Customer support is important to the success of any business. It can be the difference between a satisfied customer who will continue to use your product or service, and an unhappy customer who will take their business elsewhere.

There are many different types of customer support, but not all businesses need all of them.

The five main channels of customer support are phone support, email support, live chat support, social media support, and self-service support.

As a small business owner myself, I know how important it is to provide excellent customer service. I’ve had to use all five of these methods at one time or another to resolve issues for my customers. In some cases, one method works better than others depending on the issue at hand. But ultimately what’s most important is that you’re responsive to your customers’ needs and that you work diligently until their issue is resolved satisfactorily

What is Customer Support?

Customer support is the process of assisting customers who are experiencing problems with a company’s products or services.

This can involve customer service representatives responding to customer inquiries through various channels such as phone, email, or chat.

It can also involve more complex activities such as troubleshooting technical issues or managing customer complaints.

1960s: The Establishment of the Call Center

The first modern customer service center was established in the early 1960s.

With the advancement of technology and the growth of businesses, companies have moved from in-person communication to phone calls as their primary method of engaging with customers.


Until the early 1990s, phone support for customers was the most common form of providing customer support. This was until 1994 when the first-ever “customer service week” was held, marking the beginning of many businesses moving their customer communication to email.

Customers prefer using email and chat to contact companies, as these methods are more cost-efficient and more efficient than phone calls.


2000s: The Birth of Support Specific Software

Support technology has come a long way since the turn of the millennium. From help desks to ticket systems, companies have invented their own solutions to help customers.

The rise of social media, cloud computing, and AI has revolutionized the way support teams provide service. Now, instead of simply providing technical support, they’re able to provide a more holistic and personalized service that fosters trust between customers and the brand.


Today: Creating Personalized, Omnichannel Customer Experiences

Now, customers have the power to research and compare you to your top competitors. It has never been easier for them to switch to your rival.

The gold standard in customer experience has been set by the best companies in the world – customers want convenience, speed, and efficiency over everything else. And these companies are already providing it.

As customer service continues to change, it’s becoming more and more important to provide a seamless customer experience. Today’s customers expect great customer service, and if you don’t provide it, they’ll go somewhere else.


What are the Types of Customer Support?

Companies use different methods to provide customer support, though they may call them different things. They are reactive support, proactive support, and self-service.

Reactive Customer Support

This is what most people think of when they hear the word “support”.

Having someone available to answer customer questions is key to keeping people satisfied. This can be accomplished through a variety of methods, including email, phone, or social media.

Proactive Support

Proactive customer support means that you are actively trying to resolve an issue before the customer has to contact you. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but moving towards more proactive approaches will help your customers.

If customers are looking for assistance with their account, the proactive approach of using a knowledgebase or self-help tools can give them the answer they need. If they choose to wait for a reactive response, they will be told what to do.

By proactively addressing customer concerns, you can improve satisfaction and reduce the likelihood of them churning.

By proactively offering your customers resources, such as manuals, guides, and tutorials, you can reduce the number of customer support requests you receive. This, in turn, will reduce the amount of time it takes to resolve a customer’s issue.

By being proactive and reaching out to customers before they have an issue, you can resolve their issues faster. This reduces your customer support workload and frees up time to focus on other tasks.

Take note of the types of emails you receive: What kinds of questions do people have? What problems are they having?

By understanding the issues that customers are facing, you can take proactive steps to reach out and address them before they even have a chance to contact you. This way, you can provide better customer support and keep people happy with your product or service.

If you know that customers often ask certain questions about your product or service around three months in, you can automate an email, push, or SMS message to them before that time frame to preemptively answer their questions. The text support method can sometimes be more effective and quicker than a call or an email.


Any situation where customers can resolve their own problems or questions without the help of your support staff is called self-service.

If you have a product or service, you can post videos, ebooks, or manuals online for customers to access. This eliminates the need for your customers to contact you for this information.

How Do You Enable Proactive Support and Self-Service?

Both a proactive approach to customer service and a successfully implemented self-help strategy rely on one key factor – understanding your customers.

By studying your customer’s behavior, you can start to see which events often trigger the need for customer service. By being proactive and reaching out before a ticket is even raised, you can provide great customer service that will result in customer retention.

The ultimate goal of this tactic is to retain customers by treating them right.

Customer Support vs. Customer Service

While customer services and customer support may seem like the same job, there are some notable differences between the two.

Customer Support to the Rescue

Customer support offers a solution to an inquiry sent by the customer.

A customer support agent must fully understand and solve problems that customers may have. This includes troubleshooting and providing an effective solution within the Service Level Agreement (SLA) and following up to ensure the customer’s needs were met.

Customer Service for the Long Term

A customer service rep is responsible for providing customer support to every customer, regardless of where they are in the customer life cycle.

A customer service representative is always willing to go the extra mile to help a customer get the most out of a product or service. By proactively interacting with customers, CSRs ensure customer satisfaction and build long-term relationships.

A customer service rep is a person who handles your issues, questions, and complaints. They do this by listening to you and using their technical skills and interpersonal abilities. Their goal is to improve your experience with the product and keep you as a loyal client.

Customer support is an integral part of customer service.

While customer support is time-bound, customer service is continuous and is geared towards serving and assisting customers.

How Do You Measure Customer Support and Why?

It’s important to measure the success of your interactions with customers so that you can tweak your strategy as and when your business grows.

Here are a few ways to measure the success of your customer support team.

First Contact Resolution (FCR): FCR is when a support rep resolves a customer’s issue or question on the first interaction. It ensures that your support team answers every single question a customer has in your email, and any follow-up questions they might have.

First Response Time (FRT): FTR is the time it takes a customer service rep to reply to an inquiry. This shows if an agent is overwhelmed because customers may be submitting a lot of tickets for the same issue. If a rep’s FRT has suddenly increased, they likely might have too many customers to handle.

Number of responses to resolution: It’s important to measure how many support tickets it takes for your team to resolve an issue. While there may be times when customers need more complex assistance, a rise in this KPI can indicate an issue. For instance, if agents are unable to find the answers they need, or if there are technical difficulties that are causing the team to be unproductive.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT): Customer satisfaction is a measurement of how satisfied your customers are with your product or service. CSAT is important because it tells you whether or not your customers are happy, satisfied, and loyal to you, or if they think you should not be trusted.

Service Level Agreement (SLA): The Service Level Agreement is how long you promise your customers that you’ll respond to their queries. This lets customers know when they can expect to hear back from you and gives them a time frame for prioritizing their requests.

The Future of Customer Support

Customer service is constantly evolving, and new technologies are being developed all the time. We’re excited to see what the future has in store for customer service.

Here are some of the cool things you can expect from customer support in the future.

Data Analytics in Customer Support

Companies that focus on data analytics and big data are becoming more and more popular in customer support.

Using data, support teams can better tailor their customer’s experience. For instance, they can improve the onboarding process for new clients, provide a better experience for chat clients, and customize products based on customer feedback.

The days of reactive customer support are coming to an end.

Self-Service is Only Going to Grow

As customer support needs continue to evolve, we anticipate that self-service will play an increasingly important role. This could take the form of FAQs and other documentation for customers to reference, or public forums and communities where customers can help each other. Either way, self-service is a trend that’s here to stay.

Chatbots and AI

As artificial intelligence continues to grow, more tools will become available that leverage this technology. While many people associate it with bots, it’s much more than that. Social signals are just one example of how they can be utilized.

This new technology will revolutionize the way sales are made.

Automating Repetitive Tasks With Machine Learning

How can customer service teams learn what can be automated before they actually need it?

ML is entering the world of automation and will be hugely influential in chatbot development.

Customer Experience at the Heart of Your Strategy

No matter what channel customers use to provide feedback, they should always be able to seamlessly move between platforms. By keeping the customer’s experience at the center of your communication, you can ensure that their experience is consistent and seamless.

Your customers’ experience should be as seamless and as personalized as you can make it.

Customer service teams who focus on the customer’s experience will soon be the norm. Those companies that put customers at the heart of their strategies will provide seamless and personalized service.

Messaging-first support

Today’s customers expect instant responses, and they expect those responses to happen immediately.

As high-speed internet becomes more prevalent, more companies will offer customer support through social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, as opposed to over the phone. This will enable customers to more quickly get the assistance that they need.

What Does Customer Support Mean?

Customer support is the process of assisting customers who are experiencing problems with a company’s products or services. This can include anything from answering questions about how to use a product, to troubleshooting technical issues, to providing refunds or replacements for defective items. Good customer support is essential for maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What is the Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Support?

Customer service is the provision of service to customers before, during, and after a purchase. Customer support is the provision of service to customers after a purchase has been made.

What are the Types of Customer Support?

There are three types of customer support: technical support, product support, and service support. Technical support is responsible for assisting with technical issues. Product support is responsible for assisting with product-related issues. Service support is responsible for assisting with service-related issues.


Customer support is important to the success of any business. As a small business owner myself, I know how important it is to provide excellent customer service. In some cases, one method works better than others depending on the issue at hand. But ultimately what’s most important is that you’re responsive to your customers’ needs and that you work diligently until their issue is resolved.

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Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
This post was generated for LeadFuze and attributed to Justin McGill, the Founder of LeadFuze.