Customer Support vs. Customer Success: Explained

Customer Support vs. Customer Success: What You Need To Know


03 January 2023

There are significant distinctions between customer success and customer support, but they are also connected by some common points. The ultimate objective of both customer success and support is to provide outstanding client experiences and boost customer retention.

In this blog, we'll discuss the distinctions between these two roles and how they complement one another to raise client happiness and promote company expansion. 



1. What is Customer Success?

2. Contrarily, what is customer support?

3. Key differences


What is Customer Success?

A comprehensive and proactive business-wide strategy, ‘Customer Success’ is the primary goal of every business. It leverages your product or service to assist customers in achieving their goals. Effective customer success may help your business achieve several objectives by assisting clients in making the most of your products and maximizing their ROI. This includes raising average lifetime value for both new and existing customers, decreasing churn, and improving customer retention.


Contrarily, What is Customer Support?

Customer support, also termed as customer service, gives priority to clients who need assistance in resolving an issue while using your company’s product or services. Customer service representatives strive to provide customers with answers, solutions, and great experiences in general. However, when compared to support, customer success goes a step further in fostering the client-customer relationship by assisting clients in recognising and maximizing the factors that will contribute to sustained success and engagement.

While both customer support and customer success strive to satisfy customers, they differ in a number of ways.


Key differences

1. Reactive & Proactive approach

Customer support provides a reactive approach, aiding a customer once they contact them with an issue or inquiry or when they are in need of something. Customer success, on the other hand, provides a proactive approach and focuses on assisting clients in identifying and achieving their goals. To be precise, while customer success teams focus more on foreseeing requirements and queries, following up, and cultivating the customer connection, customer support teams seek to resolve customer concerns when they occur. For instance, the customer support team responds to a customer's request for help if they are experiencing technical issues with a product. The goal of customer success teams is to identify opportunities and resolve problems before customers even consider them. This starts with Customer Onboarding (vital for SaaS business) to avoid early drop-offs and likelihood of converting them into paid customers. Through regular contact, prearranged touchpoints, and feedback requests, this relationship is made feasible.


2. Success vs Support Metrics

The measurements and key performance indicators for customer success vs. customer support differ due to the differences in objectives. The goal of customer support is to maximize the effectiveness and efficiency of support interactions. It doesn't give much thought to what occurs prior to and following customer interactions.

The metrics that determine success in this context include First Response Time, Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Resolution Rate, and others. In order to improve their customer support, several businesses also solicit consumer input.

Customer success, on the other hand, is more challenging to quantify explicitly. The objective is to enhance client connections and experiences over time, not to solve a particular problem right once. Since achieving customer success is more of a long-term effort, the metrics that are tracked cover more of the customer journey. The metrics that marketers and their managers can track to see whether their strategies are performing effectively include customer success metrics and KPIs. These metrics show how well a customer is doing with product uptake, retention, and referral to others. They are crucial for developing procedures that will increase the lifetime worth of your client relationships. Customer success metrics may provide you with insights into important areas like customer attrition, adoption rates, product satisfaction, and more when they are tracked appropriately. Metrics like CSAT and NPS are some exemptions which can be applied to customer success as well as customer support. 

3. Purpose 

Although at first look both customer support and customer success appear to have the same goals, the comparison is more nuanced than that. Customer experience is always at the heart of customer service goals. Customer satisfaction is a top goal, yet it can be unstable and difficult to maintain. Customer success, however, is value-oriented. The responsibility to maintain satisfaction is left to the customer through giving them long-term value. Instead of being motivated by temporary gratification, a customer's loyalty is now based on ongoing benefits.

4. Approach

Strategies for customer success and customer support to achieve certain goals are different.

Since they must assist with current problems and prevent future problems, customer support is more problem and solution oriented. Customer success, on the other hand, is focused on clientele relationships. Customer success teams work to provide value in all contexts and circumstances by ensuring that customers accomplish their goals even when they encounter difficulties.


5. Return on Investment

Improved CX, according to Zippia, can boost business revenue by 10% to 15%. The majority of organizations view their customer support teams as an essential yet costly component of their operations. Given the frequency of complaints and the urgency with which they must be resolved, the value of customer success teams is widely debated.  But it's undeniable that effective customer success teams bring in money. They can focus on growth, keep clients, and reduce turnover. This is evident when the contact center is able to develop client retention techniques like loyalty rewards, cross-selling, or providing partnerships with businesses.


Customer Success Customer Support
Assist clients in achieving their objectives. Address issues and difficulties.
Work with the customer proactively. Respond immediately as a consumer concern arises, however reactively.
Success metrics make an effort to quantify how the strategy affects corporate objectives Support metrics make an effort to gauge how well customers are supported.
More of a strategic approach A problem-solving approach.
Takes place across several platforms and mediums. Usually over customer helpdesk or contact centers.
Make long-term challenges a priority. Set current issues as a top priority. 
Key metrics – Customer churn, NPS, Avg revenue per customer (ARPU), MRR, Customer Life time value (CLV) Key metrics – CSAT, Customer Effort Score, First Contact Resolution (FCR), AHT, Number of tickets resolved.


This article should have clarified the distinctions between customer success and customer support as well as how to best maximize both. Providing outstanding customer support requires being proactive and punctual. Users today are less patient than ever before, and they don't want to spend hours standing in line just to get straightforward answers. Instead, because self-service is always relevant and timely, the majority of young consumers prefer it as well. Here’s where C-Zentrix can assist you. Companies employ CZ IVR and CZ bots to automate customer service responses and create a personalized experience. This enables businesses to deliver several responses (static and dynamic) to numerous callers at the same time, around-the-clock, while also reducing the expense of human resources. The ultimate objective of a business is to satisfy consumers so they will continue with your services. For this, the customer success and customer support teams should collaborate effectively. 


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