Customer service has been defined in many ways by many people but essentially it is the provision of professional , helpful, high quality, services and assistance to customers before, during and after a purchase.  Customer support on the other hand involves a range of customer services aimed at assisting the customer in making smarter decisions like, what and how to buy, the effective use of a product, , installation guide, planning, maintain ante, troubleshooting and disposal of the product. When these support services are carried out at the customers end , where he/she uses the product or service it is called “at home customer support” . Technical support involves the provision of support with respect to technology products such as mobile phones, television, computers, software products, or other electronic or mechanical goods.

Customer service is provided in different ways to customers but three broad channels stand out, they are:

1. By person. This employs the use of people to carry out specific duties aimed at customer service. Example the customer service rep you see in the bank, the sales rep of an organization. Organizations that care about their brand and its perception put in a lot of resources  into training their customer service representatives. Though costly, it brings great rewards for the organizations.

2. Automated means. The automated means of customer service increases an organizations ability to provide service 24 – hours a day which compliments customer service by person. Examples include Internet sites and touch-tone phones. With this method, customer service Reps are able to meet the needs of an increased number of customers.

3. Artificial means. Customer service provided by artificial means are done through the use of automated online assistants that can be seen as Avatars on websites. This method is effective in reducing the operating and training costs of organizations but it lacks the personal experience of deal with a real person. Automated online assistants are are driven by chatterbots and a technology that runs natural language processing.

So now, you know the three means of providing customer service. Have you been served through  any of these means?  Or through all of them? What  means of providing customer service do you prefer the most?

Written by: Lazine Ezinne. (Financial Services expert)

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