What Is Customer Service? The Ultimate Guide

It is important to have good customer service because it helps the company succeed. You will grow your business faster by happy customers telling their friends and family, and referring people to your business, than by sales and marketing.

Wondering what good customer service looks like? Fear not. In this post, we’ll cover customer service 101.

What Is Customer Service?

In other words, customer service means being there for your customers when they need you, whether they need assistance using your product or have questions that need answers. This concept is about providing what customers need. Customer service comes in many forms, such as solving product installation issues, downloading software, and processing purchase returns.

A customer contacts a company to request help, ask a question, or lodge a complaint. The company’s customer service representative (or representatives) provide support, expertise, and assistance.

The quality of customer service is a major factor in a company’s success. Most Americans care about customer service when deciding whether or not to do business with a company.

So if you’re not careful, a few unhappy customers could end up costing you a lot of business.

If you think that excellent customer service is incompatible with customer success, you are mistaken. Providing customers with outstanding service is a essential part of helping them achieve success.

One of the biggest differences? Customer service typically involves responding to individual problems and troubleshooting, whereas customer success is proactive, involving outreach to customers to work on strategy and goal-setting. But more on that later.

Types of Customer Service

There are a few different ways companies can deliver customer service to customers — let’s dive into each:


Many organizations provide customer service primarily through phone interactions. The customer service hotline is a service offered by businesses to their customers in which they can call and speak to a customer service representative about any questions or concerns they may have. This is usually a toll-free number that the customer can call at any time. A recent study by Forrester found that phone-based customer service is becoming less popular, although it is still seen as the best way to resolve issues when compared to other channels such as email or web-based service.

Text Messages

While consumers expect brands to offer customer support over messaging channels, businesses are not equipped to reach customers via these channels.

People use messaging platforms like Facebook messenger and WhatsApp every day, so it makes sense for businesses to communicate with customers through those channels. Customers can get updates on their orders, reminders, surveys, coupons, and more.

GrubHub uses SMS messages to collect customer feedback about recent orders and its mobile app.


Many people still request and receive customer service through email, where it is possible to provide a human touch even though it is done over a computer. Email is the second most preferred way of customer service communication for all ages, likely because it saves time by letting people submit requests on their own schedule, without having to wait on hold. You will be provided with customer service email templates to send to cases in order to solve a variety of issues.

Zappos is popular for its excellent customer service, and this email is a great example of that. The rep is not able to respond to every customer query, but they are dedicated to providing good service and making the customer happy.


An increasing number of customers are finding that they can get the information they need by using DIY customer service methods, rather than having to wait for a response by email or phone. Almost 7 in 10 consumers try to resolve issues on their own.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are developing knowledge bases where they publish articles and videos that explain how to use products and services. This is in line with what customers prefer (touchless customer service) in order to minimize contact and prevent the spread of the virus.

HubSpot Academy has a lot of articles and videos explaining step-by-step processes for using HubSpot software. HubSpot Academy provides free certifications and training to learn about the inbound methodology and how to use the software for specific purposes.


Messaging channels have become increasingly popular over time as a way for customers to seek out service help. As social media platforms have become increasingly popular, businesses have begun to use them more frequently to distribute content and provide customer service to their audiences. With over 3 billion users worldwide, social media platforms have become a reliable and convenient way for businesses to reach their customers.

discussions can occur in many ways, for example text-based messaging (already mentioned), messaging apps, and also direct messaging on social media platforms (this will be explained further below).

At HubSpot, we use Facebook Messenger to distribute blog posts, but other businesses use these apps to make it easier for customers to make purchases and get help they need.

Social Media

An increasing number of businesses are communicating with customers via social media platforms.

Questions posed to businesses on social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram receive quick and easy responses. Additionally, businesses are allowed to be more personality-driven on social media. Some brands even create specific accounts for customer support.

Yelp Eat24 provides excellent customer service through Twitter while simultaneously making customers laugh.

Live Chat

People who have used customer service say that the worst part is having to wait a long time for a response. Live chat is a way to provide fast customer service without making people wait for an answer. An added benefit is that it can be operated by humans, bots, or a combination of the two.

Widgets that allow customers to chat with company representatives in real-time can be placed on company web pages to provide customer support that is more convenient for customers. Businesses turn to chatbots to operate them more affordably. For example, CenturyLink employed Conversica’s Angie to start communicating with new leads to save time for sales and customer service staff.

Customer Success vs Customer Service

Customer service is focused on responding to customer issues quickly and efficiently.

Customer success involves using customer data to identify potential problems and needs and addressing them before they occur.

What is the Difference Between Customer Success and Customer Service?

Customer service representatives primarily focus on providing immediate support to customers with specific issues. In contrast, customer success managers focus on long-term relationships with customers and on helping them get the most value from the product. Customer service focuses on fixing problems as they come up, while customer success is all about stopping problems before they happen and helping a company grow over the long term. It provides customers with value and helping them to achieve their goals.

Customer service is more in-the-moment and reactive. The goal is to identify specific problems and figure out the best way to solve them while providing customers with a positive experience. Ideally, when customers leave they will have had their problems solved and also have a more positive view of the organization.

Customer success, meanwhile, is about the big picture. This process entails utilizing customer data to formulate strategies that will assist your customers in achieving their business goals (which will subsequently help you achieve your own goals). The goal is to do this while also giving customers a great experience. The focus is on making sure your customers get the most value out of their investment in your products or services.

Both customer service and customer success are important in achieving positive outcomes and growth. How well they play together is even more important than their impact.

How Customer Success Supports Customer Service and Vice-Versa

Although they have different goals, neither customer success nor customer service can work well without the other’s help. data and insights will be lost if there is no clear communication between two people Since members of both teams will likely give contradictory answers or advice, the customer experience will suffer. This will cause confusion and frustration for customers.

When both teams are in harmony with each other, it creates a smooth flow of communication between employees and customers. This way, everyone is aware of the individual needs and challenges of each customer, and are able to be transparent and open with each other. This means that both teams will be working together to find the best ways to improve customer experience and achieve success.

Customer Service Responsibilities

The customer service team is responsible for informing the success team about any problems a customer may be experiencing, especially if the problem is ongoing or recurring. The right solution will provide your team with data that will give them insight without having to hold a lot of meetings. A more complete picture of the customer can be created by connecting all of your data streams.

They need to communicate not only the problem but also how they plan to fix it. The customer success team can use the information to improve their strategy and prevent the issue from happening again, or at least reduce the impact of the issue on the customer’s success.

Customer Success Responsibilities

The customer success team is responsible for giving the support team the background information they need to help customers solve their problems. By understanding what a customer is trying to achieve, customer support can provide solutions that are more likely to succeed.

If your teams can work together effectively, it will be beneficial for both them and your customers.

Communication is Key to Optimizing Service and Success

What can you do to ensure your customer success and customer service teams work together successfully? Focus on these steps:

Customer Success vs Customer Experience 

There is a focus on specific customer interactions and how easy it is for them to use your product when it comes to customer experience. It is important for customers to have a good experience using your product so that they will continue to use it and recommend it to others.

Customer success is focused on the customer journey as a whole and puts customer experience into the context of the customer’s overall needs and business goals.

What is the Difference Between Customer Success and Customer Experience?

Customer success and customer experience are inescapably tied. Both things being important are sustaining growth that is beneficial to both parties and that maximizes customer lifetime value. The entire value an enterprise achieves from its relationship with a customer is the overall value. These values are not mutually exclusive.

Although some organizations have customer success teams that work separately from other departments, many customer success professionals use aspects of both approaches in their daily work.

From the perspective of customer success, the customer experience is the process by which a customer goes from being aware of a product to becoming a satisfied, loyal user of that product. From the perspective of customer experience, customer success is one part of the customer experience.

Customer success is a proactive and continual process of finding new ways for the customer to get value from the product.

Customer experience is based on interacting with the customer to deliver a product that is enjoyable and accessible. It should be easy for the customer to integrate the product into their daily routine.

Customer success is the ongoing effort to keep customers happy with your product by finding new and innovative ways to do so. The customer experience describes the feeling a customer has towards your product.

The customer journey can be explained from different points of view, depending on the perspective used.


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