In this episode of Implementation Stories, Jennifer Chiang, Head of Customer Success at Seso, and author of The Startup’s Guide to Customer Success, shares with us what it takes for CS and product teams to work together successfully.
Jennifer discussed the following topics:
Think of some of the most successful product companies: Salesforce, Microsoft, Hubspot, Twilio, Atlassian, etc. They have something in common: their Product Management and Customer Success teams have a really strong relationship for a variety of initiatives, both strategic and tactical. They understand that if their product isn’t adopted successfully, the product isn’t valuable and therefore, the company will not meet its business goals.
The Product team can work with the CS team to gain complete visibility into what customers want. This will help ensure your products are actually addressing the key pain points of the customer, and learn how to communicate your value proposition to your ICP. The CS team can increase loyalty, decrease churn, etc, if they have full visibility into the product roadmap, which they can get from the Product team.
Both Product and CS teams have infinite workload, and its very easy for folks on both sides to burn out. When CSMs are overwhelmed or burnt out, they’re unable to create deep relationships with customers. Likewise, overwhelmed or burnt out PMs are unable to deliver on product roadmaps and visions. Ultimately, the business suffers.
A tight and empathetic partnership would mean understanding that both CS and Product are the same team, which in turn can lead increased transparency, improved shared context, lesser firefighting and internal friction. Ultimately, this improves the operational efficiency for both teams.
A strong relationship between CS and Product leads allows for quicker and more effective brainstorming and strategy planning for customers. Shared context (you don’t have to start from scratch each time) would mean the following for customer relationships: