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Customer Service vs Customer Support: What’s the Difference (And What Matters Most to Your Customers)?

For some stand-out companies like Rackspace and Amex, customer service becomes a product of its own, drawing in new customers who want to support the company simply because of how they treat their clientele.

An increasing number of entrepreneurs recognize customer satisfaction and success as a road that ultimately leads to business success.

Though customer service and customer support are on the same spectrum and often used interchangeably, the two terms are quite different when anticipating customers’ needs

Let us explain the differences while showing you how they can create a seamless customer experience and build positive customer relationships – to grow by leaps and bounds and reach highly sought-after success. 

What is customer service?

Customer service is about supporting a customer’s more generalized, non-technical concerns, ranging from finding a product, billing, upgrading, or even a refund. Ultimately, the focus of a company’s customer service department is to assist customers through their buying lifecycle, ensure customer care and satisfaction are at the forefront. 

That might sound like customer support, but it’s not.

Here’s why.

What is customer support?

Customer support is a more narrowly defined aspect of the customer experience and handling technical problems.  Customer support agents typically have deeper technical know-how.

However, customer support can even be automated by bots attempting to help customers in today’s modern age. Whether you use people or bots, the goal of customer support is to offer technical support to help solve customers’ issues.

Customer service vs customer support: How do they compare?

Customer support and customer service have similar goals, and that’s where much of the confusion lies. However, the main difference between customer support and customer service is that customer support is reactive, while customer service is proactive.

Because of this, the type of person required to work in customer service and customer support also differs. 

As you can read from the table below, customer service agents will require different soft skills and use essential software to complete their roles. Customer support reps will need more problem-solving skills combined with knowledge of more technical software solutions.

A breakdown of customer service vs customer support

Let’s take a look at several differences between customer service and customer support.

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