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Businesses around the world are rushing in to please the audience in the market. Everybody wants to follow the ‘customer first’ approach. Businesses have incorporated constant practices like customer care and customer services in order to enhance their customer experience and increase customer loyalty along the way of business. Ever since the market has been demanding, companies have gone to all extents to acquire customers and retain them.
Although, the above processes are really beneficial for a business that thoroughly understands the similarities and differences between customer service and customer care, and how both of them are related to the overall customer experience of the brand. Customer service refers to advice or assistance a company provides its customers, whereas customer care refers to how well the customers are cared for while interacting with the brand.
In this article, we will have a deeper look into the similarities and differences between customer service and customer care to help you better understand the importance of both and draw a line to enhance them individually.
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Customer service can be defined as assistive practices and solutions provided by the company to its customers. These practices or operations are designed to solve common customer problems or support like helping customers get familiar with the brand products/services, making smart purchase choices or assisting throughout the product once the customer has bought it. Customer service is a practical help that the company offers its customers whenever they might need it in the form of product demos or tutorials, returns or purchases which help make customer experiences better.
The main motive of the customer service team is to increase customer satisfaction by answering customer questions and providing them with all means of support, which usually occurs after the product purchase has been made. In general, customer service is always with the customer through all phases of their journeys.
Customer care focuses more on improving the quality of interactions between customers and the business. Customer care works on empathizing with the customers and making each one of them feel important and valuable in the company’s eyes. Activities in customer care areas can be responding personally to a blog or a social media post, providing assistance beyond how much it was needed, listening and responding to customer feedback with appropriate actions.
The customer care field goes beyond just tracking the motion and making a sale, to understanding the customers and building an emotional connection with them. It focuses on knowing what the customers need and finding the solutions to their problems. In simple words, customer care manages how well customers are treated while they are having an interaction with the company. It is an integral part of customer service which needs to be taken care of before, during and after the purchase is made.
We will now discuss the similarities between both customer service and customer care, which makes the line between them almost blur. But it is just as important to know the similarities as it is to know their differences.
As said earlier, both customer service and customer care work hand-in-hand to make your company’s customer experience. Customers while interacting with the brand always want to be assisted right and on time without any delays and ignorance. At the same time, customers also appreciate it when they are being treated with care and empathy in this process.
Both the factors together define how happy or sad your customers are with your brand.
With better customer service and customer care in place it will help you treat your customer with utmost priority. This ultimately makes customer satisfaction better. They feel connected to the company by feeling someone important and valued while interacting with your brand.
At the same time, with good customer satisfaction, you can get the loyalty of your customer which turns most of them into promoters of your brand. Customers feel free to mention your name to their circle, which is like free advertising your brand can benefit a lot from.
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Customer service and customer care both stay with the customers through the beginning to the end of their purchase journey. Customer service can provide assistance right from the stage where a customer is deciding which product to purchase, customer service executives can assist them in giving the information of the products and helping them make a smart choice. While the customer is making a purchase, the same executives can guide them through the process and offers they can redeem along the way, which ends with the life-long companionship with customers to help them through the post-purchase product assistance.
During all these phases, customer care guidelines tell the executives and staff about how to behave with different types of customers with empathy and compassion. A sale is always a two way road, with customers and the brand going hand-in-hand to make lives better.
While there is a rat race in the market over who provides the best service, the best customer service and customer care policies and practices can help you retain your customers and prevent them from switching to competitors.
Studies have proven that acquiring new customers is 5%-25% more expensive than retaining the existing ones. With customer service and customer care in place, it is easier that both go together to deal with customers and their problems while keeping in mind that they are the top priority.
Bothe customer service and care have two approaches when it comes to reaching out to the customers. The first approach is proactive response, where the customer first decides to reach out to the brand for help and the team provides assistance in return. Another approach is reactive response where the customer service and care team themselves reach out to the customer before any issue occurs to check-in with their progress.
Both the approaches can be used by a brand depending on the situation and strategies planned for customer experience.
Now that we are clear on the individual definitions and similarities between customer service and customer care, it is time to move forward to the main discussion of how those two differ from each other.
Although both customer service and care work towards enhancing customer experience through providing better customer satisfaction, customer care is more prone to gain customer loyalty for your brand. How? Well, any customer who is made to feel important and valued at a brand is more likely to stay loyal to the brand and have less chances of turning to other products/services provided by the competitors in the market.
Businesses practice using different metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for both customer service and customer care. Customer service is measured in a quantitative way depending on how many customer queries or issues are successfully resolved by each customer service agent.
Whereas for customer care, the measurement is more qualitative and descriptive. It is measured by asking customers to evaluate their interaction with the agent and how they were treated. Example, a company might ask customers how easy or difficult their purchase experience is. And at the end of the journey, they can be asked about what they liked or disliked about the whole process.
Although both customer service and care handle customers with their individual problems and solutions, they both offer personal treatment. But customer care always focuses on giving attention to the customers personally. It focuses on treating each customer and making them feel they are being heard. This customization in care can make your customer feel valued and important.
Customer service has its team who are trained and educated in how to solve customer problems and issues. Businesses establish this team within their company whose whole and sole motive is to look after customer help and provide them with the right solution like helping them make a smart purchase, guiding them through the purchase process and keeping up with post-purchase product assistance.
Whereas with customer care, it acts as a policy which is incorporated by any department such as sales and marketing, who is directly or indirectly interacting with the customer. All the employees within the company are entitled to the customer care policy defined for the organization.
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Customer service’s job is to be with the customers for typically short-term. This phase usually occurs when the customer makes contact with the brand coming in with a query or problem, and ends when that problem is resolved. Customer service has to provide assistance to the customer for shorter periods of time, but still, it is a never-ending job.
When it comes to customer care, it is focused on serving a long-term goal. The goal is to treat customers with priority, empathy and care no matter what the interaction is about. Customer care is a responsibility that needs to be carried out by every employee, every day while doing the business.
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