This is part 4 of a customer service and support blog series based on conversations with the leaders of Insightly’s client services and customer success teams.

Customer success and customer service are fundamental components in your organization’s ability to deliver great experiences and create long-lasting relationships.  More specifically, these two teams are at the very center of your organization’s efforts to drive adoption, retention, and ultimately, customer loyalty. And according to the Harvard Business Review, companies with a focus on loyalty grow revenues roughly 2.5 times as fast as their industry peers.

Businesses are increasingly differentiating themselves from the competition by providing seamless continuity across customer success and customer service, and ensuring that their employees are able to demonstrate expertise, insights, and empathy in every single customer interaction.  

Customer service and customer success are aligned in that both teams are responsible for creating and maintaining customer loyalty. But there are differences in each team’s remit. Understanding the differences and how they can complement each other is essential for minimizing churn and maximizing revenue growth.

 

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Identifying the differences between customer success and customer service

Customer service and customer success together constitute the perfect marriage of reactive and proactive customer engagement. 

Customer service is primarily reactive. Teams respond in the moment, as quickly as possible, to customer tickets, concerns, and complaints. There might be a technical issue to solve, or a bug to identify and report to engineering. Customers might also reach out to the support team to address learning needs, or alleviate confusion about how to leverage and optimize product feature sets and functionality.  Customer service also has the opportunity, by listening with intention, to identify and create sales opportunities based on unique customer requirements and growth strategies. 

Customer success is primarily proactive, with a focus on the strategic, long-term view. CS teams typically focus first on the onboarding process to encourage engagement and adoption, and drive retention. They continue to build for the future by leading customers through quarterly business reviews to analyze performance and create long-term, strategic mutual success plans to optimize the investment that customers have made in your product or service. 

 

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Exploring the intersection of customer success and customer service

Even though these roles are clearly differentiated, ultimately, they need each other to optimize performance and orchestrate successful customer outcomes.  They become exponentially more valuable to your organization through cross-functional engagement and alignment. The primary way to achieve that is through enhanced communication across teams, facilitated by a unified customer data platform

To explore this concept in more detail, we spoke with Zeke Silva, Insightly’s Senior Director of Client Services, and Luke Via, Insightly’s Senior Director of Customer Success. They share key takeaways on their partnership in delivering exceptional customer experiences at Insightly. 

 

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Securing a complete view of the customer

“Our collaboration has centered on breaking down barriers around securing a complete view of the customer. CS maps success to alignment with customers. If my team isn’t armed with detailed customer service ticket information to round out that full view, there’s a risk that we look out of touch,” said Via.  

Via and Silva’s teams are empowered to capture actionable customer insights through Insightly’s unified platform. “With data across sales, marketing, and service on the same platform, we’re armed with a complete view of our customers,” adds Silva. “My team works primarily in the Service app to capture current customer status, and that information is available to Luke’s team, and the rest of the organization, immediately–it’s completely frictionless, which enhances our ability to be successful across functional groups.”

 

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Maximizing performance and creating impact

This seamless flow of information across the platform has made a tremendous impact in their teams’ ability to drive great experiences. 

According to Via, “With a consolidated platform view, we’re all able to do a much better job of anticipating and over delivering on outcomes. We’ve got the right information to guide conversations more effectively and with more impact. It also helps our teams move with greater velocity. We don’t need to schedule meetings to find out more about current customer status; the data is right there in the platform and anyone can access it quickly and efficiently. It’s made a huge difference during COVID, with remote teams. Ultimately, having access to support, marketing, and sales data in a single platform, and easily accessible to everyone, has freed up time for our teams and enhanced their productivity. It’s empowered my team to be much more strategic in their account interactions, which creates value for us and our customers.”

Silva adds, “With a unified view of our customers, we can all pick up the relationship right where it’s at. My team uses the data they collect in the Service app to quickly react and troubleshoot on behalf of customers, and Luke’s team uses that same information, along with data in the CRM, to facilitate proactive, strategic conversations leading to transformational growth.”

 

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Empower your teams with unified data

A unified data platform is at the nexus of creating loyalty, building long-term customer relationships and growing your business.  Customer success and customer service teams, along with the rest of your organization, require unified data to optimize communication, create visibility through the entire customer lifecycle, and maximize productivity.  Empower your teams with the data they need to capitalize on insights and deliver exceptional experiences. 

Key takeaways:

  • Remote work makes it even more imperative for cross-functional teams to have access to the tools and systems they need to support their customers
  • The tools and processes you create should make it easier, not harder, for your teams to do their jobs, and ultimately, create impact for customers.  Think about ways to deliver information quickly and easily, with fewer meetings. 
  • Optimize knowledge transfer, communication, and outcomes through a unified data platform across sales, marketing, and service for a full view to the customer relationship
  • Make sure everyone has access to the same information so that, as Silva says, you can all “pick up the relationship right where it’s at.”

If you’re just getting started, be sure to check out the other articles in this four-part series: 

Interested in learning more about how you can align your customer service and customer success teams?  Chat with us.