The Nitty Gritty: Customer Support VS. Customer Service

Aug 31, 2015 by

Business man looking confused next to question mark illustration

I’ll admit it: I am not at my best when I’m behind the wheel. If I get cut off in traffic, I immediately say something along the lines of, “(insert expletive or name calling)! Learn how to drive!”

Yet a second thought always occurs after my standard reaction. While I understand a lot of people don’t drive well, I wonder if maybe they DO have something more important to get to. Maybe there’s an emergency or this person is running late for work and could lose their job because of their tardiness. I can’t possibly know the circumstances, so how can I judge their actions?

It can be easy to make sweeping generalizations, especially when you aren’t educated on a particular topic. Too often the words ‘customer support’ and ‘customer service’ are used interchangeably and it’s easy to see why: both are about helping the customer.

The thing is, customer support and customer service play completely different roles in an organization, and each brings its own brand of help to the customer. So, we’re going to pit them against each other to learn more about how each performs – no name calling or swearing allowed.

Are you ready to rumble? It’s time to learn the essential differences between customer support and customer service.

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In the Know: Tips from Customer Service Influencers

Aug 28, 2015 by

A man with a speech bubble full of idea light bulbs with a woman plucking a lightbulb from the bubble
Here at PATLive, we fancy ourselves customer service experts – that’s what we do around the clock. To say we’ve learned a thing or two about treating customers exceptionally would be putting it mildly.

While we do have a lot to say on our blog about the subject, social media influencers are dropping customer service truth nuggets all day long. In case you aren’t aware, an influencer is defined as someone with a powerful social media presence regardless of follower amounts.

Following influencers from your industry on social media is a great way to keep up with trends and find fascinating content to share. It’s also a great way to connect to the power players in your industry. If they follow you back, even better.

I reached out to a handful of our favorite customer service influencers on Twitter: Bill Quiseng, Roy Atkinson, Michael Lytle and Shep Hyken. I asked if they would share some of their best customer service tips just for you and they were more than happy to chime in. So, if you’ve been in the market for some solid service advice, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 7 customer service tips from the influencers.

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Hiring Remote Staff? PowerToFly Gives You Wings Part II

Aug 26, 2015 by

Illustrated butterfly with drawings of women and the power to fly logo

I was laid off from a remote position I loved with a marketing agency I loved even more. I was heartbroken and doing a lot of emotional eating. Macaroni and cheese, to be exact.

As anyone can understand, I hit unemployment rock bottom. It was the beginning of March and I had wrapped up another disappointing session of the daily job hunting duties. I followed that up by turning down a perfectly fine position because they weren’t willing to work with me on a more flexible work schedule. I already have one amazing daughter and had another on the way.

After what seemed like hours on the phone with my husband and my dad, I walked away with some clarity. That was it: I was officially only focusing on remote positions. I refused to be a slave to the Houston commute and allow that beast to take away my family time.

It was that afternoon that I came across the now infamous article where PowerToFly’s President, Katharine Zaleski, was apologizing for her once negative thoughts about working moms and her current movement to create job flexibility and fulfillment for women everywhere. I cried again (I have a lot of feelings), signed up for an account and landed an amazing job with PATLive within a matter of weeks.

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Hiring Remote Staff? PowerToFly Gives You Wings: Part I

Aug 24, 2015 by

Illustrated butterfly with drawings of women and the power to fly logoI’m going to take a wild guess and say that you’ve heard of PowertoFly. No? Maybe this will ring a bell.

Back in the beginning of March, an editorial posted to Fortune went viral – an open apology to all working mothers everywhere. Penned by Katharine Zaleski, former manager of The Huffington Post and The Washington Post, Zaleski discussed the respect she gained for working mothers after having her own child. She too was now in the ship of trying to manage the demands of parenthood while being passionate about her work.  Something had to give. Or did it?

Along with her friend, Milena Berry, Zeleski co-founded PowerToFly. This global platform allows women to find highly skilled positions with reputable companies in the tech and digital realms that are prepared to offer flexibility.

PATLive has hired not one, but four dynamic individuals through PowerToFly. To say we are fans would be putting it mildly. We were ecstatic when Zaleski and Berry were willing to chat with us about this new platform involving remote staff and how it came to life.

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PATLive’s Star Employee of the Month

Aug 21, 2015 by

A medal with #1 on the front illustration

It takes a special type of person to offer exceptional customer service. At PATLive, taking care of our customers and callers is our number one priority. Not only do we want to give our customers top notch service, but we are trusted to provide that amazing customer service for other companies with our live answer services!

Our agents constantly maintain a positive disposition regardless of the challenges that sometimes arise as a customer service representative. Since we know this job can’t be done by just anyone, PATLive likes to recognize agents on a monthly basis through our Star Employee of the Month Program. We nominate agents that consistently go above and beyond to service our customers. This month, our Star is Corin Bradley.

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Awesome Customer Service Advice from Our Call Center Team

Aug 19, 2015 by

Sweat the small things. They help you improve

Would we be bragging if we called ourselves customer service extraordinaires? It isn’t bragging if it’s a fact! At least, that’s what my mom has told me.

At PATLive, our number one concern is to take care of our customers and their customers with a deft hand. We place a high touch on all of our services and take our customer feedback very seriously. So, it’s no wonder we consider our team customer service experts.

We don’t expect you to take our word for it. Here are 8 of our favorite customer service tips from the team at PATLive.

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8 Things You Can Say That Will Definitely Make Your Customers Angry

Aug 17, 2015 by

Two business men boxing

Everyone is a customer and we’ve all experienced some nasty, rotten, no good, very bad customer service behavior. Whether you screamed irrational unspeakables into the phone or took to your laptop to pen an angry email, there’s a good chance that business deserved whatever you dealt them.

If you own a business, it should be extremely important that you handle your customers with the utmost of care. They are literally, and figuratively, helping you to bring home the bacon. Communicating with them when they have issues plays a huge role in whether you keep or lose a customer.

Because it is of grave importance you handle your customers well when they have an issue, there a handful of phrases you will want to avoid when you’re trying to help them. Here are 8 things you need to ban from your customer service lexicon forever.

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Mean Tweets! Tips for Managing Customer Complaints on Social Media

Aug 14, 2015 by

Megaphone being held by hand illustration

You just got a notification that your business received a tweet. Fun! You immediately swipe left on your phone to see what this person had to say only to realize it’s a customer complaint. Oh no! Now what do you do?

Social media platforms essentially supply customers with a megaphone for blasting their complaints about a product or a business in a very public way. Some businesses have found it tough to manage how to respond, let alone if they should respond at all. With each passing year, social media is becoming increasingly valuable as another channel for connecting with customers and has become a major player when talking about providing an omni-channel customer experience.

Whether or not you find it to be a valuable service tool, your customers certainly do: 43 percent of customers expect social media to be integrated with other customer service channels. Many consumers, 67 percent, have used a company’s social media channels for a service related issue.

It’s clear to see that social media customer service is on the rise. Now is your opportunity to answer that tweet and keep a customer. Don’t ignore that tweet – tweet back! Here are some tips for handling customer service issues on social media.

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So Happy Together: Customer Service and Product Teams Working in Harmony

Aug 12, 2015 by

Illustration of a business man on his teammate's shoulders with a periscope

It’s not always easy for different departments to work together. After all, every department has a separate function. What these different departments aren’t seeing is if they married their expertise, beautiful things could happen.

This is especially true when it comes to your customer service and product engineering teams. These two should be working hand-in-hand to ensure your customers overall experience is the best it can possibly be.

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10 Cats Frustrated By Their Customer Service Experience

Aug 10, 2015 by

Angry cat eyes

The majority of people hate having to contact customer support and we all know why: really frustrating customer experiences.
It seems so simple for a company to provide customer support that creates a sense of advocacy and actually solves issues, yet many companies can’t manage to maintain that solid customer service that makes customers feel valued and appreciated.

When businesses avoid putting a high priority on their customer service, they end up losing money and customers In the U.S. alone, brands are losing around $41 billion each year due to poor customer service (NewVoiceMedia Study). In addition, 65% of 1,000 consumers surveyed said they’ve cut ties with a brand over a single poor customer service experience (2014 Parature State of Multichannel Customer Service Survey).

So why are folks running in the opposite direction to a competitor? These cats will tell you all about it. Here are 10 cats explaining why they’re extremely frustrated with your customer service.

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