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What’s the Difference Between Customer Support and Community Management?

January 4, 2022

It’s easy to be enticed into thinking the two are one and the same thing. On the surface, they’re both customer-facing jobs that require you to engage with people with interest in your business. This isn’t a lie; however, there’s a point where they’re not so similar. Each one of them requires specific techniques and skills to be implemented effectively.

Failure to distinguish between these two may cause one to be properly executed. Here we will look at some of the major aspects that businesses should be aware of when drafting their strategies.

Customer Support is Transactional; Community Management is Holistic

Customer Service is about the individual interactions between the business and its customer. Customers come to the company to discuss a concern or issue, and it is the responsibility of the manager in charge of customer service to resolve the issues in a positive way. It’s a one-on-one conversation that focuses on providing value in certain situations through the resolution of issues or prevention.

Contrarily, Community Management requires a whole-of-person approach in order to be successful. While each customers’ needs and wants are crucial and will eventually get discussed, however, the real purpose of the community is to bring many people around a specific item or service. This is the reason it requires a completely different set of skills. A community manager must be able to utilize the tools available to her to create excitement, buzz and engage.

Different Uses for Different Tools & Channels

The tools support for customers or community manager professionals employ are different. However, that doesn’t mean there’s no overlap; there is. For instance, the utilization of forums for community support to effectively engage with customers and the community is vital. One of the commonalities between these two is social media usage, even though the specifics are different for each organization.

The main difference is in the methods used to get the most from these instruments. The professionals in customer service are focused on things such as speed and efficiency, and they tend to be focused on efficiency and concise, efficient response. They are also more reactive in the sense that they use tools will be used to address the current problems when they arise.

However, community management is about making use of tools to increase engagement. Things like the number of users and engagement metrics, the number of leads that are top of the funnel and the general buzz around the brand are all crucial. These are created using tools that help drive conversations, facilitate communities and help create a community that users feel secure and desire to be connected.

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