Customer Success VS Customer Support

Three major differences between Customer Success and Customer Support 


Customer Success has proven its importance; however, not everyone is clear about precisely how it differs from other fields. One of the most common misunderstandings is that Customer Success is the same as Customer Support, or that the two concepts share the same goals. This misconception can cause wrong internal expectations from the CSM’s company and often brings negative results due to unmet needs. As seen in many job posts online, the job description and responsibilities of positions posted as Customer Success Managers are the tasks of other departments- most commonly, Customer Support. 

Customer Success deals with the customers to help them reach their outcome expectations. As this value attainment requires a deep understanding of the customer’s current position and goals, Customer Success Managers are usually customer-facing. They continuously deal with customers and find the best solution to help them attain their needs while ensuring that the CSM’s company reaches their value- revenue.  

On the other hand, Customer Support deals with the customers to aid in quickly solving any problems they are currently facing on using the company’s product. Customer Supports need to have the technical knowledge of how to navigate the product and the actions necessary to fix the issue- at that time. 

It is understandable how Customer Success and Customer Support confuse people as both are client-centric, meaning they focus their plans and actions on the customers. However, their responsibilities and scope of work are vastly different. Here are the three major differences between Customer Success and Customer Support: 

  1. Retaining VS SolvingThe Customer Success Manager’s activities are focused on ensuring that the customers stay for a long time with the company to gain revenue and reduce the cost of onboarding new customers. However, customers do not stay in a company that can’t bring them what they want. The CSM’s responsibility is to ensure that customers achieve what they expect from the company and retain these customers.Customer Support is focused on helping customers overcome any issue they experience with the company’s product. They ensure that the problem will be solved quickly so the customers can continue with their operations and wouldn’t negatively affect their ability to achieve their expectations.
  2. Proactive VS AssistiveCustomer Success is similar to a highly efficient partner dedicating themselves to help you attain your goal with them. A customer has plans, and the Customer Success Managers focus on paving the way for these customers to move forward. They go on the journey together, implementing the best strategies that achieve these goals quickly and continuously. Customer Success proactively puts itself forward and leads the customers to the end goal. Customer Support is assistive in that it reacts to the customer’s concerns and gives them exactly the solution for it. Compared to Customer Success, Customer Support deals with a specific customer for a short time as they are only there when the customers require their help. They do not go with the customers on their journey, but they would always be there whenever the customers needed them.
  3. Business Impact VS Service Quality Customer Success measures its achievement by its ability to help the business by aiding the customers to achieve their goals. The most common metrics include customer retention, Net Revenue Return rate, Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), NPS, etc. On the other hand, to evaluate Customer Support’s effectiveness, the metrics used are quality and time spent of the support team in addressing the issue. The quicker, the better. Some of the measurements used are SLA, CES, CSAT, etc. 

In short, Customer Success and Customer Support have varying goals, but a close relationship between the two would be beneficial, resulting in supporting the customers attain success with minimal issues along the way.  

Learn more about Customer Success Management Key Performance Indicators here
Customer Success VS Customer Support
Customer Success and Sales Blog

This training asset is worth 5 CPD Minutes