One of the primary roles of inbound call centers at most companies is customer service. Agents speak with customers who call in, solving or troubleshooting the issues they bring with the goal of resolving the problem by the end of the call. But at the same time as your agents are focused on delivering optimal customer service, they, or other agents on the team, should also be focused on customer success. Here, we’re explaining the difference between customer service and customer success and why your company needs agents that prioritize both in order to be successful.
What is customer service?
As we previously mentioned, your customer service team focuses on solving problems for customers as they arise. For example, a customer may be having difficulty setting up a product they purchased from your company, so they call the customer service team to help them figure out what they are doing wrong and complete the set-up correctly. Customer service agents only act responsively—they are presented with issues and they work to correct them.
What is customer success?
Where customer service agents act in response to customer inquiries, members of your customer success team work proactively to pre-empt any problems that might arise. Their goal is to facilitate a smooth experience for the customer at every stage of their interaction with the company and/or the product. Looking at the same example of the customer struggling with product set-up, members of the customer success team might provide additional information or instructions on product set-up to customers immediately after their purchase is complete so that they have it on hand should they run into any problems. They might also follow up with customers, whether by phone, email, or a different mode of communication, an appointed number of days or weeks after a completed purchase to make sure the customer hasn’t had any issues with the product up to that point. Customer success agents don’t wait for customers to come to them with problems, they go to the customers with the solutions.
Why do you need both?
No matter how much you analyze and learn about the typical lifecycle of an average customer, there are going to be problems that arise that require support from customer service. Every customer is different and therefore they all have different experiences, so you aren’t going to be able to foresee every single issue before it appears. But if you can foresee some and act proactively to help customers avoid them, it will go far towards creating repeat customers. Indeed, the goal of both your customer service and customer success teams should be to improve your customer retention rates, a goal that is achieved by making customers feel valued and cared for (along with providing exceptional products or services). One of the easiest ways to achieve this goal is to ensure that your customers don’t feel forgotten as soon as they’ve forked over the money for your product or services. Instead, you want them to feel like you care and want them to have a positive experience with your product, an impression that is conveyed by the presence and support of both customer service and customer success teams.
While your customer service and customer success agents are busy supporting your customers, one way to make sure that they feel supported is by providing them with easy-to-use call center software that makes their jobs easier, like CallShaper. To learn more about the platform, request a demo today.