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What Is the Difference Between Customer Service and Tech Support

With an increase in technology-based businesses, it’s more beneficial than ever to know about customer service and technical support. Good customer service and tech support contribute to the success of a business by fostering customer loyalty and keeping customers happy. While both share the goal of providing excellent customer service, there are differences between the two. Here are some of the differences between customer service and technical support:

Type of Problems Solved

Customer service deals with client inquiries and complaints to build rapport, resolve issues, and improve the customer experience. Some of the issues customer service representatives deal with include:

  • Billing
  • Cancellations
  • Changes of service
  • General inquiries
  • Returns
  • Refunds

Your customers may not be tech-savvy, so when technical problems arise, the tech support staff help them troubleshoot. They are responsible for resolving more complex technical issues for customers, including:

  • Troubleshooting software issues
  • Configuring technical equipment
  • Setting up new devices
  • Answering questions about technical specifications
  • Resolving network connectivity problems.

Tools Used

Customer service representatives use a customer relationship management (CRM) system to track buyer interactions, handle tickets, and resolve issues. A CRM system gives customer service reps a 360-degree view of the customer, allowing them to provide better service.

Under tech support, the staff uses tools like remote desktop software and help desk software to resolve technical issues. They also use a knowledge base to find solutions to common technical problems.

Communication tools used by customer service representatives and tech support staff are different. Customer service reps communicate with customers via phone, email, and live chat, while tech support staff mainly use video chat, remote desktop sharing, and screen-sharing software. 

Salary Differences Between Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support staff earns more than customer service representatives, especially in companies that rely heavily on technology to run their operations. The median annual salary for customer service representatives was $32,890 in 2016, while the median yearly wage for tech support specialists was $52,160. The difference in salary is due to the difference in skills and experience required for each role.

The Level of Expertise and Skills Required

A basic understanding of the company’s products or services is usually sufficient for customer service reps to do their job effectively. The skills required for customer service include active listening, empathic understanding, conflict resolution, and problem-solving. They need strong people skills to deal with angry customers and diffuse difficult situations. One must be patient and can empathize with customers.

Technical support staff needs strong technical skills and can quickly resolve technical issues. The skills required for tech support include analytical thinking, complex problem solving, multitasking, and detailed oriented thinking. They must have extensive knowledge about the inner workings of the systems they are troubleshooting. As they explain technical concepts to customers, they do so in layman’s terms for customers to understand.

The Goal of the Roles

Customer service aims to build customer rapport and create a positive customer experience. They resolve customer complaints and issues efficiently and provide helpful information about the company’s products and services.

The goal of tech support is to resolve technical issues for customers quickly. They work to find permanent solutions to technical problems for customers to get back to using the product or service as intended. This may involve working with the product development team to find and fix software bugs.

Hire the Right Support For Your Needs

Both technical support and customer service contribute to a company’s success by providing different but equally beneficial services. A tech support specialist offers the expertise to resolve technical issues, while customer service representatives handle customer inquiries and provide basic assistance. Consider your company’s needs and hire the right support to promote the success of your business.

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