Proactive vs Reactive Customer Support

In recent years, a new methodology has redefined how businesses utilize metrics. “Customer Success” is a metric-driven strategy for maintaining and optimizing long-term customer relationships.

By anticipating a customer’s needs, Customer Success attempts to solve issues before they surface. The proactive nature of Customer Success is fundamentally different from customer support, the reactive approach to solve issues when they arise.

Even then, customer success depends on the knowledge generated by support teams to answer some of the most pressing questions of modern business.

How do teams best distribute resources and skills to meet the customer’s needs? How do teams give customers the right experience as quickly as possible? How do they retain customers?

As Jenna McLaughlin, Associate Director of Customer Success for iCIMS, says: “Customer Success fits at the intersection of technical support and sales.”

Jenna participated in a recent webinar with Howard Yermish, the Director of Product for Vicasso. Howard welcomed Jenna as well as iCIMS’ Director of Technical Services, Kyle Young, to explore the distinctions and convergences between customer success and customer support.

The webinar, “Proactive vs Reactive Support to Drive Success,” is the first part of a four-part series, “Transforming Your Service Experience,” which focuses on the four pillars of Vicasso's Service Experience Suite: Utilization, Responsiveness, Personalization, and Feedback.

A diagram showing the four pillars that make up Vicasso's Service Experience Suite.

So, how does utilization help businesses create effective help desks with well-organized teams? And what key metrics define excellence in customer support and customer success?

For support teams, as Kyle notes, relatively straightforward metrics can be used to improve three essential aspects of service: people, practice, and systems.

People: How does support get excited to deliver a great experience?

Practice: How does a business train the support team?

System: How does a business leverage systems to be effective?

“We should be aware of the markets we service,” Kyle says. “Are the goals for the organization in line with the goals for the customer? This can help define utilization. And you can define your coverage model in line with this.”

Customer success metrics are often more philosophical, including metrics like “customer health scores,” but the goal is always the same. As Jenna says, “Customer retention is the ultimate goal.”

Howard also asked Jenna and Kyle to explore how support teams and customer success collaborate for long-term success. At its core, Jenna and Kyle agree with Howard’s assessment: “Utilization is about balance–making sure you distribute resources and skills to meet your needs.”

In future webinars, Howard and the Vicasso team will welcome new industry experts to explore the three additional pillars of the Service Experience Suite, including Responsiveness, Personalization, and Feedback. With Utilization, these pillars present a dynamic methodology for meeting the demands of today’s connected customers by transforming your service experience.

August 16, 2019