Customer Success, Support and account manager

A detailed Guide to Differences between Customer Success, Customer Support, and Account Management.

Have you been in the dilemma of what these different roles have to change after all? There’s a hell of a lot of distinctness in what they can bring to the organization. Of all, this isn’t about who is the best but rather how each role can be valuable and why you need them. So let’s deep dive into Customer Success, Customer support and Account management.

What is customer success?

Customer Success image

The initiative was taken by the business to assist the clients or the customers to effectively use its products and plan the business operations to be empowering and successful. 

Quarterly Business Review Template

It’s so wrong to presume that it’s the business that takes care of the entire success management but rather it is the dedicated customer success teams that focus to leverage the data-led approach to be proactive in their processes to achieve success. 

It’s that start from the trial to the renewal processes that these teams look into.  So to break down its operations:

  1. Increasing the recurring revenues and sales. 
  2. Influencing loyalty and customer retention.
  3. Amplifying the customer lifetime value.
  4. Minimizing churn.

The major conversation among the customer success departments is its various subdivisions and what each of them contributes to doing. Let’s unleash the differences between them all to get a clear distinction between their responsibilities. 

Client success manager and Customer Success Manager

If you’ve been wondering what is the difference between them, I know it took quite a long time of research and you found no difference.  There is indeed no difference in the responsibilities but for one and only difference.

The difference in the responsibilities. 

Client success manager Customer success manager
Clients are their prospects Customers are the prospects 

What are the responsibilities anyway?

  1. Coming up with clear goals for customer retention and defining the steps for the teams to do.
  2. Aligning customers with the software installation needs and leading them to use it appropriately.
  3. Delivering value to the customers through the product’s abilities and customer experience while also staying intact with the brand image and looking for upsell opportunities every moment. 
  4. Creating materials for training other people in the department.
  5. Checking out on the complaints of the customers and improving the customer experience. 
  6. Optimize the customer success processes from onboarding to customer advocacy. 
  7. Document the understanding of the product and services to help the customers with their success goals. 

Pro tip: Roles and Responsibilities of a Customer Success Manager

Salary comparison 

Role / Area AustraliaIndiaUnited KingdomUnited States
Customer success managerA$90,000INR10,00,000£41,780$75,953
Client success managerA$82,500INR9,01,608£39,740$66,447

Difference between a Client engagement manager and a Client service manager.

Client engagement manager Client service manager 
Resource assignment to the clients Performing extensive research to answer the queries.
Billing and invoicing clients Documenting the solutions to the queries
Working with the sales team to hunt for new clients Escalating the requests to the concerned departments.
Make sure to have the contract running effectively Being empathetic to the customers 
Creates the best experience by leveraging the relationship.Growing the accounts with sales techniques and awesome customer experience.
Look out for ways to upsell Track the quantitative performance metrics 
Create a report as the contract progresses.Update the database frequently as you get notified on the call.

Salary comparison 

Role / Area Australia India The United KingdomThe United States
Client service managerA$81,238INR7,95,23538,398$75,848
Client engagement managerA$1,10,722INR10,00,00047,509$77,308

While you are picking up on the career path there can be a lot of factors that may impact the decisions. It either is based on the type of work you would be doing, your interest, the challenges, and the salary. So, choose the ones that suit your persona, qualities, and skills that you have possessed over the years. And then you know it better to master.

Customer Onboarding Template

What is customer support?

Customer Support image

The support is a compassionate effort from the customer support team to the customers while keeping their needs and issues at the frontline at all the points of their interaction. This revolves on the ground of the reactive approach

The tasks involve;

  1. Responding to the queries escalated by the customers.
  2. Upgrading the customers to the new services.
  3. Indicates customer loyalty and renewal.
  4. Reduces the risk of churn by offering customer satisfaction.
  5. Nullifies the negative impact of word of mouth.

What is Account Management?

Account management image

The responsibility of the account manager is to add new services or products to the account or increase the renewals of the respective accounts by approaching them to upsell. 

Engage with the customers during the QBRs, onboarding, and at the time of need calls. Having limited knowledge on the client’s domain but an expert in the inside-out of the product to solve the issues or get it done to rescue clients of the situation. 

They indulge in activities like;

  1. Optimization of the processes of customer success.
  2. Maintaining business relationships with the clients.
  3. Facilitating the communications with the clients that are open-ended.
  4. An advisor who is offering insight and information to the clients.
  5. Liaising the contract negotiations. 

The difference between Customer Success, Customer Support, and Account Management. 

The roles they play 

Customer success managers are oriented to achieve the goals of the customers whether it is assisting them in ascending the business or saving the cost or any personalized agenda of the client. Customer support is available at all times to acknowledge the issue and resolve it by escalating it to the respective departments. The Account Manager plays an important role in solving technical issues and in the expansion of the client accounts.

The type of engagement 

Customer success managers engage with the customers proactively right from the moment they connect. Assisting the customers with issues that may have not yet been arrived. That’s the degree of involvement!

Customer support dive in right at the moment when they receive the ticket from the customers and is more of a reactive approach, which may be or not be too late to catch hold on. 

Account managers come into this process only when there is a need to rescue customers out of a situation and give an error-free account setup. The involvement is quite less compared to the customer success teams.

The knowledge!

The customer success manager not only knows about the product, and your company but also their company over time and hence can aid specifically to criteria.

Customer support is the go-to person when there is a need for immediate resolution and only has the knowledge of the product’s know-how. These glitches related to the product are resolved by the customers. 

Account managers are only well aware of the product and your company to be able to help the customers and can sometimes be technically sound to resonate with the customer’s issue. 

Suggested Read: Account Manager Vs Customer Success Manager

Key metrics…

Customer success metrics take care of what comes before and later after the interaction. So, metrics like customer lifetime value, customer retention, and repeat purchases are where their eyes lie. 

Customer support metrics are keen on just figuring out the speed and the quality of the interaction of the support. Now metrics like NPS, CES, and SLA.

The account manager has an overview of attrition rate, NPS, return on relationship, and revenue growth. The responsibility here is to check on the client accounts every now and then. 

The duration that lasts.

Customer success indeed has an objective to do the best for the business in bringing higher ROI but at the same time, the relationship is not short with the customers but rather long-lasting which wouldn’t make it seem transactional. 

Customer support is more direct and to the point to help with the issue that has arrived and once solved the business is over. It again starts with new interaction with the cycle of representatives answering the call at the available schedule. 

The account manager intervenes periodically to check on the status of the account to increase the customer lifetime value by upselling or cross-selling. 

The way!

Customer success goes by the process of gaining customer loyalty which is over time and calls for repeat engagements.

Customer support stands by the offers and discount methods to reach out to the customer and cut off the returns. 

The account manager looks for every opportunity to expand the account as a client advisor that is again reliable with the assistance of customer success efforts.

What’s the catch?

On observation, it is a fact that all the roles work for customers. Maybe customer satisfaction is important for customer support, whereas customer transformation is important for both the customer success manager and the account manager.

With a setup of a customer-centric approach in the organization, the customer success manager, customer support, and account manager can collaboratively serve customers with their area of focus and form a better strategy to serve them right. 

With customer success tools, managing customers gets one step ahead and can heighten the way how customers can be addressed for satisfaction, success, and transformation. 

Amitha is a content writer at CustomerSuccesBox. She is a structural engineer by qualification but has a passion for writing..An avid learner in the morning and an explorer in the night. At present, she is exploring the Customer Success domain. Loves baking, dancing and drawing when she is not writing!