A couple of months ago I discussed why customer success isn’t the same as customer experience. Primarily, because the former discipline is reactive and limited in scope, while the latter is proactive and holistic. Let’s take a look at this from another angle–that of a customer support team.

Customer support teams can be formed for a variety of reasons, but most boil down to fielding questions or complaints about a product or service. If a customer is connecting with you with a question, you should be asking yourself why (most aren’t calling because they just want to chat up someone, although this happens). Given enough calls, and this could really only take a relatively few calls, you have enough data to discern why.

Many times it’s because the product or service is poorly designed, in that it’s not designed holistically–considering:

  • Who the customer is
  • What they want to achieve
  • The circumstances under which they’re using the product or service

There’s often a match between a user’s goal and the product’s design, or perhaps the personas adequately describe who the customer is. If a company’s being really ambitious and enlightened, they’ll also consider the environment and configuration during use. But it’s not often that an organization will do all three.

And that’s when there’s decreased customer delight, potential frustration, and possibly churn. In any case, it usually results in contact with a customer service team. Sure, this is a great opportunity to correct the issue and possibly enhance the relationship, but isn’t it better to minimize the need for help in the first place? There are better outcomes for the accepted risk.

Sure, it takes discipline, vision, and resources to design products holistically. But the benefits include stronger customer relationships, increased engagement, and reduced labor costs. You may think you don’t need to design holistically, that your customers will adapt to your way of thinking. But rest assured you have or will have a competitor who understands meeting customers where they are will yield better results.

There are better ways to utilize your hardworking and passionate team.