The Differences Between Customer Success and Customer Service

In today’s fast-paced, highly competitive world of B2B products and SaaS offerings, the terms “Customer Success” and “Customer Support” are tossed around like a Frisbee on a hot summer day. Both are key components of the success of any business or brand. Customer success and customer support differ in their approaches: one is proactive, while the other is reactive.

Using these phrases interchangeably can lead to misunderstandings both inside and outside of your firm. As a result, we must define and investigate the differences between them and how they might propel your firm to new heights when combined.

What Is Customer Success?

In the business world, customer success (CS) is a marketing term that is commonly conflated with the customer experience and customer service. In its most basic form, customer success is the cumulative success of a customer made possible through a mutually advantageous connection and collaboration between a software supplier and its customers. This definition, however, does not do the concept justice.

It is a proactive plan developed by your company to achieve the desired result with your client base by predicting potential problems and aiming to create a long-term customer relationship.

Customer success attempts to instill a sense of value in your brand in the minds of your customers. You can help your customers interact with your brand more effectively by anticipating their next steps and being prepared to improve their experience.

Not every company strives for customer success and focuses solely on customer service. This, however, may indicate that they are passing up possibilities to upsell, cross-sell, and provide related items and services. Brands risk losing potential profits and repeat business if they do not implement customer success programs.

What is Customer Service?

Customer service is the process of assisting and advocating for customers throughout the discovery, use, optimization, and troubleshooting of their product or service. Processes also help teams provide better customer service. A well-trained customer support workforce is essential for recruiting new customers, improving customer retention, and increasing sales among current customers.

Consider the most recent time you had an issue with a purchase. You’ve most likely arrived at the corporate website after trying to handle the problem on your own and seeking a troubleshooting page, hotline, or chat option to contact a member of staff. Customer service is prioritized in this strategy. 

This, on the other hand, is a reactive technique in which you only contact customer support when there is a problem. While this is an important service to give for your brand, it does not result in the creation of relationships or the advancement of your company’s position among clients. Customer service handles concerns as they arise, ensuring that your audience feels heard by your team. These are just some of the benefits of outbound call center services.

A Tailored Reception

Customer service is another opportunity for your company to stand out from competitors who sell similar products or services. Agents do more than just reply to client inquiries; they tailor each interaction with the customer. Indeed, 80 percent of customers believe that a company’s experience is just as important as its products or services.

Meeting or exceeding client expectations is often associated with business success. It’s a high-stakes game: 62 percent of customers will abandon a brand after just one bad experience. While 76 percent will leave if they have an average of two negative customer encounters.

How Do They Differ in Terms of Scope and Responsibility?

Customer service requires far more than merely satisfying customers. Customer service is concerned with establishing a favorable relationship between a company and its customers from the point of initial awareness through the conclusion of the customer lifecycle. 

Customer satisfaction is only one aspect of customer service. Following a customer’s purchase, CS teams help them maximize their use of a product or service to meet their business objectives. While both may appear to be interchangeable on the surface, don’t expect a customer service representative to work in customer success or vice versa. Each function demands a distinct set of skills.

Customer service representatives sincerely care about the product and their client’s satisfaction. They comprehend the product’s complexity, how it operates, and the most common difficulties encountered by customers.

Putting Customers First 

They must have great interpersonal skills because they operate in a service position. They must show empathy for the customer’s suffering as well as a dedication to fixing the problem. They must also be aware of their clients’ requirements. Almost three-quarters of customers expect to be recognized by customer support representatives.

Customer success teams put the customer first, not the product. They must, of course, be intimately versed with your product, but they must also be able to establish relationships rather than merely solve problems. Your team will need to determine what success means to clients and devise a strategy to help them achieve it. As a result, interpersonal and marketing skills will be necessary.

Analytical ability will also be improved. Delving into your product’s statistics and spotting places where a large number of customers fail can often reveal the secrets to customer success.

Keys to Optimizing Customer Experience

Customer service and success, as previously said, are key business activities that will assist you in building, retaining, and upgrading client relationships… all of which will result in more money and success for your corporation. While they should remain in different departments to clearly define their duties, goals, and objectives, they should also have the freedom to collaborate and work amicably together.

You can optimize the value of client data and make more informed judgments on topics that will affect your subscriber base by keeping both departments informed of each other’s actions and prerogatives. For example, suppose your customer service teams repeatedly meet the same issue or complaint from subscribers. They can transmit that information to the customer success team, which can then work with the UI/UX departments to make the required changes to totally eliminate the issue.

A Harmonic Balance 

Customer service is a reactive, problem-solving, transactional department that prioritizes both technical and soft skills to fix customer concerns and assure customer satisfaction.

Customer success is a proactive, goal-oriented, and generally non-transactional strategy that incorporates the use of soft skills to solve all customer concerns through data and feedback analysis and the effort to deliver long-term value to customers. Your organization will be unstoppable if these processes begin to act in harmony.

Christophe Rude
Christophe Rude
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