What Is Customer Care? (With Examples)

Updated July 21, 2022

Most times, the success of a business depends on how it treats its customers. Although customer service is important and can affect the success of the business, customer care is frequently more long-lasting. Many businesses build a focus on both to ensure a positive relationship with the customer. In this article, we define customer care, explain why customer care is important, share the differences between customer care and customer service and provide examples of exceptional customer care.

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What is customer care?

Customer care is just one part of customer service. Specifically, it's the way an individual, group or business treats their customers. Customer care involves every interaction that a customer has with a business because each of these is an opportunity for the company to build a relationship with each customer on an individual basis based on their unique wants and needs.

When a business focuses on customer care, it's making sure that the customer is fully satisfied and that they trust, respect and are loyal to the business because of the careful attention that the company has given to them. It's going above expectations and building an emotional connection to the customer by understanding their needs, wants, motivations and expectations, then delivering on that knowledge.

Related: Transferable Skills: Definitions and Examples

Why is customer care important?

Here are just some reasons customer care is important for a business:

  • Advantage over the competition: Providing excellent customer care can separate you from the competition. It's more commonplace to provide great customer service, but customer care comes with time, effort and an earnest interest in building a relationship. Customers should be able to see the value your business provides if customer care is a focus.

  • More customers: Customer who have a great experience are more likely to share the details of their experience with others. Although more customers are probably not your primary goal in your customer care strategy, this is a typical outcome for businesses who take customer care seriously.

  • Repeat sales: Not only does the customer care experience you provide to customers help bring in new customers, it also helps you retain your existing customer base. These loyal customers are more likely to purchase products and services from your company because of the care you've provided, setting you up for repeat sales.

  • Employee motivation: Even though your employees aren't on the receiving end of the business's customer care interactions with a customer, they are responsible for providing it. Just being involved with making customers happy and exceeding expectations can positively affect employee happiness and may lead to increased motivation, productivity and satisfaction in the workplace.

  • Attract high-quality candidates: If your company is able to earn a reputation for its customer care, you may naturally attract high-quality candidates to your open positions. More individuals will want to work for an organization that puts customers first in this way, and you may find that top talent is applying for your jobs.

Related: 12 Motivation Techniques for the Workplace

Customer care vs. customer service

A successful business will work on both customer care and customer service, making each a focus to form a mutually beneficial relationship with the customer that can satisfy their needs and increase sales and brand awareness for the business. Both customer care and customer service can increase customer satisfaction, but there are some differences between the two, including:

Customer care is more about building relationships

Customer care has more of a focus on connecting with individual customers through actions like active listening and asking questions to understand the customer's needs. Customer service more commonly views customers as a generalized group.

Customer service is more transactional

Customer service involves doing things like processing returns, answering questions and documenting concerns. Customer care is more about the deeper relationship you form with customers.

Proper customer care takes more time

Because customer care involves building the sort of relationship with your customers that is based on emotional connectedness, customer care takes a bit longer than the more transactional nature of customer service. Customer care is something that a business builds up over time, usually throughout the entire customer lifecycle, whereas it's possible for customer service to only involve a single interaction.

Customer service is more quantifiable

Customer service transactions are more quantifiable, so there are usually goals associated with this part of customer relations. Customer care is usually not something that a business can measure the success of.

Customer care isn't always related to the business

Because customer care is connecting with the customer, it doesn't always involve business goals. It's common for companies focused on customer care to provide assistance to customers, even if it doesn't make a sale or otherwise affect the success of the business.

Customer service is more reactive

Customer service agents usually engage with customers after the customers make contact with the company for some reason. It could be because they have a problem with their purchase or need guidance with how to use a product. Customer care is more proactive, in that company representatives engage with customers even if customers do not have the need for service.

Related: 17 Customer Service Skills: Definitions and Examples

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Examples of customer care

These examples of customer care showcase what the term means and how it can influence a business's relationship with its customer base:

Example 1

Benny, a patient with chronic back pain, has an appointment at Touchstone Chiropractic, a center he's been regularly visiting for the past month. Dr. John and Benny talk, mostly about his upcoming wedding, as Benny receives his adjustments, then Benny goes home. After his visit, he gets a customized email from Dr. John that thanks him for being a patient and gives him more congratulations on his upcoming nuptials. When Benny comes in for an appointment after his wedding, Dr. John asks him to share all about it and takes a genuine interest in his relay of the events.

This example shows that customer care doesn't have to be elaborate or forced. Instead, just listening to customers, learning more about their experiences and asking them about different life events can make a considerable difference in your relationship. A customer will feel important and cared for.

Example 2

ABC Hotels regularly engages with social media users on its platforms. The business may answer questions, address complaints and more. However, ABC Hotels also looks for ways to connect with individuals who may not be their customers yet, so they seek conversations where they can help others.

In one case, a random user shares a post where they ask for the best restaurant in Dallas that has an extensive wine list. ABC Hotels, with some locations in Dallas, answers the individual's question with several restaurants to choose from and a meal suggestion for each. Although this customer did not ask ABC Hotels the question and is not staying at an ABC Hotel, the brand has gone above and beyond expectations and provided value to a potential customer.

You don't have to reserve your customer care for active customers. Instead, if your company has a real interest in helping, you can do so, which will showcase your commitment to the values your business was founded on.

Example 3

Bill Rodgers has been a customer of Cafe Your Way, a neighborhood coffee shop, for over 20 years. With Bill turning 100 years old on Sunday, Cafe Your Way placed a greeting card at the front of the shop for the entire week prior and encouraged visitors to sign their birthday wishes to their oldest customer. Knowing that Bill had a habit of visiting every Sunday afternoon, the owners of Cafe Your Way presented him with a card that contained more than 70 well wishes from customers. They also decorated his normal spot in the shop with balloons and streamers.

Knowing that reaching 100 years of age is a milestone, and as thank you for his loyal patronage, Cafe Your Way was happy to surprise and delight a customer they care for.

This example of customer care wouldn't have been possible without the owners of Cafe Your Way getting to know their patrons. They took the time to learn more about the gentleman who visited every Sunday afternoon and made a heartfelt plan to make him feel special.

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