Understanding the difference between Customer Service and Community Management


There are a lot of things that impact the success of your business directly or indirectly. Some marketing efforts are geared towards garnering customers for monetary return, while other marketing efforts focus on building ample brand awareness through consistent customer engagement. There are two different things to a successful online business: efforts to achieve monetary returns and efforts to achieve customer loyalty. This article discusses the two primary elements (customer service and community management) that play a key role in online business success.

Understanding customer service

Customer Service is defined as the act of fulfilling customer demands through a multi channel approach.

Customer service refers to the act of acquiring customers with advice regarding the services to make sure that they have a fulfilling customer experience for increased business longevity. Customer service includes four major elements:• Online customer support •Customer support through social media and other online channels•Generating leads through website customer assistance•Pre-sale and post-sale customer support

Understanding online community management

Community management is defined as the act of managing online customer communities that significantly impact the brand awareness of the business.

Community management refers to creation and sustenance of online communities that engage people who show interest in the company’s products and services, or are the buyers of those products and services. The role of community management is to ensure consistent customer engagement for continuous brand awareness.

Importance of customer service and community management

In simple words, online marketing activities involving customer service ensure lead generation and conversion with post-sale support, while community management efforts focus towards building and maintaining customer communities for increased brand awareness. The end goal of both of these activities is to contribute towards customer acquisition and retention. Therefore, both activities hold a significant place in overall digital marketing strategy.

The following diagram shows the important elements involved in customer service:

The following diagram shows the important elements involved in community management:

The two diagrams portray how both of these marketing efforts contribute towards the desired end result that is customer retention.

How does customer service and community management help in customer retention?

Customer service is involved in both pre and post sale activities. Let’s take an example. Let’s say a customer or the visitor reaches your website in search for a specific product or service. Online chat support team immediately assists the visitor to make sure that they get or find what they were looking for instantly igniting the sales process. When the customer finally makes a purchase the customer service team ensures that the customer is satisfied with the purchase and is willing to come back again. It is the customer service team’s job to make sure that customer is provided with all the needed assistance from pre-sale to post-sale to contribute towards customer satisfaction (quality experience) and ultimately retention.

Community management, on the other hand, ensures that people who show interest in the company’s products or services have platform to ask questions and engage in events that can ultimately lead to customer acquisition. Community management can assist in lead generation. Therefore, both play a key role in online marketing.