What is customer success?

What is customer success?

TL: DR

  • In today's business landscape, retaining customers is just as important as getting new ones. That's where customer success comes in – it helps companies foster customer relationships to ensure their satisfaction and continued loyalty.
  • Customer success is different from other customer experience roles in that it is focused on proactive measures and long-term customer engagement. It works to build a positive relationship between the business and its customers in order to keep them loyal while increasing their lifetime value.
  • There are tons of benefits to having a customer success strategy in place. It can help increase revenue, create brand loyalty and trust, reduce churn, create more efficient processes for your team, and improve the overall customer experience.

Customer success is one of the most important aspects of any business, especially in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) industry. It is the process of ensuring that customers are satisfied with their experience and receive value from using your product or service. Companies with a greater focus on customer satisfaction have 1.5x higher employee satisfaction, 1.6x higher brand awareness, and 1.9x higher order value, which directly translates to higher revenues.

Customer success teams work to achieve this by helping customers get up and running quickly, providing support when needed, and tracking customer engagement over time to ensure they remain happy and continue to derive value from your product. In this article, we'll explain what customer success means and what customer success in SaaS looks like.

What is customer success?

At its core, customer success is an approach to ensure customer satisfaction and loyalty by delivering a positive experience.

It involves taking proactive measures to help customers get the most out of your product or service and creating long-term relationships with them. 

Customer success teams work to understand customers' needs and strive to exceed their expectations in order to keep them coming. This proactive approach to customer engagement focuses on the long-term, which can help increase customer lifetime value (CLV).

Customer success vs. customer support 

customer support vs customer success

Customer success is often confused with customer support. While they're both focused on helping customers achieve their goals, there are some key differences.

We've gone into more detail about the differences between customer success and support before, but to sum up:

Customer support is typically reactive in nature and consists of responding to inquiries or providing technical assistance when needed. Customer success teams, meanwhile, focus on proactive measures like onboarding new customers, regularly checking in with customers to ensure their satisfaction, and up-selling or cross-selling products and services.

Customer success vs. customer experience

customer success vs customer experience

Customer success is also frequently confused with customer experience (CX). CX is the overall experience customers have with a business, from interaction and engagement to support. Customer success teams are only one part of the broader CX landscape and focus primarily on building relationships with customers and offering proactive assistance.

Though there are overlaps between the two areas as the fields mature, there are a few key differences between the two that are worth paying attention to.

Some of the most notable are: 

Customer journeys: CX and customer success teams focus on very different aspects of the customer journey. While CX often begins right at the start of that journey, even before someone has signed up or made a purchase, and continues to the end of the customer lifecycle, customer success comes in much late — typically after someone has signed up. It's much more limited and quite a bit more focused in that way.

In terms of goals, once again, CX has broader ones than span the entire length and breadth of a company's relationship with a customer. They're also more general in that everything a CX professional does is to ensure that a customer has an overall positive experience of the company. Customer success, on the other hand, is much more focused on helping customers achieve specific goals.

Author

Shifa Rahaman

Content Marketing Manager

Contributor