Inspiring the World

Eka Maulana, ST., MT., M.Eng

What is customer service? Definition, importance & tips

The ultimate guide to customer service: what it is, why it’s important, and tips for improving it.

Customer service can make or break a business. But not everyone agrees on what it is or how to do it well. In this guide, we’ll share how to set your business up for customer service success. Check out this call center guide.

The definition of customer service

Customer service is the act of supporting and advocating for customers in their discovery, use, optimization, and troubleshooting of a product or service. It’s also the processes that support the teams making good customer service happen. A successful customer service team is important for attracting new business, boosting retention, and increasing sales among your existing customer base.

The evolution of customer service

The main difference between service today and service 10 years ago is that customers expect premium service to be built-in from the first sales or marketing interaction and carry through to the moment they ask for help, post-purchase, and back again. To position themselves for success, businesses must integrate service into the journey at every interaction point.

The difference between customer service and customer support

 

There is a difference between customer support and customer service. It helps to think of customer support as the how, such as the nuts and bolts of troubleshooting an issue, and customer service as the why—why it’s recommended to set up your cloud account in a certain way or why today’s issue could balloon into a bigger issue in time if certain steps aren’t taken.

A customer support team can fix a technical issue in the short term, but providing good customer service helps build relationships and establish a true partnership in the long term. Adding the “why” into the support process improves the experience for customers, and it helps agents grow.

This may sound like a lot more than you thought. If so, you’re not alone. We’ve narrowed it down to a few key takeaways:

  1. Why is customer service important?
  2. Customer service examples
  3. Customer service tips
  4. Types of customer service
  5. Customer service skills
  6. Customer service objectives
  7. Customer service trends

Why is customer service important in business?

Customer service is now a key differentiator between companies, a top consideration for customers, and a profit-generating force in its own right.

And whether a company exceeds or falls short of customer expectations is often directly tied to business success. It’s a high-stakes game—61 percent of customers would now defect to a competitor after just one bad experience, according to Zendesk’s 2022 Customer Experience Trends Report. That’s a 22-percent jump from the previous year. Make it two negative experiences, and 76 percent of customers are out the door.

  • 64 percent of business leaders say that customer service has a positive impact on their company’s growth.
  • 60 percent say it improves customer retention.
  • 47 percent report an increase in their ability to cross-sell.
  • More than 60 percent of customers say they now have higher customer service standards.

 

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