The Difference Between Customer Success vs. Customer Service

Customer support is generally “reactive” in approach, helping a customer once they need something or reach out with a problem or question. In contrast, customer success is “proactive”, focusing on helping identify and facilitate customers reaching their goals.

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

What is customer service?

Similar to customer success, customer service emphasizes the short-term transaction over the long-term relationship. Customer service assists clients in resolving issues with the company’s products and services, such as resolving pricing disagreements, technical problems, or general inquiries.

Customer service also operates on several fundamental principles, including:

What is customer success?

Customer success is a concept that emphasizes the ongoing relationship that a company has with its clients. This can involve developing a more personal relationship with customers and making them feel valued or learning more about the expectations of the market for the company and its goods or services. Customer success depends on several factors, including:

8 differences between customer success vs customer service

At crucial junctures in their mutual relationship, customer success and customer service diverge, including:

1. Customer support and service timelines

The primary distinction between customer support and customer success is the overall timeline throughout each process. Customer success is more concerned with building long-term relationships with customers and retaining their loyalty over time. Customer service focuses on providing immediate assistance to clients by addressing issues or providing information in order to enhance their experience and perception of the brand.

2. Proactive and reactive experiences

Long-term satisfaction and proactive responses to customer goals are what define customer success. Customer success-oriented businesses are driven by identifying customer goals and expectations and growing the business to meet those requirements. Customer service, in contrast, responds more quickly to a need that arises, offering customers a temporary fix and interacting with them at the point of sale.

3. Revenue and cost-cutting

Customer success and service both aim to increase sales, but each approach does so differently. Customer success increases customer loyalty through value and support, which generates long-term, sustainable revenue. This could entice them to purchase goods and services again in the future or even urge other potential customers to use them. In order to reduce costs or save money, customer service may address problems, such as by providing discounts for subsequent purchases rather than accepting returns.

4. Collaboration and focused efforts

The entire organization frequently participates in extensive collaborative efforts to achieve customer success. Customer service, however, may rely on a concerted effort from one or more business divisions. For instance, a help desk or phone line may be operational for specific divisions or areas of the company, whereas a customer success-oriented organization cultivates a customer service-focused culture throughout the entire business.

5. Quality and value

The immediate quality of a product or service is the main focus of customer service. A brand’s and its products’ quality are demonstrated to a customer by offering a customer support team, a return policy, and other customer support tools. Alternately, assisting long-term customer success demonstrates to the client the brand’s dedication to value that goes beyond the initial sale and monetary worth of a good.

6. Initial impressions

An organization’s or department’s initial responses and interactions with new clients can vary depending on whether it prioritizes customer success or customer service. A customer can be impressed and inspired to make their first purchases or experiences by receiving excellent customer service during the first interaction. By putting an emphasis on long-term customer retention, customer success strengthens that connection.

7. Metrics

Organizations may measure customer success and service with different metrics. To measure customer success they may review factors, such as:

Companies may measure customer service through:

8. Personnel skills

The skill sets of customer success and customer service specialists are somewhat similar, but they differ when it comes to planning and carrying out their processes. Employees who specialize in customer success typically have a thorough understanding of long-term growth and the value of customer relationships in addition to industry knowledge and customer service expertise. Although they have some industry knowledge, customer service representatives prioritize conflict resolution, compassion, and communication skills when resolving immediate problems.


Is customer support part of customer success?

Customer success teams focus more on anticipating needs and questions, following up, and maintaining the relationship with customers than customer support teams do.

Is customer success a service or sales?

Customer success considers the customer experience to be the priority while sales place a greater emphasis on the conversion aspect. Customer success happens only after a lead converts from sales. They also work on the customer lifecycle funnel’s engagement and retention sections.

What is considered customer success?

The distance between your customer actually achieving their desired outcome and them functionally completing the tasks required in your product to be “successful” from your perspective as the vendor

What is the difference between customer service and customer support?

Customer support teams support a product, whereas customer service teams offer services to customers. This is the difference between customer service and customer support.

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