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Customer Success vs Customer Satisfaction: What is the Difference and Why it Matters

Customer Success vs Customer Satisfaction
Source: Unsplash

The SaaS space offers the customers with various perks and benefits, that too on a promissory note. Sometimes the terms, customer success vs customer satisfaction are interchangeably used in the stated niche. Although it’s a given that both the terms are critically important to the organization, there is some subtle yet significant difference between both.

To steer away from all such confusion, you must unravel the differences between the two terms, examples, and importance of each. And ascertain how when both combined can propel your brands’ business to a whole new zone. When you hear customer success, people have this in-built notion that it has got to do with the relation quotient with the customers. And that their happiness is directly proportional to customer success. To much contrary, customer satisfaction quotes how happy the particular customer is with your business. It might sound profusely muddling, but this is what the blog is about today.

Even though, both the terms are intertwined deeply, each of them plays their distinctive roles. So ensure that they sink in harmony and stay ahead of the competitors, all time. Here are a few points that we will be delving into today:

  • Nature and Goals
  • Metrics used
  • Orientation and Model

But before we do that, let us brush up some basics. How about with the definition of the two look-alike terms:

What is Customer Success?

Customer success is the business of ensuring that all of your clients receive the expected outcomes when they are using a service or product of yours. It ensures the success of a customer or that he is happy to subscribe from you in the time to come.

Not only that, it develops, builds, and strengthens relationships with your customers. Further, it facilitates the overall implementation of your products and services successfully.

What is Customer Satisfaction?

Customer satisfaction is all about the practical procedure of achieving goals and delivering value. Then after, it stems from following the outlined path and loyally working towards that goal. It is a customer satisfaction’s information that helps an organization to determine how to best improve or bring out a change in its products or service.

While one is a measure of the targets that should be met, the other delivers the additional value. What stays common is the target that both when pursued together render quality as well as a passion for perfection. Establishing a clear pathway that creates customer relationships and indicates progress is all that matters. Let’s get started.

Nature and Goals

While the primary target of customer success is to ameliorate the client’s bond with that of your company’s, customer satisfaction deals with the happiness quotient. Further, by nature customer success is auguring and customer satisfaction on the other hand is responsive.

When a user surfaces your dashboard, you will get to know whether the user needs help from you or is good to go unassisted. With the help of a customer success platform, it is easier to predict if the user is going to hit a glitch or not. Contacting them immediately might save you from a nearly churned-away client.

However, the customer satisfaction rate depends on the level of satisfaction that the user has received from you. It depends on customer success, churn, upsell, and cross-sell rates to determine how happy or disappointed the customer it. And thus, it responds accordingly.

Metrics used

Goes without saying, customer success focuses on the success of the organization. Whereas, customer satisfaction is more focused on efficiency. Therefore, the metrics used to evaluate both differ from one another.

Here are some of the metrics used to measure customer success:

  • Churn: Customer churn rate is the percentage of your customers who leave your subscription over a given period of time.
  • Average Revenue per Account: ARPA is the average amount of revenue collected per client or account in a given period.
  • Customer Lifetime Value: CLV signifies the total revenue an organization can seemingly get from a single customer or client’s account.

Here are some metrics used to measure customer satisfaction:

  • Net Promoter Score: NPS measures whether of likeliness of someone who wants to suggest your organization to someone else. It denotes the chances of how likely the customer is going to revert and use your service.
  • Customer Satisfaction Score: CSAT measures the level of customer satisfaction that a customer has with a service or product. It can also access the client’s satisfaction at every level of their interaction with you, such as, during the onboarding, or while a purchase point.
  • Customer Acquisition Cost: CAC is mainly used when it comes to assessing customer satisfaction and customer service quality in a totality.  
Customer Success and Customer Satisfaction
Source: Unsplash

Orientation and Model

While customer success is analytics-oriented, customer satisfaction on the other hand is people-oriented. In the case of customer success, the customer success manager is responsible for handling several accounts. It would be difficult to manually know whether a client is facing any difficulty or not.

And that is when a customer success platform saves the deal. It can seamlessly analyze and ascertain which customer to zero in on and when. Further, it drills down a complete health score and renders results on the health, finance, and service aspect of the client.

Customer satisfaction focuses more on the people. It tells you whether people are happy with your product or not. If they are, are there any chances of them recommending it to someone else? And if they aren’t happy as you expect, are there any churn highlights?

Final Thoughts

The tough tiff between customer success vs customer satisfaction might see a draw. What really matters is how both of them function seamlessly and propel the best in business. One relies on the other to do so. There are no winners or losers in this game of two. Both of them are critical business that forecasts your growth and improve customer relationships.

And while it is best to let the separate departments steer away from each other, it is mandatory to outline boundaries. Be it in roles, missions, or expectations. Nonetheless, aside from all that, they must have the autonomy to work together and in complete harmony as well.

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