Customer Success: What It Is & What It Isn’t

Customer success. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard the term thrown around lately. However, unlike many other buzzwords, “customer success” is not only not going anywhere, but it’s become increasingly important.

In a nutshell, customer success is the act of making sure your customers or clients reach their desired outcome while using your products or services. That said, no, customer success is not synonymous with customer service, account management, or customer experience. Here’s why.

It’s Not Customer Service

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The main differentiator between customer success and customer service is the fact that customer service is reactive where customer success is proactive.

Think about it. When a customer has an issue with a product or service, they submit tickets, call support or help hotlines, or send emails to the customer service team. It’s then the job of the customer service or support team to review and resolve those customers’ issues.

Everything handled within the customer service realm is managed on a case-by-case basis and happens after the customer has announced the problem.

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Customer success, on the other hand, is based on data and research, and begins by developing the customer journey. The customer journey outlines how a customer will interact with your product or service prior to a person becoming a customer. This allows your team to identify any potential issues or pain points your customer could experience prior to their experiencing them.

Not only does this help you create a better product or service from the get-go, but it also helps you create happier, healthier customers for life and generate a strong referral program.

It’s Not Account Management

Like customer service, account management also maintains focus on the here-and-now and is primarily reactive. Simply put, account managers manage accounts, not the money coming in. Therefore, their focus is on the account and handling problems as they arise on that account, not the ongoing success of the customer who owns the account.

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The main goal of customer success is to set up a product or service in a way that your customer will be successful interacting with your product or service. Rather than closing the deal and keeping the company’s focus on acquiring new customers, customer success shifts attention to the customers a company already has.

This not only improves the renewal process for subscription based companies by allowing them to grow faster and with less capital, but it also increases the opportunity for positive reviews and referrals for one-time service based companies generating leads and sales organically.

It’s Not Customer Experience

With customer experience, the focus is on how. How a customer is using your product or service. How your customer interacts with your company post-sale. How a customer gets the most out of your product or service. Customer experience takes a look at each experience your customer will have with your product or service and what the outcome would be.

While customer success also looks at the how, it also understands the why and maps out the entire lifecycle of the customer from the beginning. Not just one interaction.

By outlining the entire customer journey and the milestones that must occur, customer success allows companies to discover what needs must be met for the customer to be successful with your product or service. Customer experience lies within that customer journey.

Build Your Customer Success Program with Progress

While customer success is an important aspect to any successful business, it doesn’t have to be a time-consuming process or difficult to implement.

The Progress app helps businesses create a thriving customer success program by enabling businesses to:

  • Outline project phases
  • Create todo’s within a phase
  • Assign tasks throughout the project
  • Schedule meetings; instant message
  • Share photos, share documents (featuring DocuSign integration)
  • Generate referrals

... all within a smartphone application!

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Learn more about Progress to discover if the app could be what you’re missing to bridge the customer success gap with your clients!

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