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Customer Support Vs Customer Success

Building Customer Relationships After the Deal is Closed

Shep Hyken interviews Sam Cummings, award-winning Customer Success Manager, Data Scientist, and co-founder of Data Plant. He shares how companies can empower their teams to provide value, create great experiences, and build customer relationships.

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Top Takeaways:

  • What is the difference between customer support and customer success? Customer support is transactional. If a customer is having an issue with a product, the customer support department helps them fix it, and that’s it. Customer success is relational. It enables the customer to get the most value from the product over a period of time.
  • The subscription model has been around for a long time. In the last two decades, it has evolved into a mechanism that is a part of every industry. In a subscription business, companies need to have someone in the organization to maintain the relationship after the deal is closed.
  • The customer success department ensures that customers get the most value out of a product by teaching them to use the product in a way that they are getting the most benefit. The goal is they keep using the product, they buy more, or they renew their subscription.
  • It is said that the most abused customer is the “sold customer.” Customer success ensures that companies don’t just close a deal. They start a relationship with their customers that provides value and great experiences.
  • The ability for customer success teams to have all of the customer’s data (marketing data, product usage, support tickets, etc.) in one place can help them understand the customer’s experience and uniqueness, empowering them to have more empathy.
  • Sam Cummings also answers the question – Can customer success be automated? Tune in.


“Customer success, in a vacuum, is about customer retention. It is about how organizations can motivate customers to keep using their products or services.”

“Customer success is proactive. It happens over a longer period of time. Customer support is reactive. It happens at a point in time when questions or issues occur.”

“Customer support offers the value of solving a problem. Customer success provides value throughout the entire experience.”


Samuel Cummings. Co-Founder, Head of Data Science at Data Plant. He has travelled the world, presenting to executives and directors the success stories of applying data science in the customer success domain.

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert, New York Times bestselling author, award-winning keynote speaker, and host of Amazing Business Radio.

This episode of Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken answers the following questions and more:

  1. What is customer success?
  2. What is the difference between customer support and customer success?
  3. How does customer success compliment customer support?
  4. Why is data science critical to customer success?
  5. What is Net Revenue Retention?

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