Customer Service

Understanding the differences between customer support and customer success

Ufuoma Uvomata
June 7, 2023

Nobody wants to pay continuously to receive bad service—it is like a toxic relationship where you keep going back. 

According to Salesforce, 91% of customers are more likely to make another purchase from a company after a positive support experience. At the same time, 53% of customers said they are loyal to brands that make them happy. 

Want your customers to leave your store with a smile on their faces and have them coming back for more? Then you need to prioritize customer support and customer success. 

These terms are similar and sometimes used interchangeably—and to help you deliver better customer experiences, we’ll describe and compare them.

What is customer support?

Customer support is the assistance you offer customers when they reach out for help. The primary function of customer support is to help current and potential customers derive maximum value from your company's offerings.

A customer support team addresses any questions or issues that customers have about a brand’s products or services. This team ensures that customers have positive support experiences and leave with their issues resolved, improving customer loyalty and brand advocacy.

What is customer success?

Customer success is the process of ensuring that your customers get the most value out of your product or service and that their needs and goals are being met. It is a proactive approach to customer engagement and support, focused on helping customers achieve their desired outcomes and build long-term, loyal relationships with the company. 

A customer success teams take a proactive approach to achieving the business objectives by gathering customer feedback and tracking success metrics to make decisions that prioritize customer needs. 

Understanding the distinction: Customer support vs customer success.

Clearly defining the responsibilities of each team is essential in ensuring that customer inquiries and issues are directed to the appropriate department.

Both customer support and customer success teams play a vital role in helping businesses establish and maintain successful relationships with their customers. The customer support team ensures customer satisfaction by solving the problems customers are experiencing and acting as the front-line representatives of the company. 

Customer success teams ensure that customers are getting the most value from a company's products or services and that they are satisfied with their experience. They work closely with customers to understand their needs and goals, and to help them achieve success through the use of the company's offerings.

Customer success vs support: Which one do you need for your business?

To enhance customer satisfaction, it is important to integrate customer support and customer success teams, to provide a comprehensive service that addresses all customer needs. Together they make a powerful duo that will keep customers coming back for more!

Customer support and success work hand in hand to provide an excellent customer experience. Customer support stays on standby whenever clients need help. When customers have questions or need assistance, customer support provides solutions. Once they become paying clients, customer success ensures they know how to get the best use of the products or services.  

Businesses need to provide both customer success and customer support to maintain good customer relationships.  

How to get started with customer support or customer success.

Increase your company's customer retention rate by implementing the right customer success and customer support strategies for your team. Here are 3 steps to help you succeed.

  1. Create a customer success strategy.

Even with a whole team of customer support and success experts, SaaS companies still can't seem to keep their customers happy. Why? It's like trying to put together a puzzle without the picture on the box - no strategy is created that should serve as a guide for the teams to effectively assist customers. It is important to make sure your customer support specialst is clear on your vision for your customers.

It is essential to have a strategy in place that outlines a proactive approach for both teams to meet the needs and requirements of customers. The strategy should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in customer needs and challenges.

  1. Hire the right team members

Want to make your customers keep coming back for more? hire the right team members with the power of patience and empathy!

As a customer success manager, it is crucial for you to prioritize hiring individuals who possess both patience and empathy in their interactions with customers. These individuals will be able to effectively consider the needs and goals of your customers, and ensure that they are always being met. The size of these teams should be determined based on the size of your business and the resources you have available.

When you put up postings for customer success jobs, make them as specific as possible. Just remember, as your business grows, so should your team. So go out there and assemble the ultimate customer satisfaction squad as we did! 

  1. Determine customers' end goals and challenges. 

As a customer success or customer support team member, you will likely encounter issues that customers will bring to you for resolution. But fear not! Just anticipate the questions that may come up during interactions with the business and have answers ready. Having a knowledge base where your product and feature descriptions are listed usually works great.

There are tools available that can help you turn your customer interactions into automated responses - your customer is never left unattended.

And remember, having a trusty knowledge base where your product and feature descriptions are listed is like having a trusted life partner, it'll come in handy.

  1. Set up customer success software

As a manager of a customer success or customer support team, you're constantly looking for ways to make your team's job a little bit easier and a lot more effective. Setting up customer success software for your team is the ultimate secret weapon.

One valuable way that can aid businesses in their efforts to improve customer satisfaction is by implementing a customer engagement tool to your strategy. It is a centralized platform for tracking customer interactions and resolving customer issues, as well as offering features such as sms marketing and email marketing. Additionally, the tool can provide a detailed analysis of the results of customer success efforts, which aids in making decisions to improve customer satisfaction and generate more revenue.

Plus, who doesn't love a little extra revenue? So, don't wait any longer and set up that customer success software for your team!

Read: Comparing the top shared inbox software; which is right for your team?

What are the benefits of having a customer support team and a customer success team?

Customer support and customer success teams help businesses put customers first when making decisions. These teams relate directly with the end users to understand their needs and ensure issue resolution. The benefits of having a good customer service structure include;

  1. Increased sales 

Whether you’re part of a customer support or customer success team, your world revolves around making sure your customers are thrilled.

Good customer relations make customers feel more comfortable doing business with you. They feel safer when they sense that an organization cares about their needs. They are more willing to make purchases, return to make new purchases, or even make referrals.

Customer service representatives can encourage renewals by engaging customers when their contracts are approaching expiration. They can also upsell and encourage clients to take advantage of other solutions the business provides. 

  1. Growth and improvement 

We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates

Feedback is key to growth, especially in the feedback from your unhappy customers. It provides the information needed to improve your brand’s products, services, and experience for customers. Patterns in questions and complaints can show exactly where the organization should be putting effort. Customers feel a bond with brands they have watched improve and grow with time. 

You know what they say, if you want to improve, you gotta take the good with the bad... and by 'good' I mean 'feedback', and by 'bad' I mean 'complaints from your angry customers'.

  1. Customer loyalty 

Good customer service is like a good magic trick- it can turn grumpy customers into raving fans and promoters of your business. Customers remember how you treat them, especially when things go wrong, and they'll judge your company accordingly.

Satisfied customers start to feel a sense of loyalty toward the brand. Qualtrics found that over 94% of customers are more likely to recommend a business that offers a good customer experience. Even when a mistake is made, 78% would be willing to give you a second chance.

So invest in building good customer relationships!

Final Thoughts?

Just like two hands that come together to create amazing things, like a good firm handshake, your success and support teams have the potential to make your company soar. With the right strategy, customer experience tools, and collaboration, they'll be making your customers achieve a high level of customer satisfaction together in no time!

Read: How can you use Chat GPT for customer support?

Ufuoma Uvomata

Content Writer
Ufuoma is a writer who creates website copy, SEO articles, scripts, blog posts, and short stories for companies in several industries. If you meet her, ask about her plants.

Transform Your Customer Support Experience.

Start a free trial.