Zuko Blog

What is Customer Success?

Back to blog

Customer Success is often confused with Customer Service as they sound so similar but they’re actually very different.

Customer service (also known as customer support) is a reactive function, centering around answering customer queries, troubleshooting issues and delivering positive outcomes for customer problems.

Customer success, on the other hand, is proactive – focussing on nurturing customer relationships and building partnerships. Customer Success adds value by anticipating customer needs, providing guidance and expertise to ensure customers get maximum value from the product or service.

The rise and rise of Customer Success

Over the last decade interest in Customer Success has grown significantly as more businesses understand the value and opportunities the function offers.

Source: Google Trends

Is Customer Success just a new name for Account Management?

For many businesses today a customer’s main point of contact is often an Account Manager whose role has similarities to that of a customer success manager. A key distinction between the two roles are the motivations and outcomes. Account managers are predominantly focussed on closing a sale and cross-selling or upselling whereas customer success managers build relationships and help a customer succeed through the product.

For account managers, success lies in financial gains but for customer success theirs is entwined with their customers – if a customer is happy, active and achieving value then they are achieving their goal.

A comparison of Customer Success and Customer Service

Why is Customer Success so important?

Customer Success is crucial for businesses as it provides a barometer of customer sentiment beyond standard satisfaction scores. A good customer success team will not only have a deep understanding of their customers’ business but the ability to use this knowledge to anticipate needs and deliver outstanding, tailored service to meet them.

Maintaining strong product/service engagement through regular outreach communication is also key. Educating customers about your product and encouraging suggestions and feedback via calls and emails provides a number of reciprocal benefits.  Customers become part of your journey and invested in the process, creating an environment where you’re able to adapt and mould your product around your customers evolving needs.

Customer success has a direct impact on the bottom line by encouraging renewals and advocacy, maintaining engagement and satisfaction and reducing churn and improving revenue.

Why a great product alone isn’t enough

No matter how amazing your product, leaving customers to fend for themselves creates unnecessary friction and a breeding ground for discontent. No one knows your product better than you and expecting customers to go it alone with only tutorials for company is a recipe for disaster. The time customers spend figuring out your product is time they could be achieving value. Coaching customers will help them realise value sooner and reduce the likelihood of churn.

Having customer success as part of the ecosystem strengthens your product offering by giving customers the tools and confidence to get the most out of it. They’re also safe in the knowledge that they can count proactive support and guidance.

Customer Success is a really important part of any business where you can have a huge impact not only on the experience of your customers but your business too.

Understanding customers’ experiences and how they use and feel about the product focusses development, building features that help them continually realise value. Happy customers are loyal customers and loyal customers become great advocates which every successful business needs.

More from our blog:

How user behaviour has changed during the Covid crisis (and what you can do about it)
User behaviour in forms and checkouts has changed drastically since lockdown. We used our data to understand how it has changed and recommend what to do about it.
8 surprising form metric insights from Zuko’s benchmarking data
Some handpicked highlights from our benchmarking data that may surprise you
Asking about Disabilities and other Sensitive Information in Online Forms
Do you need to ask users some sensitive questions in your online form? Here are a few pointers.
Benchmarking - Deep Dive into eCommerce
We look in detail at purchase forms at the eCommerce sector and draw out some of the key stats for you, as well as learnings you can take from our becnhmarking data.
Zuko c/o Formisimo Ltd, 5th Floor, Arrive, White Tower, MediaCityUK, Salford, M50 2NT
VAT Number: GB181252425
Registered in England as company number 08859680
New Business: sales@zuko.io
Support: support@zuko.io
Telephone: +44 (0)800 772 0982
This website stores data such as cookies to enable important site functionality including analytics, targeting, and personalization. By remaining on this web site you indicate your consent.