Customer Service vs Customer Support: Explained
More and more conversations are taking place via messaging platforms. It’s convenient for clients and often faster for your agents as well. Start by hiring the right people and then by training them well upfront and providing ongoing training over time. How-to guides combine words and images to explain your product or how your company functions. These visuals are especially helpful in explaining workflows and processes. Streamline your support experience with our all-in-one Customer Service Suite.
- Customer support, service, and success are all customer-facing teams critical to your business’s prosperity and growth — but these teams are often confused and referred to interchangeably.
- For example, you can find answers to questions like how visitors landed on your website, what they were looking for, at which point did they bounce (or convert),and much more.
- They misunderstand questions, pointing customers to the wrong resources, or send customers around in circles trying to solve problems that require critical thinking and other exclusively human skills.
- The next important thing is to invest in periodic training programs for both new as well as existing employees.
- Customer support can be a tough job, but when done right, it can also be one of the key factors responsible for building customer loyalty and retention.
This approach brings agents and skilled experts together to work through complex cases. As a bonus, junior employees and new hires gain new skills they otherwise would not have been exposed to. Although agents often work one-on-one with customers, they still need a sense of professional support and camaraderie. Daily standups are an easy way to keep everyone connected and united. Customer service is so important that it is now considered a strategic function for organizations across industries. Eighty-four percent of agents say their company views them as customer advocates and brand ambassadors.
Provide the right tools for your team
The autoresponder should acknowledge their email and give them an estimate of when a live agent will be able to respond. For example, place a link to live chat from the chatbot window and equip your bot with the ability to escalate to a human. Or in the case of an automated email, make it easy for the recipient to reply to a real person rather than to an unmonitored inbox. If your platform doesn’t allow for that, place a link to the help desk email in the text or offer a number so the client can easily make a phone call.
Slack has a dedicated Twitter profile, “@slackSupport,” to assist its customers with their questions. HubSpot has an active online community where customers can connect and help each other. Companies usually include more than one type of support in their strategy to cater to different customer needs. The customer has everything they want, but there’s no other feedback or information that goes into the experience. Some of the most important skills for support professionals are patience, attentiveness, the ability to communicate clearly, a willingness to learn, and empathy. Requires customers to call during specified business hours and often wait on hold for help.
Take full control of your customer journey
If you’re new to the concept of customer service or just want to keep yourself up to date with the latest trends, we’ve got you covered. This is key in 2023 as customers expect a high level of personalization. Because email is a step removed from direct interaction, the risk of that is high. However, you can do more in an autoresponder by providing links to self-service options such as your knowledge base. Consider an autoresponder so customers get an immediate response from your company so they know their message has been received.
Chances are, you’ll begin to notice similar trends in some of the customer responses, and that should help you identify the specific aspects of your business and processes that need improvements and changes. For companies aiming for customer success, hiring employees that already possess the personality traits and skill-set to align with an overall customer-centric strategy is imperative. For example, great interpersonal skills, the ability to handle a crisis, and high emotional intelligence are some of the many qualities that customer service agents must possess. Without thorough knowledge about your product(s) and company, your customer service team won’t be able to respond to customer queries with clarity. The team must know the purchase process, product features, updates and specifications, company policies, etc. A customer service role is rife with several challenges, and to be able to deal with each one of them well requires a great degree of patience.
It’s these teams that have to bear the brunt of customer frustration and anger in such difficult times. Customer support and service are highly nuanced functions that require thorough planning and consistent improvements along the way. A well thought-out and effective customer service strategy gives an organization better judgment and clarity needed to serve customers. It is also extremely essential in providing customers with a consistent and reliable support experience.
Creating your own video tutorials is an excellent way to support your clients both at the beginning of their journey with you and whenever questions or issues arise. Self-service support refers to help that the customer can access on their own without direct interaction with a person on your team. This type of help is the most cost-conscious because it does not require your team’s time, which is an expensive and limited resource. Customer support increases success and leads to higher levels of customer experience (CX).
How to Improve Your Customer Support Strategy
You try to get to the root of the issue and if appropriate you follow up with additional questions or advice. Many businesses continue to direct their energies toward protecting revenue by putting these speed bumps in place, but they waste time that could have been spent solving a problem that only a human can solve. Like customer reviews, social listening can help you understand what your customer expectations are, and where you’re falling short in meeting them. Be aware that most customers will write product reviews only if they are very delighted or very disappointed with your brand. Therefore, this information can be extremely vital in helping you correct what you’re doing wrong and reinforce what you’re doing well.
Behind the scenes at most companies are people who never meet or greet the people who buy their products. The customer service representatives are the ones who have direct contact with the buyers. The buyers’ perceptions of the company and the product are shaped in part by their experience in dealing with that person. This is why many companies work hard to increase their customer satisfaction levels. To be able to deliver great service experiences, customer service representatives should possess a wide range of soft skills.
The father of customer journey mapping, Chip Bell, talks driving innovation through customer partnership
Customers won’t accept anything less than a well-designed, well-executed customer support strategy. Not every team defines customer support and customer service the same way. If you don’t recognize your job description in this post, don’t worry! 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. As customers become increasingly vocal about their experiences with brands, support teams can’t ignore the importance of social listening.
Carefully review your knowledge base and any templates or scripts you give your team to make sure they comply with your company image and communication goals. If your human team isn’t available 24/7, add a chatbot to answer basic questions at any time of day. If the question is too complicated, the bot can schedule a follow-up with a human agent. It’s also important to ensure that your agents are given assistance and respect within your organization. According to the Harvard Business Review, support agents have a very high turnover rate relative to other industries, so do your best to make your agents happy so they, in turn, can make your customers happy.
Provide templates for your customer service/support
A smart way to personalize email communication is using placeholder variables, i.e, information unique to different customers, such as name, email address, etc. while creating email templates. This way, you can enjoy the convenience that comes with email-automation as well as offer a customized service experience to each one of your customers. According to a report by Profitwell, companies with a dedicated customer success team see about a 27% decrease in gross churn and up to 125% increase in expansion revenue. The happier your customers, the more likely they are to maintain a long-term association with your brand. The amount of money a single client spends on your business during their association with you and lowers your operating costs to serve them. Brands spend considerable amounts of time and resources in building great products and marketing them.
That means it’s not just about reacting to customer problems but giving them the tools needed to be successful throughout their journey with your brand. There are many solutions for boredom, including empowering support agents to take ownership of certain tasks, training others, or giving them time on live channels regularly each week. Maybe they’re just getting started at their company or with your product, or maybe it was simply just an off day; support agents don’t always know, but it helps to hold space for whatever it might be. All businesses provide customer service, but not all need to offer customer support. A restaurant, for example, provides customer service when you are seated, as you order your food, and upon payment. The waiter is probably not going to show you how to cut your steak, though.
- Good service recovery can help you turn customers’ bad experiences into memorable ones.
- This helps enhance customer satisfaction and lowers your support team’s average resolution time.
- Because the terms customer service and customer support are often used interchangeably, distinguishing between the two can often be challenging.
- They have a seat at the table where decisions involving the product are made.
- While customer delight is important, you must know your limitations, and ensure your customers know them too.
Read more about Customer Support here.