The first thing that you must understand is that there is no such thing as a customer support which can be done after a product has been sold to the end user. Customer support is merely an umbrella phrase; customer support would also include administrative support. Customer support, in essence, is the assistance provided by companies that are directly involved with selling the products to the end user. Customer support thus encompasses technical support, e-commerce support, telephonic support and data recovery. The extent of support given depends upon the extent to which the company wishes to involve itself in the selling process.
Looking at it on the face value, the only difference between customer support and customer care is that one is not offered to the end users whereas the other is. Customer support comes into play only when a problem occurs after the sale of the product. On the first glance, it would appear that there is no difference between the two. However, the difference in approach and the manner in which the support is offered varies greatly between the two. When you look closely at the functioning of these processes, you would realize that the difference between the two lies in the manner in which the support is offered.
The first difference is in the way customer support services are offered. While offering direct support to the end users, the organization tends to spend a large chunk of money on this. On the face value, it seems that customer services are cost-effective. However, the hidden cost of such services comes into play. In short, by offering such poor quality services, you are in fact costing your organization more money.
Secondly, customer support teams tend to look at things from a macro point of view. They try to analyze the business problems of each customer separately. While this might be okay in some cases, it does not work in most cases. When you are dealing with complex organizations, where different departments have to coordinate with each other, you cannot expect customer service teams to understand every possible situation. By treating each customer separately, the organization will miss out on valuable opportunities.
The third difference between customer support and terms customer service is the manner in which both are offered. When you talk about terms of customer support, you are actually talking about the way the support is offered. In terms of direct support, the service provider is supposed to provide advice or assistance to the customer. On the other hand, in terms of management of the problem, the customer is actually responsible for finding a solution to the problem. Therefore, both direct and management customer support often lead to the same result – solutions are provided.
To sum up, both customer support and terms of customer service are relevant, though customer success is more important in the former. It shows that an organization has succeeded in providing customers what they want and need, by providing answers, solutions and helping customers to succeed. It also emphasizes the importance of managing the problems facing customers.