By Paul Jun, writer at Help Scout.

People try to differentiate the elements of customer support compared to customer success, saying that support is more cost-driven and success is more customer-driven.

At the core, though, success is about helping customers solve problems. Any interaction with a customer requires emotional labor because it addresses expectations, disappointments, and goals. It's about empathizing with customers' roadblocks and providing guidance on how to hurdle them, even if that means sending them to a competitor.

Whatever you call yourself--customer success or support, customer champion, happiness engineer, client services, or customer relations--it's always about the outcome of the customer. If that means adorning yourself with a new title to be empowered with purpose and motivation, then more power to you.

Here are nine fascinating perspectives and ideas on customer success.

The title says it all. Lincoln Murphy has worked with more than 300 SaaS companies and understands the value of customer success teams. From his definition of customer success to the 17 elements that make it happen, this guide is a must-read.

Helping a customer succeed often entails providing the kind of education they wouldn't find elsewhere. Help Scout's Greg Ciotti shows how to craft this kind of content.

Mike Grafham, head of Yammer Customer Success at Microsoft, offers a bottom-line perspective on what customer success is and why it matters to your customers.

Jason Lemkin from online entrepreneurial community SaaStr offers insights on how to do this right.

Anthony Kennada, head of marketing at Gainsight, explains why a customer for life is no longer a fairytale, and how can we achieve this by investing in the right people and practices.

Is customer success turning into a grab-bag term? Nick Mehta from Gainsight shares the role of customer success in different contexts.

Ellis Luk from customer success platform Totango interviewed three CSMs to get an idea of what they actually do day-to-day. Everyone's approach is different, yet they're all working for the same thing.

Venture capitalist Tomas Tunguz, spoke on a panel about the importance of customer success in SaaS companies and the roadblocks one may face.

Andrew Spittle at Automattic--the company behind why customer support and customer success are not opposites, but why as a culture we tend to separate the two.

Published on: Sep 9, 2015
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