What is the Difference Between Customer Service, Support and Experience?

What is the Difference Between Customer Service, Support and Experience?

2nd October 2020

By Leaha James

Customer experience, service or support – there’s a bewildering number of words to describe the interactions your organisation has with its client base. 

So are they all interchangeable? Should you be paying attention to the differences? Or should you call in customer service outsourcing companies to help you navigate your way?

At Connect Assist, we’re experts in helping you achieve your goals of creating customer satisfaction, building loyalty, and growing your brand. So here’s our quick guide to the key components…

What is customer service?

Customer service is the help and advice you give a customer. It’s what customer-facing staff provide: advice on how to choose, use or troubleshoot a product or service your organisation offers. It entails skills such as product/service knowledge, communication, patience and willingness to help. 

As a customer service outsourcing company, we like to think of it as the human touch.

It’s a key element in your customer’s journey with your brand: research shows that up to three-quarters of customers who leave a brand do so because of dissatisfaction with customer service, rather than due to the product itself. 

It’s often measured by customer satisfaction or CSAT scores, collected through feedback surveys.  

You might also hear the term ‘customer care’. This is one step deeper than customer service, and involves building a longer-term relationship: listening to customers, helping to find solutions, and perhaps even making a more emotional connection. 

What is customer support?

Many organisations struggle to understand the difference between customer service and customer support. They both require excellent people skills, and involve helping people use a product or service. 

However, while customer service concerns individual transactions, customer support is about providing long-term advice and help for a particular product or service. 

Customer support agents will have in-depth knowledge about, for example, a Software as a Service (SaaS) package; they might well be involved in writing the documentation or updating the knowledge base that supports it. They often sit with the product team, and provide feedback to them. 

Customer support is generally measured not only by CSAT, but also by longer-term, business-related metrics such as churn and customer effort score. 

It’s often described as the intersection between customer service and customer experience – so let’s now take a look at the latter. 

 

What is customer experience?

Customer experience is the new-ish buzzword on the block, and its meaning is broader than either service or support. It is the sum total of a customer’s interactions with your organisation, at any stage of the customer journey and via any channel. In an IT context, you’ll often see it referred to as CX. 

Customer experience incorporates customer service and support; the technology, product or service you’re offering; your marketing and design; and the feelings your brand creates.

Generally, the metric used to measure your customer experience is a Net Promoter Score (NPS), which determines customers’ loyalty by asking whether they would recommend your brand to a friend. But other metrics, including those measured by non customer-facing teams, are also relevant. 

And these days, organisations know how crucial CX is. According to an Oracle Report, 97% of executives believe it’s critical to success, and it’s expected to overtake price and product as the key differentiator between brands in 2020.

Customer service outsourcing companies

Clearly, it’s essential to your product or service that you improve your customer service, support and experience. 

Connect Assist is a customer service outsourcing company that can help you with any element of your customer journey and experience. We have expertise in everything from consultancy to providing full-scale outsourced contact centre services

Get in touch today to start your organisation’s journey to offering a better customer experience.


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If you need our help in developing more effective, meaningful connections with customers, get in touch today.