The Customer Isn't Always Right

A few weeks ago I participated in a round of interviews for an open position on our Customer Success Team. I conducted my portion of the interview with my teammate Bill. I always like listening to Bill - he has wonderful insights, and asks great questions. I truly appreciated one question he asked in the interview: “Is the customer always right?” Fortunately, not one of the candidates answered “Yes.”

Wait - What? You work for a company dedicated to supporting the cusotmer - why would you say that the customer isn’t always right?
Because they aren’t, and that saying is stupid, anyway.

If the customer was always right, I wouldn’t have a job. Fortunately, they’re often wrong. Specifically, we’re asking the customer the wrong questions. In customer support, we attempt to solve problems as quickly as possible, without making sure that we’re answering the real problem. - We end up with the right answer to the wrong question.

What Does Success Look Like?

This is the primary difference between Customer Support and Customer Success: Customer Success seeks to provide long-term, proactive guidance, while Customer Support is focused exclusively on answering the immediate question. Customer Support is Transactional; Customer Success is Proactive. Is customer support wrong? No. We need problem solvers. Forget the immediate question. Go straight to the real question: “What does success look like?”