Customer Support is a function that helps a customer having issues with a product or account. It is more reactive and transactional focused on helping a customer overcome an issue or problem as opposed to directly focused on business outcomes such as retention (though it may impact them).
Customer service and customer support aren’t interchangeable; customer support is a specific type of customer service.
Though often tucked under the umbrella of Customer Success, Customer Support is truly its own function. Customer Support is a more established discipline and its metrics are more universal and standardized — with a focus on the speed and quality of support interactions.
Customer Support focuses on handling one-time transactions while Customer Success is focused on the long-term by building the lifetime value of customers through consistent consultancy, thought-partnership, and business support.
1. Align Customer Support closely with Customer Success and don’t just limit them to operations-centric or product-centric functions.
2. Ensure comprehensive handoffs from Onboarding to Support with the context and knowledge that can help support teams better support customer needs.
3. Hire the right people: Customer Support needs people with a problem-solving mindset and skills, beyond just people skills. Instead of hiring average “people persons”, focus on hiring employees with both people and problem-solving skills.
5. Don’t overdo automation: While both automation and self-serve solutions have their rightful place in Customer Support, customers still look for a human touch when in trouble, and speaking to a support professional at the right time can provide them both assurance and support.