Customer Support vs Customer Success: Which One to Prioritize?

Paras Kela

Paras Kela

Senior editor

Parul Saxena

Chief editor

Last updated: June 25, 2021

Over the last few years, the way of doing business, business priorities, and business models have all changed dramatically. Earlier, customers were only concerned with the quality and price of the products, but now they are concerned with customer service as well. In fact, it is not an overstatement to say that customer support and customer success has taken center stage for the majority of service-based businesses.

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However, many businesses or people associated with the service domain are unaware that customer support is both a primary and critical step toward success. The customer relationship managers often combined these two approaches, resulting in a failed customer service model.

In this blog, we will discuss what customer service and support, how they differ, and why businesses should prioritize customer service over customer success. Let’s get started.

What is Customer support?

In layman’s terms, customer support is the set of services you provide to help your customers get the most out of your product and solve their problems. Customer service is commonly handled by a team of customer representatives whose primary responsibility is to address and resolve customer issues in a timely and efficient manner.

Besides, in the 21st century, providing excellent customer service has become critical to the success of any company or business. No company can grow in this business component is overlooked. In addition, we have a plethora of technological support and customer relationship management tools available to assist you in achieving this goal of providing efficient customer service.

You can use these customer support tools to streamline the entire customer service operation, provide omnichannel support, and bring all of the components and aspects of customer service under an umbrella, allowing you to provide the best customer service possible.

So, this is the most fundamental understanding of customer service. Let us now define what customer success entails.

What is Customer Success?

In comparison to customer success and support, is a relatively new and thus lesser-known concept in the business world. According to Wikipedia, customer success is the business method that ensures customers achieve success, or their desired outcomes, while using your product or service. The primary goal of customer success is to increase retention rate while reducing churn rate.

The customer success team defines what success means to the customers and collaborates with them to help them achieve it in all aspects. Furthermore, because each customer has unique needs and uses for your product, it is the Customer Success Manager’s responsibility to thoroughly understand each customer and serve as their guide throughout their customer journey.

Besides, as previously stated, since customer success is a relatively new concept, there isn’t much detail or specific methods available that define how to achieve the best customer success. In a nutshell, customer success is a proactive approach that consists of developing relationships with existing customers, thoroughly understanding their company and product goals, and ultimately assisting them in meeting those goals.

Let’s move on to the next section of the blog, which discusses how customer support differs from customer success.

Customer Support vs Customer Success: What’s the Difference?

In the preceding section, we learned the definition and fundamentals of customer support as well as customer success. It is now time to learn how these seemingly similar concepts or approaches differ from one another. The following are the 5 primary differences between customer support and customer success:

  1. The first major difference in customer service vs customer support is its purpose– customer success is proactive, whereas customer service is reactive.
  2. Another significant difference between these two approaches is that while customer success metrics measure customer churn or retention rate, customer support is more concerned with success rates and resolution times or the speed with which customers are served.
  3. The third major difference is a lack of information. Customer service is a more established discipline with access to a plethora of information. On the other hand, in the case of customer success, we don’t have a definitive method for carrying out an effective customer success process or have sufficient information.
  4. Customer support is viewed by most businesses as a standardized cost that is required for smooth business operations. On the other hand, customer success is a lesser recognized initiative, with management more concerned for conclusive returns on customer success efforts and investments.
  5. The fifth major distinction between customer service and support is that, while customer support is a stand-alone approach that requires minimal assistance or collaboration from other teams such as sales, support, and marketing, customer success is a more interconnected approach that relies on multiple departments such as sales, marketing, and finance.

These are the five most significant distinctions between success and support. Let us now look at why you should prioritize customer service.

Why Should Businesses Prioritize Customer Support Over Customer Success?

You must understand that effective customer service is both a stepping stone and a critical component of customer success. Moreover, you cannot reduce churn or increase retention – two key metrics of success – unless you provide effective customer support.

Also, customers will seek out a new product or service provider if they are unable to find a solution to their problems. As a result, customer service is viewed as a critical business function that requires more attention than customer success.

Overall, if you have to choose between the two, customer success can take a back seat for a while. But, under no circumstance should you dodge customer support because this will result in a high churn rate as well as negative growth.

The Bottom Line

Customer success vs customer support is both interlinked as well as critical components of a successful business, each with its own significance. If you have to choose between the two, customer service should be your first choice. Because poor customer service not only hurts the company’s revenue but also impacts the company’s hard-earned reputation.

Paras Kela
Paras Kela is a web developer turned content writer who holds writing expertise in multiple niches. The strong cocktail of his English-medium schooling, passion for writing, and vast industry experience helps him create information-rich, engaging content. In his spare time, he enjoys binge-watching drama series & documentaries, gardening and spending time with loved ones.

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