Is There A Difference Between Customer Service and Customer Success

The digital marketplace will only continue to be more competitive, especially with the constant emergence of B2B products and SaaS offerings. With that being said, business jargon like “customer success” and “customer service” has stolen the spotlight and has become critical to the success of a business. However, many don’t know their subtle but powerful difference— one is proactive while the other is reactive.

Seeing as “customer success” and “customer service” may seem incredibly similar on the surface, there’s no surprise that these terms are often interchanged. But to promote success in your business, you need to ensure that you understand each concept fully and know their differences to help maximize your business’s potential. 

The business world has slowly evolved from being a one-way street to building successful relationships with customers. Because of this, how your target views your company can make or mar your brand’s success. For this reason, we’ll dig deeper into customer service and customer support to help you understand how you can knock out your competition. 


Defining Customer Success and Customer Service


What is Customer Success?

Customer success isn’t that simple and isn’t a linear concept because it is based on your business’s goals or expected outcomes. With that, customer success is a real-time and more proactive approach that covers the following:

  • Establishes, builds, and develops more substantial relationships with your customers;
  • Helps you understand what makes your customers tick and organizational obstacles;
  • Allows you to create solutions to help your customers meet and go beyond their goals;
  • Encourages successful implementation of your services or products;

In that regard, customer success is a holistic and proactive business initiative that puts your customers at the forefront by utilizing metrics and technology to help provide value and boost the success rates of customers. 


Customer Success vs. Customer Satisfaction

Bridging the gap between giving customers what they need and what they want has always been the goal of customer success. And even when we see customers happy with the help you provide, a great customer experience is nothing if it doesn’t result in customer success. 

When you give customers what they want, you can achieve temporary customer satisfaction. But if you explain to them what they may need and how you can improve their experience, you can gain trust with your customers and build a relationship with them. 


What is Customer Service?

Custom service or support, in essence, involves helping your client overcome a certain issue or problem related to your products, services, or company. In some cases, customer support also provides effective solutions to customers on utilizing your services to overcome issues through self-support. With that, there are many areas customer service can improve on since it’s incredibly reactive. 

The reason you have services and products in the market is that you want to offer solutions for your customers. However, focusing on their problems can only go so far, and you can only provide limited support. So if you compare this to customer success, the latter takes customer care a step further by encouraging long-term success and engagement.


What Makes Them Different?

Customer success and customer service are different concepts, but they should work together to create agile initiatives to provide long-term, effective customer care. Below are the biggest differences between customer service and customer success that could help you maximize the experience you provide to your target market:


Differences Between Customer Success and Customer Service


  1. Reactive and Proactive Approach

As mentioned earlier, customer service follows a more reactive approach. This means that you’re only providing surface-level support to your customers to help them tackle certain issues with your product, services, or company.

On the other hand, customer success follows a more proactive approach that focuses on identifying your customers’ needs, allowing you to facilitate solutions that will help them reach their goals. 


  1. Transaction- vs. Relationship-Oriented

Customer service is transactional in nature. This means that your relationship only begins when a customer reaches out to you and ends when a request or issue is resolved. Meanwhile, customer success doesn’t “end,” but instead, you keep an ongoing and evolving relationship to help build a bond between you and your customers. 

You can elevate your customer service and success by infusing the two and create practical solutions that will help you track your customer’s journey and progress. With that, you’ll get to be reactive and then proactive, providing them with what they want and then showing them what they need.


  1. KPIs and Metrics

When it comes to customer service, you are focusing on measuring and improving the quality and speed of your support interactions. However, these measurements are only cursory and don’t consider the events before or after the support interaction. 

With customer success, you tackle all the main interaction points, even before and after the event. With that, you positively impact your interactions, which ultimately improve your retention rates, increase sales, boost, cross-sell rates, and more. 


  1. Hiring and Recruiting

Since customer services have been a mainstay in businesses for decades, its roles and practices in hiring are pretty established. But with customer success, the field is quite young, and because of that, the depth of knowledge with this role and how to hire the right individuals is complicated. 

For this reason, it’s best to work with outsourcing companies that have a directory of highly-trained professionals for both customer support and success. 


  1. ROI Measurements

When your customer service efforts break down, they can heavily influence customer satisfaction ratings, LTV of customers, retention rates, referrals, and other factors. With that, customer support is highly measurable and understood by different departments in various organizations. 

But since customer success is relatively young, the initiative is less understood by other departments. To measure customer success, you can evaluate product usage and adoption of your services in their activities, the volume of referrals you receive, your brand’s reputation, the effects of your marketing efforts, and the increase of retention rates, upgrades, and more. 


The Bottom Line: Utilizing Customer Service and Customer Success in Growing Your Business


Putting the spotlight on what your customers want and need is crucial to the success of your company. And with that, the team that is meant to enter that arena is your customer service and success team. 

By infusing both concepts, you can create powerful strategies that will help your company grow and build relationships with your customers. With customer support, you can identify and solve your market’s issues, but if you add customer success techniques, you can provide valuable insight that would encourage long-term success for both parties. 

So if you’re thinking of building a robust customer service and success team, it’s best to work with a credible outsourcing company to ensure you’re forming strong and dynamic support and success department. 


Why You Should Work With CrewBloom

Building remote customer support and a successful team can be difficult. With all the limitations involved, it’s only right to work with an experienced company that could help you form a robust remote team. 

CrewBloom is a remote staffing agency that connects you with top-tier affordable professionals for your remote sales and support roles. Need to outsource employees and build a powerful customer support and success team? Reach out to us today!

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