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Meeting customers’ growing expectations while managing one’s business makes delivering sound customer service extremely challenging. Companies today must create a strategy centered around Customer Service and Customer Success in order to create a Customer Experience that generates business growth.

Defining the functions that revolve around the customer


Although they may sound similar, the following functions are not interchangeable:

Customer Service/Support
Customer Service or Customer Support is a reactive function. It focuses on helping customers solve immediate problems or manage requests for additional services such as products, features and licenses. Customer Service deals with customers who express emotions of anger or frustration. Following a positive Customer Service interaction, the customer will feel satisfied, valued and relieved.

Customer Success
Customer Success is a proactive function that helps educate customers about ways to garner further value from the products and services they use. The Customer Success team requires in-depth knowledge about the customers’ business, pain points and growth plans in order to align products and services. Customers may express negative emotions such as hopelessness, disengagement or apathy without the guidance of the Customer Success team. Interactions with the Customer Success team will lead customers to feel engaged, informed and confident. Customer Success is focused on building and maintaining long-term relationships.

Customer Experience
Customer Experience describes the interactive, end-to-end customer journey lifecycle. Indifference and lack of confidence or attachment are emotions that customers may feel prior to being introduced to the brand. Success in Customer Experience will make customers feel pride, advocacy and loyalty to the brand.

A People-Centered Approach


Augment Customer PNG3The Customer Service and Customer Success teams should work in harmony to garner a positive Customer Experience. All companies, but especially SMB B2Bs, should augment their Customer Service and Customer Success to drive meaningful, long-term business results. If a customer has a positive support experience, it promotes a good working relationship with Customer Success. Likewise, if a customer receives proactive updates about how to maximize value, they feel supported and are more willing to engage with their Customer Service Management (CSM) teams. Customer Experience is a predictor of revenue, which showcases how important it is for driving growth.

Utilizing Service Optimization to Drive Growth


While 89% of CEOs believe they now compete on service, only a fraction have embraced Service Optimization, which allows businesses to glean coherent insight and use the most efficient processes and information—across all disciplines and teams—to provide business efficiency and optimal service delivery.

Service Optimization means that companies place customers at the center of a unified platform. This forces the business to consider the value of the end-to-end Customer Experience. Self Service, like one of the many features found on the Vivantio platform, is one way to augment Customer Experience as it sits at the intersection of Customer Service and Customer Success. It allows businesses to easily keep track of certain types of requests and the amount of tickets flowing through to keep customers engaged and happy. In addition, a unified platform that utilizes Self Service allows companies to connect with customers during an issue, provides insight into products and services and drives a better, more meaningful Customer Experience.

To get started in Service Optimization, companies should look at all the touch points that a customer has, both inwards and outwards, to see how the Customer Experience can be enriched, service can be personalized and sales activities become predictive.

To learn how to apply Service Optimization to the latest evolution of business service, read Vivantio’s latest report.

Greg Rich

by Greg Rich

With over 25 years in customer services, Greg co-founded Vivantio with the goal to provide a leading service management solution that puts the focus back on enabling outstanding customer service without being cost or growth restrictive.