Does your organization need Customer Support, or Customer Success? Or both? Too often, companies do not deliberately decide what type of Customer organization is right for the them, instead just choosing one by accident. But the wrong choice can have major consequences on the financials of the business and on customer satisfaction.
So which do you need? Like some many other questions, it depends. But let’s start with defining what each organization looks like.
Customer support - think call center where almost all of the volume is inbound (phone, email or chat) and it’s almost exclusively reactive. In general, the goal of a Support organization is to help resolve the customer's issue as quickly, and cost effectively, as possible. Some of the metrics that are typical for a Support team include time to answer, time to resolve, number of touches to resolve etc. A new measure that is gaining some momentum is called “Customer Effort” which is an attempt to capture how hard it was for the customer to resolve their inquiry and is very appropriate for Support teams. For the most part, people in Customer Support are a little less experienced and are on the lower end of the compensation scale. This makes them a little easier to find and hire.
Customer Success - often called Account Management, this organization is typically tasked with ensuring that the client gets value out of the product/service. As a result, they are (or at least, should be) more proactive with their customers They should be making sure that the customers are using the product/service to do the thing for which they originally bought the product/service. Some key metrics for Success organizations include number of outbound touches per customer, renewal rates and expansions and net promoter score. Generally, Success team members are a little more experienced in customer management and therefore have slightly higher compensation. They are often a little more difficult to find.
When deciding whether you need a Customer Support team or Customer Success team or both, here are some things to think about:
Azim Nagree is an ex-Bain consultant with 20+ years in leading strategy, growth and operations transformations.