What is the Difference Between Customer Support and Customer Service?

The concept of consumers’ demand has expanded into something more fastidious. It follows the digital era’s progressive materialization and reshaping of business industry norms—as shown by how it elevated the products that shoppers purchase along with their overall buying experience.

There are two factors that are greatly affected by this change: customer support and customer service. Often, companies tend to misinterpret the true significance of customer support and how it differs from customer service. Yes, these two share similarities in such a way that both have a direct relationship with all types of businesses that offer customer service support to their clients. Among these businesses are SaaS and tech companies like New Media Services.

But there are key distinctions that must be highlighted, and lacking the knowledge on how offering support differs from providing service to clients is one of the main reasons why companies fall short in providing efficient user assistance.

Are you having a hard time unraveling the true nuances of customer support and customer service? This article will provide a comprehensive overview of the different attributes of offering support and letting end-users experience company and give you knowledge on how to utilize their potential for your business’ marketing efforts.

Customer Support Versus Customer Service

At first glance, the terms ‘support’ and ‘service’, enclosed within the practice of catering to end-users, seem identical in terms of their general context. Distinguishing the difference is no easy feat. Although these terms are frequently used interchangeably, each term has its obvious distinct attributes.

Indeed, these two terms look so similar that some first-timers are left scratching their heads and asking the question: “Is there a difference between customer service and customer support?”

Although they do share a lot of similarities, the answer to that is a definite yes. You shouldn’t interchange these terms because their functionalities greatly differ from each other.

If you want to get down with the real meaning of each terms, first let’s break them down by definition:

Customer Support — It is a specific set of interactions between the business and the end-user. Meaning, customer support focuses only on providing immediate assistance when users experience or encounter certain issues that require further assessments to resolve. Also, supporting the people subscribed to your services involves concerns that require one-on-one interaction between the client and the company, such as technical problems and product knowledge.

Customer Service — This is the term used to refer to a lineup of processes and essential practices with the goal of improving the interaction between businesses and their clients throughout the duration of each purchasing process. 

Compared to supporting clients or users, the process of providing them the service they need can last up to weeks, months, and even years after the purchase. Simply, the end-goal of customer service is to ensure that the business is capable of providing customers with the best customer experience possible every time they interact with the business.

The Key Takeaways:

Customer service revolves around providing assistance to broader, non-complex concerns such as billing, delivery, shipping, or even promotion updates. Meanwhile, customer support caters only to customers who seek further technical assistance or help, be it in troubleshooting, onboarding, and other technical concerns.

Customer Support or Customer Service?

Now that you already know the difference between customer support and customer service. It is time to know their core roles.

Customer Support

As mentioned, customer support reactively works whenever a customer seeks assistance in resolving complex issues. Moreover, the concept of customer support is usually related to SaaS and IT companies as they need to consistently provide assistance in terms of products and services that require technical solutions.

To be more efficient in providing the best customer support, your business’ support agents should be skilled enough to provide services ranging from troubleshooting to providing use cases to answering FAQs with utmost expertise.

Customer Service

Customer service encompasses all the stages of the customer’s purchasing process. Although customer service can only cater to non-technical concerns, the range of assistance it can offer is significantly broader. Unlike customer support, it aims to provide the best customer experience throughout the buying process to dramatically enhance the interpersonal relationship between the customers and the business.

Working as an effective customer service provider means your team must possess the right skills to provide not only reactive but also proactive assistance. They must have what it takes to share knowledge and strategic advice to maximize their customers’ investments in the company.

A good customer service representative is able to admit new clients, provide aftersales assistance, upsell products (when necessary), and maximize the use of different communication channels to provide answers to customer queries.

Know the Differences

End-user service and support each play a crucial role in establishing strong rapport as well as in gaining a raving user-base. Differentiating them can truly be quite challenging. Dedicating equal investment to how you execute service and support is an ideal way to ensure your business provides the highest quality of products. At the same time, it lets you consistently boost user satisfaction. At the end of the day, the most crucial key factor they have in common is this: they can help you thrust your business ahead of the competition.