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Customer Success, Customer Support & the Customer Journey

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Customer Success and Customer Support are two different components to a customer’s journey at any business.

The customer journey begins the moment a customer first interacts with your company’s product or service. And it grows as touch-points are made throughout the relationship.

The end goal for these two teams should be to turn clients into brand advocates through great service, by exceeding expectations, and successful moments of truth interactions.

How are they different?

While customer support is involved as they navigate standalone issues the customer success team is there to nurture and grow the relationship with customers. Both teams work hand in hand to ensure customers are happy and their expectations are being met.

We’ll walk through how support and success teams differ through:

  • Customer Interactions
  • Customer Relationships; and
  • Customer Feedback

Customer Interactions

Both the Customer Support and Customer Success teams interact with customers. While these teams both interact with customers, these interactions are different.

The support team is often the first team contacted to help with troubleshooting when obstacles arise. They handle customer interactions when the customer is experiencing issues and need a resolution quickly.

On the other hand, the success team is involved in customer onboarding, training and is a main point of contact for customers post-sale.  Each of these teams’ interactions play an important part in the customer journey.

Customer Relationships

Having strong customer relationships increases retention and contract renewals for your company. We know that support and success interact with customers in different ways, but how does this affect customer relationships?

The success team will be the team focused most on building and nurturing all post-sale relationships, but it’s important that all customer interactions are documented. This ensures consistency and clarity across teams; if a customer needs to contact support, it’s key that support has access to the information about the relationship that the success team has been learning.

A best practice to implement in your customer-facing departments is utilizing an organized Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

A CRM helps ensure a smooth sales-to-success handoff, allows your success team to document their relationships post-sale, and provides a space for the support team to log any tickets and leave notes about client interactions.

Strong communication, organization, and interpersonal skills will be key ways to ensure your customer relationships reach their fullest potential.

Customer Feedback

Both teams will have opportunities to hear feedback from customers (both good and bad.) Success teams can actively reach out to customers as they reach milestones, conduct surveys and hold feedback sessions. Support teams will, most likely, receive feedback during their daily interactions with customers.

This feedback is helpful for the growth of your company, and should be included in your CRM or internal note taking system.

Success, Support & the Customer Journey

Understanding how success and support interact and build relationships with customers is essential for understanding the customer journey.

We asked our Customer Success Manager, TJ Whelan, his thoughts on how success and support teams aid the customer journey, “Customer Success and Support allows you to be actively reactive to customer issues,  and questions, while also being proactive to assist in preventing those issues from arising in the first place.”

Read more on implementing  Customer Success strategy for your business here!

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