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How to Align Product and Customer Success for a Better Customer Experience

Product and Customer Success
Source: Unsplash

Most of the time, organizations place their customers first when rolling out a new line of products. The sophistication of automation tools coupled with a stern focus on product and customer success has helped companies pave the way towards seamless customer experience.

Understanding and optimizing the customer decision journey right from adoption to advocacy is equally important. However, once a purchase takes place, product and customer success teams hurdle up to render the united attention to the clients. Hence, this calls for a well-balanced alignment between the two for creating a stellar customer experience.

So, how does that alignment take place? Long story short, product managers help the CS teams to reduce the time-to-value for the clients through some of the product-driven initiatives. Similarly, the customer success teams act as the gatekeepers to garner substantial product feedback.

Better yet, the product managers can dive into more involvement by the other team by joining into some customer calls. And on the contrary, the customer team can allow the product people to dedicate enough time to interact with the clients and gather user feedback. Here are some of the pointers to get you some thinking:

  • By being members of your CAB
  • Cultivate a clear set of KPIs
  • Let’s Leader wear the ‘Thinking Hat’
  • Extra Heed to Customer Feedback 
  • Yes to Integrated Tools

1. By being members of your CAB

CAB or Customer Advisory Board is the mutual hub of interaction for customers to meet, discuss, and compare the product’s feedback or successes. Mostly, these meetings lead to frequent product updates or can engender upsell opportunities for new customer advocates. Since the nature of the meeting can either be informal or formal (depends on the agenda), it is a fit for both teams.

When both the teams club under the umbrella of CAB, it becomes a lot easier to discuss rising concerns, if any. On the other hand, if some of the products or services are receiving good attention from the clients, it is a great center to get plaudits and sing praises for the same, together.

2. Cultivate a clear set of KPIs

Having a pre-defined set of clear and coherent key performance indicators (KPI) is a requisite. Both the teams must kick start by centering around some mutual KPIs. Further, this will benefit to create a better frame of the customer health score.

Begin with discussing some of the bullets such as depth of product usage, the communication engagement score, client outcomes by product area, software goals achievement percentage, etc. When both the teams discuss the above, you will soon see how your ideas streamline into a holistic solution for the company.

3. Let’s Leader wear the ‘Thinking Hat’

Leaders thinking hat - Product and Customer Success
Source: Unsplash

Often, it is seen that establishing a clear, strong foundation could get shaky if not monitored by the presence of a good leader. Yes, it is a leader whose ideas, and efforts strike the remarkable change. No matter how spirited the internal team members could get, the absence of a supportive leader breaks the deal.

Hence, it is of high pertinence that both the leaders team up and set the expectations and targets. They need to go candid about what they really want from this merge. If they require a lasting change, they must go for an on-point conversation that mutually benefits them. Envisage the big picture and ascertain how each course of action can bring about a benevolent change to the company.

With this alignment, break down bigger plans into dents, disseminate work between the members and pick up momentum from thereon. The new strategies you implement must benefit the company and bring value in a meaningful way. Ensure that the plans you first stood up with, lasts all the while.

4. Extra Heed to Customer Feedback 

Customer feedback could be of any nature. It could be a ragging complaint, on how the service was not up to the mark. Else, a customer could sing on with praises and laud you. Be it whatever, it should not be ignored, especially the former one.

A customer success leader should see that the feedback should not portray a massive dissatisfaction with the product. Meanwhile, the product team leader should get down to business by figuring how to affix the issue and evolve with a fitting solution for the client.

When you stay tuned into a customer’s pain points, you automatically build up a stronger alignment. And this alignment is instrumental in creating a loyal customer base of great valued relationships.

5. Yes to Integrated Tools

When both the teams use separate tools for discerning results, they generate disparate data. Consequently, this leads to one team depending on the other and awaiting answers from their end, thereby wasting time. On top of that, it would take an enormous volume of resources to cross-check references from different applications.

That is when using an integrated tool comes into play. Moreover, SaaS a business demands a common source to capture, highlight, and perform upon the data received. It would not only mitigate the issues but also bring in umpteen transparency and a shared language between the respective managers of both the teams.

Final Thoughts 

For any SaaS business, aligning product and customer success has become quintessential. It simplifies tackling user needs and proactively augments growth. Thus, when you have the right requisites, you are half-way through a better performance as a team. The aforementioned practices organically lead to a revamped method of communication between the two teams.

Also, the urging customers demand to grab the relevant information and get their hands on a new function. And this takes place only when they are actively using your product. Hence, both the roles go hand-in-hand. Plan to align the duo as soon as possible and get guaranteed results.

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