Jun 17, 2021

Customer Support and Customer Success: Two Players on the Same Team

Customer support and success teams are often treated as separate entities. In a recent SupportLogic webinar, only 35% of attendees noted that support and success report to the same executive in their respective companies. Despite existing silos, there’s strength in collaboration. These roles and departments have the unique opportunity to come together to meet shifting customer demands and provide an experience so elevated that customers could never imagine leaving. Many of our webinar viewers said that they were looking for opportunities to collaborate and share data across support and success teams. That’s the key: By collecting and sharing customer sentiment data, customer support and success teams can work side by side to enhance customer experience and drive revenue growth.

Key differences between customer success vs. customer support

The main difference between success and support is in the types of problems they work on and resolve. Both need to be proactive and responsive. Support typically works on product related and technical issues, whereas success works on adoption, value, and revenue protection/expansion challenges and opportunities.

Customer support is all about helping customers solve specific problems regarding products or services. The support team’s relationship with the customer is generally case-bound, meaning it starts and ends with responding to a ticket. Overall, the team looks at quality and speed metrics, such as how fast they reach a successful resolution. Since they’re often the first point of contact when a customer reaches out, a key challenge for support teams is providing value for the customers in each interaction. Support is on the front lines.

Customer success teams, on the other hand, strive to build ongoing, mutually beneficial relationships. Their intimate knowledge of customers allows them to work with customers on a strategic level to align products and services, which increases lifetime customer value. They help customers make the most of their engagement with your company, such as assisting with onboarding to make sure they get value from the product right from the get-go. Rather than a one-time ticket, these relationships last for the life of the customer. Their key challenge is to figure out how to scale and grow a loyal customer base.

Since both success and support teams engage with customers in unique ways, it’s clear they each have valuable customer insights that could help the other out. With such a customer-centric focus, it is surprising that these teams don’t lean on each other more often to really make an impact on customers and the business.

Use customer sentiment data to bridge support and success teams

By working together, support and success teams can help each other overcome their key challenges. Support teams have valuable insight into customer sentiment, which encompasses the emotions and feelings customers have about your company or a particular interaction. Support and success teams can share these insights to proactively engage, prevent more issues, and continue growing those relationships.

So, how might this collaboration actually play out for a company? Consider this scenario. A support team gets a call or message from a customer regarding a sticky point with a new product feature. Hidden within customer interactions with support are key indicators of how she views the product, how she’s feeling about the support process so far, and how she perceives her relationship with the company. 

Often, that information is never analyzed or shared. However, the customer support team could share that sentiment and invite customer success to assist in the customer issue resolution. Both teams benefit from shared knowledge and collaborative work and can provide quicker response times and more satisfactory solutions that are aligned with the customer’s goals. 

By seeing that this customer is feeling a little bit frustrated, the success teams can also reach out proactively. They’re armed with the right information to address concerns and continue building that trust.

Teams can use AI to track customer sentiment and establish workflows to share these insights efficiently. For example, automatic alerts can notify success teams of escalations or potential churn risks. You can also integrate customer sentiment data and key conversation pieces automatically into your customer success platforms. 

Fivetran’s support and success teams joined forces to improve customer experience and reduce churn

Fivetran is a SupportLogic partner that helps customers automate data integrations with pre-built data connectors. By unifying the support and success experience around customer data, they were able to increase customer satisfaction, reduce churn, and reach their business goals.

Fivetran’s first big move was to bring together key support and account management employees into one collaborative customer success group under one executive. This collaboration was part of the company’s “modern support strategy” to better serve customers.

The other key part of the strategy? Data. Specifically, customer sentiment data. They started tracking and analyzing customer sentiment scores and updating processes and workflows to efficiently share those sentiment insights across various roles. Sharing this customer sentiment data gave everyone the right insights at the right time and promoted collaborating to solve problems for customers. Issues were resolved quickly, and success teams were able to efficiently reach out to at-risk customers.

That collaboration and high customer sentiment score naturally impacted customer satisfaction in a positive way. Fivetran saw increases across key  customer satisfaction metrics, including customer satisfaction score (CSAT), net promoter score (NPS), and more.

The company was able to increase CSAT from  90 to 95% over six months. They also saw a 40% increase in NPS, a whopping 25% reduction in customer churn, and increased revenue. 

SupportLogic can help connect customer support and success teams

Sentiment data is key when it comes to effective collaboration between support and success teams. But that data isn’t always easy to gather and analyze. That’s where tools like SupportLogic come in. 

SupportLogic is a continuous service experience platform that helps you gather that key sentiment data on your customers and share it across various roles and teams. With proactive alerts, quick customer overviews, and easy collaboration, your support and service teams will be able to provide the most integrated and well-rounded customer experience possible. Get started with a free trial today.

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