10 common objectives in customer service and customer success

Customer success and customer service are increasingly intertwined, playing critical roles in enhancing customer experience, reducing churn, and driving loyalty.

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Alex Martinez

July 2, 20245 minute read

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Customer success and customer service are increasingly intertwined, playing critical roles in enhancing customer experience, reducing churn, and driving loyalty. While I covered this in my previous blog, let me reiterate that customer service traditionally focuses on resolving immediate issues and ensuring customer satisfaction while customer success takes a more proactive approach, aiming to help customers achieve their long-term goals with the product or service. These functions overlap in several key initiatives, from customer satisfaction and retention to proactive support and relationship building.

Here are 10 overlapping objectives between customer service and customer success.

1. Customer satisfaction (CSAT)

Both customer service and customer success teams prioritize customer satisfaction. Ensuring that customers are happy with products and services is a shared goal, often measured through CSAT surveys. For example, after resolving a technical issue, a customer service agent might send a CSAT survey to gauge the customer’s satisfaction with the resolution process. Similarly, a customer success manager might send a CSAT survey after a quarterly business review to assess overall satisfaction with the product’s performance.

2. Customer retention

Reducing churn and retaining customers is critical for both functions. Customer service teams address immediate issues to keep customers satisfied, while customer success teams focus on long-term engagement and value delivery. In this case, a customer success team might notice that a key customer has not logged into their account recently. They proactively reach out to offer a training session on new features, thereby re-engaging the customer and reducing the risk of churn. Meanwhile, the customer service team addresses any technical issues the customer faces promptly to prevent dissatisfaction.

3. Proactive support

Both teams work proactively to identify potential issues before they become significant problems. This involves regular check-ins, monitoring usage patterns, and preemptively reaching out to customers. For instance, a customer success manager might notice a dip in usage patterns and proactively contact the customer to offer help, share best practices, or schedule a review meeting. Concurrently, the customer service team could monitor common issues and send out tips or solutions before customers encounter these problems.

4. Feedback loop

Collecting and acting on customer feedback is essential for continuous improvement. Both teams gather feedback through surveys, direct interactions, and other channels, then collaborate to implement necessary changes. Here is another classic example where we have a customer service agent who denotes recurring complaints about a specific feature and escalates the feedback to the product team. Meanwhile, the customer success team conducts regular feedback sessions with top clients and compiles insights for product development.

5. Onboarding and training

Effective onboarding and training ensure that customers can fully utilize the products or services. Both teams participate in creating and delivering comprehensive onboarding programs and ongoing training resources. In this scenario, the customer success team might develop a detailed onboarding plan that includes webinars, one-on-one training sessions, and documentation. The customer service team supports this by providing additional training resources and answering specific queries during the onboarding process.

6. Relationship building

Building strong, lasting relationships with customers is a common initiative. Customer service very often manages immediate relationship aspects, while customer success focuses on deeper, long-term relationships. Generally, a customer success manager regularly schedules check-ins and strategic review meetings to understand customer goals and ensure the product aligns with them. Customer service agents build rapport by resolving issues quickly and following up to ensure customer satisfaction.

7. Personalization

Personalized experiences enhance customer engagement. Both teams leverage customer data found in customer data platforms or other customer ecosystems to tailor interactions and provide relevant, personalized support and success plans. Using customer data, a customer success manager might create a customized success plan that addresses specific business needs and goals. Customer service agents might personalize their responses and solutions based on the customer’s previous interactions and preferences.

8. Cross-functional collaboration

Collaboration across departments is vital for delivering a seamless customer experience. Both teams work closely with product, sales, and marketing teams to ensure their customer needs are met. To give you an idea, the customer success team collaborates with the product team to prioritize features based on customer feedback. On the same token, the customer service team shares insights with marketing to develop better support content and with sales to ensure a smooth handover of customer information.

9. Customer journey mapping

Understanding and mapping the customer’s journey helps identify pain points and opportunities for improvement. Therefore, both teams contribute to develop comprehensive customer journey maps. Case in point, customer success managers might map out the entire customer journey from initial onboarding to renewal, identifying key touchpoints and areas for improvement. All while customer service agents provide insights into common pain points during specific stages of the journey, such as during onboarding or when seeking technical support.

10. Issue resolution

And finally, swift, and effective issue resolution is crucial. While customer service teams handle immediate problems, customer success teams work on resolving underlying issues to prevent recurrence. In particular, if a customer reports a bug, the customer service team works to resolve it quickly and keeps the customer updated. The customer success team investigates the root cause and works with the product team to implement a permanent fix, ensuring it does not affect other customers.

In my next blog, I will explore 10 possible ways AXM and generative AI are set to revolutionize the customer experience by driving excellence and innovation in customer interactions.

To learn more about how on Agent Experience Management strategies can create amazing customer experiences, visit our website or get in touch with one our subject matter experts.

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Alex Martinez

Alex is a Senior Product Marketing manager at OpenText with over 20 years experience working with customers and partners across multiple verticals with a strong focus on the Healthcare and Financial Services markets. He is keen on guiding customers through their digital transformation journey, taking a solution-oriented approach to solving their day-to-day problems.

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