Whilst customer support and customer success are closely related, being the two most important elements of a customer experience, they ultimately serve different goals and functions. If you are considering implementing one or both of these strategies, however, you may be weighing up the importance of each of these elements. 

When considering both options, but you can only choose one, improving customer support by implementing a solution such as omnichannel customer service comes out on top as the most important first step to take in improving the customer experience. So, with this in mind, let us look at why customer support must always come before customer success. 

Customer support defined

What might also be referred to as customer service, customer support is more reactive and functional in its processes, helping to solve any issues a customer might be experiencing. Customer support agents must be able to adequately deal with customers, and be able to provide expert guidance. 

Customer support is essential to any business, as customers expect a product or service to do what it is supposed to. Thus, in times where this might not be the case, help must be on hand to assist customers in finding a suitable solution. If a business does not have customer support in place, this can lead to complaints and refund demands. 

In fact, in today’s day and age, a good customer support service is expected of a business, as opposed to being a bonus feature. According to a worldwide survey, important aspects of a good customer service experience includes: finding the information needed without the need to contact a representative; talking to a knowledgeable representative; not needing to repeat oneself after being transferred to a new agent; and, getting the issue resolved in a single interaction, no matter how long it takes. 

Customer success defined 

On the other hand, customer success is a proactive, real-time sales approach. Customer success works on the notions of value creation and value expansion. This means that, by ensuring your product or service works well, you are delivering the value that customers expect. In doing so, customers will want to expand on that value, wanting more and more from your company. 

In other words, customer success is based on understanding the company and its product goals, as well as understanding the customer and their needs. This can then be applied to build relationships with your existing customers, ensuring that their expectations are met and thus their experience is successful. 

Why should customer support come before customer success? 

As you can see, customer support is a big part of attracting and retaining new customers, whereas customer success is more about retaining existing customers and encouraging repeat sales. Thus, customer support should be the first thing to focus on. Without customer support, you may not have the existing customers needed to even consider customer success. 

Therefore, by firstly focusing on customer support, your business will be able to continuously grow. Once your company grows, it is then time to start up an effective customer success function. With all this in mind, your business is sure to have all the essential elements ready to succeed.