Customer Success or Customer Support or Both?

How are you improving your customer retention and lifetime value? If you are thinking better support, you are thinking about customers wrong.
Don’t get me wrong. If you are a product company of any kind, depending on your size, you need to have some one or an entire department dedicated to solving customer problems. Traditionally customer support departments have been focused on solving customer issues and escalations, answering customer queries for information or recording customer feature requests for product teams. While these activities are still needed to service customers, these are reactive tasks and may not help identify issues until its too late. 

On the other hand leveraging predictive analytics can help identify risks early on and provide proactive assistance to customers that may not reach out to customer support. Proactive assistance could easily take the form of an email offering help or providing a free trial or a 1:1 conversation with the customer on the phone or video. 

As an e.g. here is an email we received when we signed up for Blossom at Enstratius (Dell) when we were transitioning to weekly releases

“Since you are one of our Early Adopters we have a special offer for you.
A one hour free google hangout with our CEO & Head of Product on the Essence of Managing Software Projects.”

Since we were new to the process, we leveraged this offer and got several of our questions regarding process and best practices answered while also providing feedback to Blossom. Some our our pain points were rapidly addressed which increased our confidence in the team. 

Proactive assistance should leverage product usage data, metrics and funnel analysis to determine what the pain points are and how customers are using the product. Data should be tested This data helps frame the engagement with the customer for not only risks, but also opportunities for product improvements and for cross-selling and up-selling products and services. 

In short, the question is how are you are thinking about improving your customer relationship. Relabeling your customer support department as customer success will not cut it. You could create separate departments for customer support and customer success. Organization is not the point. Rethinking the approach is.