Technical Support and Customer Service.
These two terms are usually confused and lumped together. Some people go as far as using them interchangeably.
However, these two terms could not be more different. Knowing the difference between these terms could help you improve your support strategies.
For a broad explanation, Customer service focuses on the customer experience and interactions. Technical support focuses more on fixing technical issues that the customer has.
But let’s break down their definitions and discuss the difference between technical support and customer service.
What’s Technical Support?
Technical Support refers to the assistance that is provided to a user who requires helps with a technical product or service, be it a hardware device or software tool.
As a result, technical support is not usually provided to every single one of your customers, but only to the ones that request it.
Generally, Technical Support representatives are also highly skilled and trained to understand the ins and outs of hardware and software products. The more complex the product or service that a business might offer is, the higher the skill requirement for Technical Supports rep will be as well.
What’s Customer Service?
Customer Service is a set of practices that seek to improve the interactions between your customers and your business through the entire purchasing process, from pre-purchase to post-purchase.
Customer Service is present in every single touchpoint between every single customer and the business. As a result, Customer Service best practices are usually taught across all staff that might have an interaction with a customer at any point.
The end goal of Customer Service is to guarantee a smooth and pleasant interaction between the customer and business.
What’s the Difference between Technical Support vs Customer Service?
Now that you know the definition of both terms, let’s see how they are different.
Technical Support refers to assistance that is provided to customers who require help with technical products such as hardware and software.
On the other hand, Customer Service is a set of practices that seek to guarantee that every single interaction between a customer and a business is pleasant to the customer.
The common confusion between these two terms stems from the fact that Technical Support reps will need good Customer Service skills to excel at their job.
However, that’s not exclusive to them. Any staff that would have direct interactions with customers will need good Customer Service skills as well. This includes sales staff, customer support staff, cashiers and marketers.
In a way, you could say that offering Technical Support to your customers would be part of your overall Customer Service strategy.
What about Customer Support?
“Wait, you just mentioned customer support, what is that?”
Good catch! Customer Support is another term that is also often confused with Customer Service and Techincal Support.
We’ve actually written an entire article breaking down the difference between Customer Service and Customer Support.
But let’s break down the difference between Customer Support and Technical Support.
Customer support vs Technical Support
As we already discussed, Technical Support assists customers who might run into issues with technical products or services.
On the other hand, Customer Support seeks to assist customers who require help with any kind of issue, including non-technical. This might include finding the right product, making a special purchase, updating their payment method, etc.
Look at it this way, Technical Support is a kind of Customer Support that can be offered to customers.
However, not every business that offers Customer Support will offer Technical Support. For example, a store that sells t-shirts does not need to offer hardware or software support to their customers but will want to assist them in other areas regarding to their purchase.
Now you know the difference between all these different terms!
Why not go even further down the rabbit hole? Read our article on the difference between Customer Support and Customer Success.