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Customer Service

Great Customer Service vs Customer Success: What are the Differences?

August 26, 2022

In this day and age, customer success alongside great customer service creates memorable experiences that lead to lifelong customers. These customers become ardent fans of your brand, and are excited to share their experiences with others.

With the digital age hyperextending how we get products and services, the borders of entries for creating a great product and service have all reduced within the last five years. It is crucial for a brand to create an additional value proposition, that differs from simply having a better product or service. Likewise, the founder and former CEO of Hubspot, Brian Halligan had this to say about what it means to be “special” in a world full of similar products and services.

“Back at school, I had a professor who used to say: ‘Don’t even bother to start a company unless your product is ten times better than the competition's.’ I think the modern reality of startups is that it is nearly impossible to build something 10x better! The cost of building something cool is really low. Sustainable product advantage is harder and harder to get. I think today's companies succeed if their customer experience is 10x better.I’ll give you an example. This morning I woke up and put on my Warby Parker glasses. I turned on my phone and listened to a podcast on Spotify. And then rode on my Peloton and later attended a meeting on Zoom. All those companies are pretty much startups. It’s not that their product is 10x better than the competition. The experience they create is 10x better.”

Customers are looking for the most seamless, frictionless ways to buy products. When products and services are extremely comparable, you will need to have better customer support and a great customer service team. Otherwise, your competitors will seemingly provide better value than you can.

We’re here to break it down for you by defining what customer support and customer success is while giving you insight into why it’s important for your business.

Defining Customer Support

Customer support means different things to different services, but all have the same end goal: to react, alleviate, and fix a customer’s issue or inquiries, in a timely manner. Now, we’ve all had those times where we’ve been pretty angry at a customer support process, because:

  • It’s too time-consuming
  • You can’t speak with a representative
  • The customer support process has a lot of friction, making it difficult for you to resolve your issue

You want someone or a team of people to build processes and guides on how to resolve issues, educate, and be a knowledge base for customers to rely on.

In short, great customer service lies within these three principles:

  • Placing the customer first, using empathy and kindness to directly respond to a customer’s situation or question
  • A quick, but not hurried reaction to your customer’s needs
  • Deep, knowledgeable understanding of your products and services

Having a great customer service team allows for wonderful customer interactions which lead to overall higher revenue. Furthermore, having great customer service stands to resolve issues related to your products or services promptly, while being able to offer additional information and instruction when needed.And it can also be the difference between someone buying your product, over your competitors.

Defining Customer Success

Everyone has a different definition of success, but customer success is ensuring that the value of your product or service is seen and felt. Customer success can be seen as synonymous with customer support, but as we said earlier - customer support is reactive and is made to handle problems within the present. Customer success is long-term and brings value to your brand and business by consistently helping your customers realize all the additional value you bring to them. You can also easily track customer success by reviewing metrics such as:

  • Number of return customers
  • Repeat business and referrals
  • Sustained customer retention/loyalty

It’s revenue-generating, and a great customer service team can have continual customer engagement through different platforms which gives an opportunity to cross and upsell.

The four principles of customer success are as follows:

  • Focusing on customer retention, repeat business, and overall lifetime value
  • Placing client and customer happiness beyond making a sale
  • Giving additional value through content, and being proactive by educating your customers on the unique ways they can use your products
  • Utilizing metrics and analytics to guide yourself to the most effective channels will help clients become bigger fans of your brand

How Support and Success Come Together

Customer support and success go together like lemon and lime, and they are both crucial to growing and optimizing your business. Customer support is reactive, while customer success is proactive. If you add the two together, it equals less friction and more enjoyment/value for your customers. If you can find out what your customers may eventually need and combine it with a solution for any dilemmas they may face - then you have successfully reduced buying friction within your customer’s purchase process. Great customer service in the short run + Great customer success in the long run = a lifetime of happiness for your customers.

Customer Success and Support Are Essential to your Brand

Customer support and success work hand in hand to give your customers and clients the best experience possible. Assuredly, this will then increase your customer loyalty, giving you the highest potential lifetime value from said customer. If you have a thorough understanding of both customer support and success, you have an additional value proposition, and in where a potential customer will buy from you, instead of your competitors.

Actionable Steps Your Brand Can Utilize

For customer success, you can start out by utilizing metrics to direct your content through the channels that your customers are mostly coming from. Using tools like Semrush or Ahrefs will show you where the majority of your website traffic is coming from.

Once you know where most of your customers are coming from, you can utilize a content calendar to schedule educational and interesting posts regarding your brand, your products, or anything relevant to the exciting things your brand is doing.

Once you have your content scheduled and ready - you can now focus on customer retention. For example, a great way to keep customers interested in your brand or products is to send a newsletter every week regarding new products, changes, or any unique stories that your brand may have.

From there - you can base customer success on reaching out to loyal customers who have bought multiple times, and you can give them discount codes, sneak peeks at your new products, or simply giving them the ability to buy your products before they are available to the general public. For customer support, that’s where we come in…

Outsourcing Customer Support

Our Co-founders started in a tiny Los Angeles apartment, shipping out orders and responding to hundreds of emails per day - trying to figure out a solution that would make it easier to scale customer service for their rapidly growing E-Commerce business. That’s when they decided to create TalentPop, to have the best customer support agents in the world, backed by a world-class team based in Orange County, CA to give you round-the-clock support for your customers’ needs.

We’ll train your agent(s) on the in-and-outs of your brand, and make them fundamentally sound in using E-Commerce tools and platforms such as Shopify, Gorgias and Zendesk. Once your agent goes live, they will always give elevated responses to any number of inquiries they are to receive during the week, backed by a weekly quality assurance analysis. Of course, utilizing empathy and kindness along the way, to ensure that your customer’s needs are heard, and met.

From emails, live chat support, subscription management, phone calls, and more, we can help you with your customer support, while you focus on the scaling of your business. If you’re curious about what we can do for you, let’s get on a call today and see how TalentPop can help your business!

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