When we talk about your business product or service, there is no doubt that both support and success teams are considered as essential assets for the entire customer lifecycle. Since customer support and customer success are often intertwined, we think that is critical to define and understand their differences and roles, especially when your company’s output is based on a certain tech infrastructure.
Customer support – A necessary way to be there for your customers.
Dedicated support teams pursue to ensure customer satisfaction through ongoing technical support for a certain product or service. These kinds of teams solve customer’s challenges, questions and concerns regarding individual issues and provide technical guidance. For a better understanding, we should define a couple of specific traits.
Regardless of the customer support channel – email, chat or call – the team in charge solves their problems as soon as customers submit a ticket or send an email, not before. Thus, the role of customer support is to meet their needs in a reactive manner, meaning that whenever an issue emerges they take care of it. In this way, a support team removes any kind of obstacles when it emerges in customer’s direct interaction path by providing necessary resources such as documentation or self-service portals.
Focuses on cost
The number of favorable customer experiences is inversely proportional to financial losses. In other words, based on Nicereply point of view, if a support team provide efficient solutions for customer’s problems, the churn rate, which means here the annual percentage at which customers stop subscribing to a service, will be reduced. However, support teams aren’t strictly a centered-cost department, as originally built, they can also impact revenue by advising on common reasons for churn or identify upsell and cross self-opportunities in their conversations with your business customers.
Has short-term objectives
According to Hubspot, support interactions are transactional which means when a customer submits a certain issue or question, those are solved by a support assistant – and may have in view immediate technical or usage issues. After all, the main purpose of support teams is to solve specific issues as quickly as possible in order to drive customer satisfaction, which is the main baseline for success teams.
Customer success – The next step in scaling customer experience.
From Gainsight perspective, customer success manages company-customer interactions and aligns client and vendor goals for mutually beneficial outcomes. Success teams influence revenue through their proactive actions in order to accomplish long-term objectives, but we will talk about all of these attributes below:
Uses proactive strategies
The main objective of a success team consists in initiating conversations with your customers before they contact you. Therefore, they have to be proactive, meet their needs, anticipate them and identify opportunities to solve problems that they are not yet confronted with, but they might be. Identifying these solutions in advance must be based on the company’s long-term objectives. Their job is to make sure that customers understand the full potential and value they can achieve from your product/service. In other words, success teams ensure insights-access for users regarding the most efficient way to use your solution and adopt it on a long-term.
Focuses on revenue
In this context, when we talk about scaling your business, customer success teams play their main role. They focus less on technical issues and more on the aspects that are directly related to business development. So they drive expansion via churn-reduction as in decreasing the number of unsubscribed customers and up-selling, cross-selling, referrals techniques in order to promote your business solutions.
Customer Success provides a whole mechanism not only for uncovering upsell and cross-sell opportunities but also for gaining advantage from them. Besides that, it’s the most desirable way to initiate reduction, helping subscription growth for a certain product or service.
Has long-term objectives
Success team’s interactions don’t have an end-point. As we mentioned earlier, they look at the entire customer’s process lifecycle in order to solve universal adoption issues and other common narrows that prevent users from achieving their goals. Moreover, as Gainsight believes, ensuring customer success brings about a significant positive impact on businesses as they focused on increasing retention, repeated purchases or lifetime value.
Different roles, same team
To conclude, support and success teams provide services for customers and help them generate value for your company. Both of them focus on successfully integrate the product or service in your users’ lifecycle with each aid, improving retention, boosting value, and increasing advocacy. The best businesses succeed in bringing support and success together, leveraging their differences to consolidate this entire process of removing obstacles that prevent your business customers from achieving their goals.