Types of Customer Service: Everything You Need to Know

anjan sarkar
November 22, 2022
min read
January 22, 2024
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Due to the lengthy wait times, some clients choose not to even contact customer support. This creates a communication gap between your brand and customers — resulting in a huge loss given that 65 percent of customers said they have changed to a different brand because of a poor experience.

The solution? Provide outstanding customer service.

The state of customer service nowadays is crucial because, as it turns out, assisting your clients in succeeding also benefits your business. By recommending your company to friends, family and other people, satisfied consumers will always help your business develop more quickly than advertising and marketing.

This article walks you through what customer service is, its types and best practices to build a system that your customers love.

Let’s dive in.

What is the definition of customer service?

Customer service refers to the assistance a business provides to its customers. This support starts during the purchasing process and typically lasts after the date of purchase.

For example, businesses generally offer customers advice and information about the products and services they sell during the purchasing process, which helps their customers in making correct purchasing decisions. And when a customer decides to purchase a product or service, businesses frequently offer them assistance and troubleshooting resources.

Customer service is all about delivering on the promises made by your brand to customers during the purchasing process which results in growing your brand loyalty and maintaining a customer base.

What are the most popular types of customer service?

1. Live chat

The advantages of both phone and email customer care are well combined in live chat. You get to address consumer problems immediately and at your convenience.

Live chat help outperforms other forms of customer service in a big way, given that it has a fantastic satisfaction rate of up to 89 percent (depending on the industry). It implies that you can provide assistance before they ask for it. 

Taking the initiative to communicate with customers lowers their impression of the effort necessary to complete a task, hence increasing engagement.

Live chat pros:

  • Supports managing several customers simultaneously.
  • Records past conversations from web chat.
  • High effectiveness at a lower cost.
  • Adaptation to numerous third-party apps.
  • Pre-written responses to automate common responses.

Live chat cons:

  • Incredibly high standards for first response time.
  • It is challenging for older population groups.
  • Certain chat widgets are not mobile-friendly.

2. Chatbot

One of the quickest forms of customer support interactions is via chatbots, which can quickly retrieve stored client data and process it to provide a customized experience, such as pulling up the latest order details.

According to a BI Intelligence report, 48 percent of customers are more concerned with a chatbot's functionality than its personality. But, to boost client interaction, you need to give your chatbot a personality that reflects your brand's tone.

For instance, you can alter the welcome message; whether you say "Sup" or "Good morning," it does affect how customers view your business.

Chatbot pros:

  • 24/7 assistance.
  • Acquire customer information.
  • Cost-effective.
  • High satisfaction rate, particularly among younger generations.
  • Human agents experience less hassle.

Chatbot cons:

  • People get annoyed by incorrect or robotic responses.
  • Designing conversations demands logic.
  • Can't resolve difficult problems.

3. Contact center (phone)

40 percent of customers say they would rather speak with a live person on the phone to resolve more sophisticated transactions, such as payment problems — clearly, the days of phone support are not over.

It’s mostly due to the fact that traditional call centers have developed into contact centers that incorporate phone, text messaging, chat, email and other channels to manage consumer demands. Along with other things, they employ advanced analytics and CRM.

However, when providing customer service that necessitates explaining technical issues, screen sharing and file transfers, it is not the ideal option.

Contact center (phone) pros:

  • Suitable for different age groups and non-tech persons.
  • Easy human-to-human interaction.
  • Asking for more details is simple.

Contact center (phone) cons:

  • Difficult teamwork (back-and-forth between client and agent).
  • Scaling and outsourcing are expensive.
  • For efficiency, technology is required.
  • Staffing problems, one consumer is serviced by one agent.
  • Undefined or prolonged hold times.

4. Email

54 percent of customers utilized email customer support channels in the past year, according to a Forrester report, making it the most popular digital customer service channel. It’s mainly because it’s more convenient and enables customers to attach files and record crucial information without having to interact with the agents directly.

When offering this kind of customer service, a business must always keep in mind to answer as fast as feasible (not later than within 24 hours). Customer support agents should notify the sender if they cannot respond within this window.

Email pros:

  • Files, URLs, etc., are easily sent.
  • Clearly recorded conversation history.
  • Pre-written answers to frequently asked queries by customers.
  • Email automation for follow-ups that are scheduled and sent.
  • Suited to customers in various time zones.

Email cons:

  • Experiences are hard to customize.
  • Emotions are challenging to read.
  • Time-consuming message exchange.

5. Self-service

Nowadays, most customers are competent enough to solve simple issues independently. However, you need to provide proper information, regularly update and properly arrange it – since client success is the main objective of this customer service solution, putting this hardwok makes sense.

However, your support staff must be familiar with the particular issues and frequent inquiries your clients have to effectively provide this kind of customer service. It can assist you in organizing and gathering important information for your website.

Customer self-service pros:

  • 24/7 accessibility via the company website.
  • Multilingualism is possible.
  • Reduces the time and expense of support.
  • Meets a requirement from the client.

Customer self-service cons:

  • Updating and maintaining.
  • Labor-intensive when a product is complex.
  • Covering every situation is impossible.

6. Social media

What it says on the tin — social media support — is precisely what it is. You obtain it from social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. However, you can also have consumers on other platforms like Snapchat, YouTube and Pinterest. This type of customer service's greatest benefit is that it meets clients where they are.

Contrary to popular belief, unsatisfied consumers don't use social media platforms to rant about your products or services. Instead of making complaints, consumers use this kind of customer service to commend brands.

Yelp Eat24 uses Twitter to offer fantastic customer service while also making its customers laugh.


Social media customer service pros:

  • Promotes greater consumer advocacy
  • Offers a customized experience
  • Customer Assistance
  • Adaptation to live chat applications
  • Customer effort is minimal

Social media customer service cons:

  • Exposure to unfavorable opinions and remarks.
  • High standards for customers.
  • It can harm a brand's reputation.

7. In-person customer service

Even if there are more customers online than ever before, strong customer service connects the in-store and online shopping experiences. By providing Click and Collect services, you can connect the two of them.

Since the outbreak of the 2020 pandemic, there have been more possibilities for curbside service; in May of that year, internet orders for in-store pickup jumped by 554 percent. This is done to make things convenient for the clients.

Outside of retail, there are still industries that offer in-person client services, such as hospitality and food. In his TED Talk, Daren Ross discusses the idea of generating moments and the significance of the client experience in this kind of customer service engagement.

In-person customer service pros:

  • Cost-efficient for retailers.
  • Simple rollout.
  • Experience with omnichannel.
  • Natural interactions between people.
  • Comfortable for consumers.
  • Personalized experience.

In-person customer service cons:

  • Travel expenses and time for consumers.
  • Need personnel who are committed to serving customers.
  • Unavailable after hours of operation.
  • Heightened client expectations.

How to strengthen your customer service & build a system that customers love?

1. Create a lasting impression on your customers

Creating distinctive customer experiences is essential to building brand loyalty and increasing sales. According to statistics, 65 percent of all consumers believe that good customer service is more impactful than effective advertising.

Given that it was destined to surpass price and product as the primary brand differentiator by 2020, customer experience has an increasing impact on customer happiness. As a result, it's necessary to start focusing on providing wonderful experiences to your clients.

2. Offer prompt, convenient customer service

These days, customers want you to respond promptly and politely when they have an issue with your products or services or a query about your brand. Delaying with customer service for even a half-hour can significantly lower customer satisfaction ratings.

Leaving speculation aside, the study supports this statement — According to HubSpot research:

“90 percent of customers rate an 'immediate' response as essential or very important when they have a customer service question. Sixty percent of customers define 'immediate' as 10 minutes or less."

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3. Analyze & act on given feedback

“We see our customers as invited guests to a party and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better.” —Jeff Bezos

To ensure a great customer experience, one of the most crucial resources for any company to have is customer feedback. Feedback is a very clear measure of how satisfied customers are with your brand, services and products as a whole; therefore, it reveals a lot about your customer satisfaction levels.

Additionally, receiving customer feedback can assist you in enhancing your offerings and provide you with information that makes it simpler to decide how to proceed with your business. Additionally, treating it thoughtfully conveys to customers your value for their feedback.

Ready to upgrade your customer service?

The customer is in charge in today's customer service environment. Therefore, it is the responsibility of customer service experts to support their success. Remember, by enhancing both your bottom line and your client's success; you'll enable your organization to expand.

So start implementing the numerous customer service types and best practices we discussed and make use of Scribe to make your process easier. Click here to get started for free.

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