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Customer Support VS Tech Support

Ilyas Balluwala

Oct 07, 2020

5 min readLast Updated May 05, 2022

Most of the time all the people would assume that the job of all support executives is the same as just-to-do a conversation with the customer, and prospect with their queries and concerns, handling tickets raised by them, and escalate the request. And further if it needs involvement/feedback from other departments. But in reality that is not the whole truth. So let’s unfold some of the in-depth facts about the key differences, and actual responsibilities of customer support executives based on their role either as the normal customer support OR technical support executive.

First of all, I would like to mention that mainly there are two types of roles in support executive job profile

  1. Customer Support
  2. Tech Support

Now let's dive into each of the executive roles and their responsibility in a bit depth.

Customer Support :

In this role, support agents don’t need to be any specific technologically aware OR have in-depth knowledge about any technical architecture. It is just as usual customer support where they will act as a first contact point of any customer complaints generated from a call, sending an email OR from the live chat portal. Most of the organizations have the internal system portal using which support executives will get to know all the details about the customer and have the rights to configure OR change  various things on the customer account.

Customer support executives roles and responsibilities include the following things:

  • Attend the call of customer
  • Server the generated concern email support tickets
  • Be present and respond to questions and queries over live chat portal
  • Escalate the complaint to further concerned departments.
  • Guide you through the relevant links which can help you get more insight about your queries/concerns and many more like this.

Tech Support :

In the contrast of Customer Support, Tech Support includes various kinds of roles and functions which they need to perform in their profile. It includes almost all the operations which are handled by the customer support but they have a lot more in their bucket list. Mostly for any IT related issues/concerns they are contacting Tech Support. Whether it is a problem related to your product, on user end, a technical issue, a module/function of your product not working as per the expectation, system login related issues and many more like that indeed needs an involvement of a Technical Support Executive.

Most product based businesses have their own Tech Support team which will help customers with their issues/queries related to the product, whether how to use it, configure it and does their product fulfill all the requirements of their use case.  If any company would lack OR fail to establish an efficient Tech Support team to answer all these questions, eventually customers will not be going to use their product OR service. So it is extremely essential to establish an effective team of Tech Support Executives.

How Technical Support Differs From Customer Support :

The Technical OR Tech Support department is established by product-centric companies which helps their customer base to get the most out of their product/service. Mainly tech support differs from customer support based on the type of issue handled. Tech support are mainly responsible to address the queries related to the user issue from using your product, installation and configuration errors OR any technical issues which appear on the user end. In a summarized way we can say that tech support helps their customer base to use their product/service efficiently.

Another eye-catching difference between tech and customer support is no of level hierarchy under which the executive is working on.

Generally there are 3 levels under which executives are performing different job based on their level in Tech Support .

Levels of Tech Support :

Tier 1 Support Executive :

If customers aren't able to find the answers of their queries and questions from the product doc, from the FAQ OR from the knowledge base then they will reach out to tech support by submitting a ticket OR generating a live chat from their portal. This tier level is the main entry point of all the customer queries/complaints. Executives on this level concentrate on most common questions reported by the customer and their main focus is to learn and explore  about the product’s functionality and architecture in-depth manner to share the maximum insight about the product’s functionalities with respect to the user’s questions. Most of the organization target to resolve 65 to 70% of customer tickets from this tier itself without needing to escalate it to the higher tier.

Almost all the issues of the customer are being handled by email support and live chat support in this tier. But as the complexity of the issue gets increasing they will shift their attention towards the phone OR call support as well to further investigate the issue and under the client’s concern more clearly.  As live chat part is covered in this tier so this tier will get the maximum attention by the customer as a first point of contact, because as per common human mentality everyone thought that they will get the quickest resolution of their concerns via direct chat with executives and most of the time it works as expected OR at least they got to know where they need to escalate their issue.

Tier 2 Support Executive :

Executives on this level are supposed to handle the cases which are not solved OR escalated by tier 1 executives. The demand of this tier is increasing day by day as the end user OR customer are becoming technologically more aware and tech savvy so they can leverage the maximum benefit of the product services and quickly understand the tech solution suggested by the executives. The rest 30 - 35% of queries which weren't resolved by tier one support needs to be handled by the tier 2 executives. This tier requires a bunch of people with deep technical knowledge about the product, it’s services, it’s architecture and it’s working flow methodology so they can handle the most complex user queries and provide them the best guidance from a technical perspective to use their product in their described use case OR question and the ability to go on video call with the customer to have a live debugging OR troubleshooting session.

Tier 3 Support Executives :

Sometimes it may happen that customer complaints are even not completely resolved by the tier 2 executives, at that point of time it escalates to higher tier and tier 3 executives appear into the picture. This group requires people who are having vast knowledge about the product in most of the aspects and have super experience to deal with most complex customer issues. It’s worth having people from the R&D team, Solution Architect and Support Architect in this tier. Generally the issues traverse to this level requires to perform custom work OR extend the current functionality to some level that it satisfies the customer use case.

Conclusion :

Based on above all points we can conclude that Tech support is really a critical part of the complete user experience towards your product/service. It heavily differs from the normal customer support as it is directly dealing with technical questions and queries of the users rather than any administrative related thing OR account billing related things. We strongly recommend every organization to build their tech support team as good as possible with a perspective of long retention of existing customers and help new users to make them their customers.  As people are becoming more technologically aware and tech savvy, don't expect that they will contact your tech support team to ask normal simple questions, instead they will represent a complex use case and how your product will help them to achieve their use case, so you need to prepare your tech team in a way that they can handle such case.

And last but not the least there is no doubt to consider Tech Support as a most critical parameter to measure a long term success of any organization.


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