What is Customer Care (As It Relates to Customer Service)?

When you run an ecommerce business, offering outstanding customer service is critical. However, it's not enough to merely respond quickly and helpfully when your customers contact you with questions or issues. You need to take it a step further and focus on providing exceptional customer care.

Customer Care vs. Customer Service

Customer service is the term that encompasses your interactions with customers, from answering their questions to resolving their concerns. It's the foundation of ecommerce customer care, but it's only one component. Customer care is a more holistic concept that covers the entire customer journey. It's about empathizing with your customers, anticipating their needs, and exceeding their expectations at every touchpoint, not just when they need help.

Customer Care vs. Customer Relations

Customer relations refers to the ongoing, two-way communication between your business and your customers. It's about building a positive, long-lasting relationship that goes beyond individual transactions. Excellent customer care is a crucial component of strong customer relations. When you consistently go above and beyond for your customers, they're more likely to become loyal brand advocates who recommend your products and services to others.

Customer Care vs. Customer Success

Customer success is another term that's related to customer care, but it has a different focus. Customer success is all about helping your customers achieve their goals with your product or service. It involves understanding their needs and giving them the tools, resources, and support they need to get the most out of what you offer. While customer success is essential, it's not the same as customer care, which puts the emphasis on creating an exceptional customer experience.

Customer Care vs. Customer Experience

Customer experience refers to the sum of all interactions that a customer has with your brand, from the first time they visit your website to the moment they receive their order. Customer care is a vital element of customer experience because it shapes how your customers feel about your business. Providing excellent customer care can help you create a positive emotional connection with your customers, which increases their loyalty and encourages repeat business.

Customer Care Examples

Let's look at some real-world examples of outstanding customer care in ecommerce:

1. Spotify — Personalized Customer Interactions

Spotify uses data to personalize its communications with its customers. For example, the streaming service sends personalized annual wrap-up emails that highlight users' listening habits throughout the year. The emails include stats like how many minutes of music they listened to and how many new artists they discovered. This approach makes customers feel valued and understood.

2. Hertz — Staying Late for the Customer

A Hertz rental car customer was running late to return her vehicle, but the rental location had already closed. The employee who answered the phone went above and beyond by staying after hours to allow the customer to return the car. This act of exceptional customer care turned a potentially negative experience into a positive one.

3. Trader Joe's — Above-and-Beyond Customer Service

Trader Joe's is known for its friendly and helpful staff who go above and beyond to assist customers. One shopper had lost her shopping list and was struggling to remember everything she needed to buy. A Trader Joe's employee walked around the store with her and helped her identify the missing items. This level of caring customer service sets Trader Joe's apart from its competitors.

4. Real Canadian Superstore — Customer Convenience

Real Canadian Superstore offers a "Shop by Recipe" feature on its website that allows customers to search for recipes and add all the necessary ingredients to their cart with one click. This convenience-focused approach to customer care saves time and hassle for busy shoppers.

5. Drybar — Unique Customer Experience

Drybar, a hair salon chain, is known for its focus on creating a unique customer experience. Each salon features a light-hearted, feminine decor, and customers are offered complimentary drinks and snacks while they get their hair done. The salon's focus on pampering its customers and creating a fun atmosphere sets it apart from other hair salons.

6. Virgin Atlantic Airlines — Service Accountability

Virgin Atlantic holds its staff accountable for providing exceptional customer care. Flight crews provide customers with cards that have their names and photos on them, allowing customers to report any issues or praise directly to their flight crew members. This approach ensures that every employee is invested in providing the best possible customer experience.

7. Waitrose — Kind and Helpful Service

UK supermarket chain Waitrose has a reputation for treating its customers with kindness and respect. For example, its staff members are authorized to open packages for customers so that they can test products before they buy them. This approach to customer care prioritizes the customer's needs and desires over the store's convenience.

Care for the Customer and They’ll Care For You

Providing exceptional customer care is a win-win for ecommerce businesses. When you prioritize the needs and desires of your customers, you create a positive emotional connection that can translate into increased loyalty, higher sales, and positive word-of-mouth recommendations. By taking the time to understand your customers and provide them with personalized, above-and-beyond service, you can set your ecommerce business apart from the competition and build a devoted following of satisfied customers.