What is Customer Support? Definition, Examples and job description

What is Customer Support? Definition, Examples and job description

What is customer support?

How does it differ from other customer-focused concepts?

Today, we’ll break down the basics of customer support and its definition.

What is Customer Support?

Customer Support refers to a set of practices and procedures that seek to assist customers who require special assistance. They might have questions about your product or business or be running into a product or service issue.

81% of customers will attempt to take care of matters themselves before reaching out to a live representative. However, when they can't solve any issues, you have to make sure that your provide them with the resources that they can.

Customer Support can happen via multiple channels including in-person, over the phone, email or live chat. After all, the goal is to help your customers whenever they need it.

Customer Support is often mixed up with other terms such as Customer Service and Customer Success. We will break down these topics in order to reveal how different Customer Support is from them.

What's the role of customer Support?

The main role for customer support is to assist customers with technical problems when using the company's product or services. However, it's important that your customer support team gives great customer service as your customer will associate your brand with bad or poor customer service.

Customer support job description

Customer support is a position that can apply to many different industries.

They administer customer support services by working with customers to resolve issues and solve problems related to the company products or services they are offering.

Customer service is often done in either a call center, through email or live chat. Customer support representatives also assist with marketing efforts by providing details about the product or service for promotional purposes.

Customer support consists of four basic components:

  • empathetic listening
  • gathering information
  • developing rapport
  • problem-solving.

Customer support representatives must have excellent communication skills which involve:

  • speaking
  • listening
  • writing and reading
  • excellent customer service skills
  • problem-solving skills
  • and the ability to remain calm.

Customer support representatives must be able to work in a team environment, even when working alone or remotely. Customer support jobs are available in many different fields, including retail, finance, insurance, healthcare and social media.

Customer Support vs Customer Service

Customer Support and Customer Service are commonly mixed up. However, they are quite different.

Customer Service refers to a set of practices and procedures that aim to improve all the interaction between a business and its customers.

Customer service starts once a customer becomes interested in your business and ends months or years after they’ve made their last purchase. It is an ongoing effort to improve the experience of your customers with your business.

As you can see, while only some customers will require Customer Support, all your customers will experience Customer Service.

The reason why these terms are often confused is because providing Customer Support requires Customer Service skills.

Want to learn more about these terms? Read our article on the differences between customer support and customer service.

Customer Support vs Customer Service

Customer Support vs Customer Success

Customer Success is also often mixed up with Customer Support.

However, Customer Success and Customer Support are quite different.

Customer Success is a set of practices and procedures that seek to help your customers with their own success. After all, their success is your success.

For example, let’s look at a company like Shopify. Shopify offers an e-commerce platform to its clients, as a result, their clients’ success makes them better and bigger clients.

With this in mind, Shopify engages in customer success strategies that seek to help their clients grow their business, improve their marketing, etc.

While this still counts as “helping the customer” it is not a reactive approach to their issues or concerns but a proactive approach to help with their success.

Want to learn more about these terms? Read our article on the differences between Customer Support and Customer Success.

Customer Support vs Customer Success

What's good customer support?

Customer Support is a pretty simple concept that can key to the success of your business. If you want to know more about Customer Support, check out our 10 Customer Support Best Practices for 2022.

Originally published April 20 , 2020, updated February 1, 2022