Customer Support

Updated on March 26, 2024
Article byShrestha Ghosal
Edited byShrestha Ghosal
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

What Is Customer Support?

Customer support is a business function that focuses on interacting with customers and handling their issues and queries related to a specific product or service. This activity can appear at several levels, including before, during, and after the purchasing process. It is crucial for maintaining a brand or company’s reputation.

Customer Support

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This support can be provided to customers through various mediums. It emphasizes clear communication and makes the business accessible to its target audience and existing customers. Customers who can easily reach out to the company with their queries and get effective resolutions are likely to enhance the company’s growth.

Key Takeaways

  • Customer support is a business activity centered around connecting with customers and managing their concerns and queries regarding a particular product or service.
  • It highlights effective communication and increases the company’s accessibility to its target audience and existing consumers.
  • This process can be carried out through several communication channels, including company websites, phones, texts, emails, social media sites, and live chats.
  • It is a crucial process that helps a business interact with its customers and gain meaningful insights from them.

Customer Support Explained

Customer support is a business process that entails addressing the questions and concerns that customers have with a product or service. A business generates customer satisfaction by being accessible to its consumers at all levels of the purchasing process. A customer may reach out for help after, before, and during the purchase.

The support system focuses on effective communication and problem-solving strategies. A company’s support team is responsible for handling a consumer’s questions and complaints. The team must also create a positive customer experience so that the existing buyers convert into a loyal consumer base.

The customer support process helps the business connect with its target audience and preexisting consumers. A positive user experience is beneficial for increasing sales and enhances the company’s reputation in the marketplace. Consequently, it contributes to the overall growth and success of the company.

Channels

Some customer support operations channels include the following:

  1. Phone: Businesses can provide support to their customers through customer support tools like phone calls. Customers reach out to the companies through their support teams’ dedicated phone numbers.
  2. Email: The companies can be accessible to the customers for assistance through emails. Customers can send their questions and queries to the universal inbox, where the support team can offer resolutions.
  3. Live Chat: Live chats may help companies connect with their customers in real time through instant messages and discussion forums.
  4. Social Media: Social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook make businesses more accessible to their customers. Consumers can reach out to the companies through social media to resolve their issues.
  5. FAQs: Businesses can offer solutions and support to their customers through a FAQ base. They may regularly update the FAQ content so that the solutions stay relevant to the products and services offered.

Examples

Let us go through the following examples to understand customer support:

Example #1

Suppose Jim ordered food from a food delivery app named Zingg. His estimated delivery time was shown as 1 pm. However, his food was not delivered by 1.15 pm. He tried to reach out to the delivery personnel but could not connect with him. So, he went to the application’s support page and connected with the support team through chats. The agent who interacted with Jim asked him for confirmation of the details of the order. Then, the agent asked Jim to wait while he tried to connect with the delivery person. When the delivery personnel was still unresponsive, the agent offered Jim a full refund for his order and issued a coupon as a token of apology.

Example #2

As reported by MacRumors, Apple has ceased to assist its customers on the social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter). When customers attempt to send a direct message to the Apple Support account on the platform, it informs them to visit the company website’s support page. It also provides a link to the general support page that customers can follow. The company has also stopped providing support to customers who tag the company in their posts. Moreover, the company has stopped interacting with customers in the comments section of its YouTube videos.

Importance

The importance of customer support is as follows:

  1. This business function is instrumental in increasing the sales of a product or service. An effective support system helps attract new customers as it becomes easier for the customer to gain insights about the product. Thus, it helps in driving sales and revenue growth.
  2. Retaining existing customers is a crucial aspect of the growth of a business. If a business offers easy and accessible support, the existing customers will be more satisfied and are more likely to become loyal customers.
  3. The process helps businesses enhance the products and services they offer. As the agents interact with customers, they get authentic information about how a product is performing in the market. The business can gather this data to enhance the quality of their offerings and provide customized products to meet their consumers’ specific needs.
  4. The management can use customer support tools to make better business decisions. The data collected can reflect how the support team is operating. The management can use several customer support metrics and indicators to analyze and enhance the performance of the support team.

Customer Support vs Customer Service vs Technical Support

The differences between the three are as follows:

Customer Support

  1. It is a process through which businesses provide assistance to their customers and resolve their issues related to a product or service.
  2. This support helps in building customer trust and satisfaction. It focuses on retaining existing customers and attracting new ones.
  3. The support agent is responsible for providing an enhanced user experience to the customers.

Customer Service

  1. Customer service is a function that helps enhance the interaction between a business and its customers throughout the whole purchasing process.
  2. It focuses on providing a satisfactory experience to the customer through effective communication practices.
  3. It is present at every level of purchase, and the employees who might encounter customer interaction are trained in customer service.

Technical Support

  1. Technical support service is the support a business provides to its customers who need assistance with a technical issue.
  2. It may involve support associated with a technical product or service. It may also involve a hardware appliance or software instrument.
  3. The technical support team includes staff who possess a high skill set and familiarity with the product or service.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is a customer support specialist?

This is a professional who interacts directly with the customers and offers to resolve their queries and issues. The business role requires individuals to handle questions, respond to comments, and offer resolutions to customer complaints. The support specialist ensures that the customer has a positive experience if they face any issues related to a particular product or service. They are instrumental in enhancing the brand image, which contributes to the growth of the business.

2. Will customer support be replaced by AI?

No, Artificial Intelligence (AI) cannot entirely replace this role. It may decrease the number of staff required by making the system more efficient. AI can eliminate the business roles that are repetitive or automated. However, this role requires employees to be empathetic towards the customers and offer a touch of humanness, which AI cannot provide.

3. What are the skills of customer support?

There are several skills that a professional requires for this role, including interpersonal skills. The individual must be able to clearly communicate with the customers and form professional connections with them. They must practice empathy and demonstrate time management skills. They must also be a good listener. Additionally, they must have adequate product knowledge.

This has been a guide to what is Customer Support. We compare it with customer service and technical support, & explain its examples, channels, & importance. You can learn more about financing from the following articles –

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