchased, or if they have practical queries after making a purchase. This means there should be a different team dealing with customer service and customer support.
Once you understand the differences between customer service and customer support, you can devise protocols and processes within your organisation to help maximise efficiency and improve standards across the board. In some case, companies will hire external contact centre teams to help them in certain situations. For some companies, this could take the form of a contact centre team acting as the sole complaints team for a company, helping with customer support, or it could be that they are the customer service team, dealing with on-going queries, manning an online helpdesk, or dealing with social media interactions. A contact centre team can be extremely helpful to a company, ensuring that there are enough hands on deck at any given time and that customer satisfaction levels remain high due to consistency of performance that upholds your brand reputation and integrity.