Customer service has become one of the most vital parts of any company. For the past few years, customers have started trusting brands instead of purchasing their products. The more a customer depends on a brand, the more likely they will return to buy more products.
If you are part of a start-up or an eCommerce business, chances are you have a ramp up in customer service calls this holiday season. Either to congratulate you for your products or to deal with a bit of buyer's remorse, your customer service team needs to be empathic this season.
In this article, you will learn the differences between customer service and help desks. If your business does not have a particular department or group of employees to deal with this type of call, this article will serve you as a guide. Keep in mind your budget at all times, and here are the differences between customer support and help desks.
Let's start with the easy one first. Customer service is a link between your company and your clients. Your customer service team takes care of any of your customer queries. They are trained to resolve problems quickly and in a proper manner. They can also provide benefits to loyal customers and engage with regular customers to convert them into loyal clientele. Some of their most common tasks are:
Shipping and delays solutions
Provide company information
Provide product/service information
Process orders and transactions
Handle customer complaints
Respond to customer reviews
Track customer service KPIs
Before diving into help desks, you must first understand another term often misplaced with customer service. That term is customer success.
Customer success focuses on doing everything in its power to ensure that every interaction between the company and its clients is effective and provides the right solutions. To better understand the difference between these two aspects, we can use a metaphor.
Customer service is the first line of defense between your business and your customers. They will solve all the customers' problems until they encounter an issue that surpasses traditional means. In this instance, the call escalates and is transferred to the customer success department. After listening to the customer's case, they can manage channels internally to solve the customer's problem.
Think of it this way, customer success is a department that exists to ensure all of the customers' issues are being resolved through the customer service department, and if they cannot solve it, customer success will take the task themselves.
Now that the definition of customer service is complete, we can move on to help desks. Help desks are a single point of contact where employees and customers can contact a company for support. Its primary goal is to resolve any issues, customer or employee-related, in the fastest way possible. Here are a few examples of what help desks regularly do:
Solves IT-related customer and employee issues
Provide software and hardware solutions
Offers information about products and services
Schedules technicians and field experts for repair work
Upgrades hardware and software applications
As you can see from the tasks above, help desks are related to IT more than helping customers with purchase-related issues. In addition, most help desks have limited forms of communication, such as chat, email, or direct messages through social media. In contrast, customer service offers a wide array of communication forms through several platforms.
Moreover, help desks are divided into two types, internal and external. An internal help desk does not have contact with the customer. It only solves employee and company issues, such as installing software or providing help with accounts and passwords. In comparison, an external desk helps customers, and it is more closely aligned with customer support.
Moreover, a help desk is tied with IT companies or big retailers. They are available almost 24/7, and most of the problems they will solve can be dealt with remotely.
Customer Service vs. Help Desks
Here's an example to better understand the difference between customer service and help desks. If you are having trouble with a product you bought in a brick-and-mortar store, you usually have two options: go back to the store or call the company's phone number.
After an agent takes your call, you will have to provide general information about you, your product, and the store you purchased it from. From there, the business's representative will do everything in their power to solve your problem.
Whether it is exchanging the product or providing a refund, the rep will solve your problem in a matter of minutes. This process belongs to customer service.
Following the same example, let's say you bought a high-tech article, like a laptop. When you purchased the item at the store, the clerk told you that if you had any problem, you should contact the product's manufacturer since the store does not have a guarantee for the product.
After opening the webpage, you will have to go through a chatbot that will ask general questions about your product. After you answer the chatbot's inquiries, the bot will channel you to the right person to help with your problem. The representative will generate a ticket and let you know how the process goes in the next few hours.
Although the solution will most likely be an exchange, they will only offer a few solutions to your problem. This process belongs to a help desk.
Customer Service or Help Desks?
A company's first priority should be its customers. You will need to study your target audience to see which of these two options fits better into your business model. On the one hand, customer service is a perfect way to engage with several customers at once and create loyalty so they can buy more of your products. On the other hand, help desks can help your customers and employees fix any issues they present at any given time without providing any extra benefits.
In conclusion, customer service and help desks have some similarities, but they are vastly different in how they operate in the industry and with customers. It is also important to mention that some companies have an internal help desk to assist customer service representatives in doing their job more efficiently. It is a matter of choice.