Customer Success vs Customer Support: What's the Difference and Why it Matters

Posted on 9/7/16 4:25 PM by Kristen Goecke

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Among the many aspects of an online registration software that you need to consider before making a final purchase is customer success. The term is often confused with customer support, but those two facets of your business couldn't be more different.

Understanding this distinction is key in not only choosing the softwre solution that's right for you, but also in gaining a deeper understanding of what roles and responsibilities are better suited for each of their unique perspectives.

Read more about customer success vs customer support and why knowing the difference matters:


There is an excellent chance the above video of a monkey riding a dog will make you happy - after all, my boss loves it. That being said, it won’t solve any problems you have with a product or service. This difference, in short, illustrates a common misconception about customer success: that their only job is making customers happy. In fact, the role of customer success staffers within your organization involves so much more than that.

The Big Difference Between Customer Success and Customer Support 

Think of customer success as a proactive tactic and customer support a more reactive one. As explained by OpenView Labs, customer service focuses on "fixing problems in order to keep customers satisfied," whereas customer success is a "strategy for understanding and supporting your customers’ desired business outcomes." 

In essence, customer success is about taking a vested interest in your clients' goals and helping them attain certain benchmarks for their business through the use of a Software as a Service (SaaS). Customer support is more about maintaining the current state of customer happiness and, more importantly, making sure it doesn't take a dip by neglecting resolutions for issues.

Customer Success vs. Customer Support

How to Evaluate a Provider's Customer Success Strategy

To really dig deep into a SaaS customer success strategy, you have to look at the four pillar that make up that kind of plan. Read more about each subsection of a customer success gameplan below and the questions you should be asking about each provider you're considering:

1. Onboarding/Implementation

  • Does the software vendor provide onboarding and initial training? What does that entail?
  • Is there a cost associated with onboarding?
  • If you need extra training is it available?
  • Is there a Standard Service Level Agreement (SLA)?

2. Customer Support

  • What kind of technical support does the vendor provide?
  • An online resource center? Chat? Email? Phone?
  • How quickly does the customer support reply? Fix bugs?

3. Customer Education

  • How well does the vendor educate clients on the product?
  • Is documentation provided for the software and features?
  • Is there a knowledge center? How often is this updated?  
  • Does the vendor hold webinars?
  • Is there a community where clients share tips and tricks with each other?

4. Leadership

  • Do they have any current customer-focused marketing collateral ( i.e. case studies)?
  • Is there an efficient sales process that acquires customers who are a great fit?
  • Is their product management strategy in line with customer needs (not just stuff that might be cool)?

Here at Amilia, customer success is one of our biggest priorities. We’ve added a community to our support center, have improved our documentation and how-to videos, and will be frequently giving webinars to improve our customer's Amilia experience. 

If you are looking for online registration software, take a look at our features brochure and find out why more and more organizations are choosing to own their days with Amilia!

Download Features Brochure