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Customer Support

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.

Difference between Customer Service and Customer Success

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. 

Best practices

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.

Related terms

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