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Customer Experience

What is the Difference Between Customer Success vs. Customer Experience?

June 2, 2021
As you come up with specialized marketing strategies to please your clients, you may have stumbled upon terms like customer success as well as customer experience. Although these are often used interchangeably when referring to clients, there are distinct differences between the two. Let’s discuss what these two are and why customer success vs customer experience is a trend among marketers. 

What is customer success? 

Customer success is assisting your customers to get the full benefit out of your products or services. Hubspot defines customer success as anticipating questions and challenges and providing the right solutions or answers. It covers different activities and techniques to boost your customer’s happiness and to retain their business after the purchase or sale. With the right strategy, you can guarantee customer loyalty and improved revenue.

What is customer experience? 

Customer experience is all about creating a positive connection with your products, services, or brand. Overall customer experience covers many strategies with the goal of making sure that your customers are satisfied each time that they interact with your business. Customer success and customer experience may look different but intersect in so many ways. Your customer’s success is a vital part of the overall customer experience.  

Additional reading: What is customer experience?

What is the difference between customer success vs. customer experience?

Customer success is the peak of the value of your customer relationship. This is combining all the components of a customer relationship from onboarding, opening calls, opportunities for cross-selling and so much more. To put it simply, customer success defines how successful your efforts are.  

Meanwhile, customer experience is how customers or stakeholders feel after they interacted with a vendor or company representative. Each time customer interaction happens, such as answering customer comments on your social media pages or through email, customer experience is influenced.  

Customer experience affects customer success. The difference is all about perspective. When you say customer success, it is a proactive strategy that’s focused on providing unique ways for your clients to obtain value from your products. Meanwhile, customer success is an interactive approach that’s centered on providing an enjoyable and efficient product or service which easily integrates into your daily activities.  

In establishing customer success, you strive to find new and unique ways to keep a positive outlook towards your product, service, or brand. Customer experience focuses on the emotional response that your customer has about your product, service, or brand today. 

Customer success is customer or account-focused, product or value-focused, and retention-focused. It is a part of the customer journey and is the subgroup of customer experience. Customer experience is also people-focused, product or value-focused, and relationship-focused but experience may be driven by culture, emotions, perceptions, and feelings. Customer experience focuses on different touchpoints as customer success centers on the outcome.  

How customer success and customer experience work together? 

Customer success defines the customer experience. Understanding how you can improve the overall customer experience can help you create effective marketing strategies and techniques.  Your customer is the focus of both strategies and each focuses on helping you understand your customers better and manage customer journey more efficiently.  

Customer loyalty and retention must be measured and tracked using metrics including net promoter scores, churn scores, and customer satisfaction metrics. Customer experience and customer success efforts should be coordinated to produce good results.  

A vital part of the customer’s journey is onboarding which happens at the very beginning. Customer experience techniques ensure onboarding is done intuitively and logically such as messaging with personalized goals and celebrating customer milestones. Onboarding can be part of a much larger customer success effort to orient users with different features in your platform. This stage also helps them integrate your products or service into their daily work. The sooner your customers start using your products or service, the sooner they will find its value.  

Build a customer-centric company with CS and CX

Learning how to use customer success and customer experience tactics to create a customer-first company starts with understanding customer experience culture. Customer can easily lose their trust in your business or company if they see that your values don’t measure up with their cultures.  

When you understand your customer experience culture, you’ll create an empowered workforce, an authentic and open working environment, and a company that’s focused on finding solutions for customer problems.  

Consider the four components of customer-centric culture: Conscience, Communication, Consistency, and Credibility. 


Culture is the overall conscience of an organization or group of people which affects their buying decisions. The root of designing a customer-centric company is understanding what promises were made to clients and what you want to deliver as well.   

Whatever promises you made to your customers should be precisely delivered to preserve the customer experience. Failing at this point results in customers losing trust over your brand.


A customer-centric company maintains communication with its employees. Communication should be both ways with leaders able to communicate based on the company’s mission and employees feeling empowered to talk to their managers. When it is honest and open communication within an organization or company, developing a customer-centric culture will be easier to do. 


Anything that happens inside your company or organization eventually shows outside. Living a company mission is not merely on the outside but is also felt by employees inside. If this does not happen, your employees won’t feel aligned with your customer-centric mission and this leads to poor results and poor customer experience. Consistency inside and out should be practiced at all times. 


Just talking about customer experience and customer success is not enough to create a customer–focused company as stated on your Company Values or Mission. Take these words and ideas to action. 

You may include a customer experience mission to all your agenda. Give incentives to employees who come up with actionable customer-centric plans. Also, show appreciation to employees who get good marks or recommendations from customers.  

All business managers and leaders want the best for their customers. Everyone wants their clients to get the best customer experience which leads to customer success. Learning how to use Cx and Cs together can move mountains inside and outside a company. It can create a customer-centric work environment where not just customers are happy and contended but managers and employees as well. 


Greg Tucker