Believe it or not, your product and customer success teams actually complement each other and share one crucial thing in common: Your customers. But the problem is that in some companies, these teams work in isolation and can’t maximize the value they’ll see by working together. So, in this guide, we’ll cover how product and customer success managers are uniquely positioned to help their customers achieve their desired outcomes.
Who is a Customer Success Manager?
A customer success manager ensures that customers get the maximum value from the product they signed up for while also retaining customers and increasing the company’s revenue.
Who is a Product Manager?
A product manager is responsible for delivering the product: The why, how, when, and what. They makes decisions based on the market and looks to achieve a product that meets the product-market fit and increasing user value is their primary goal.
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How Can Customer Success Managers Help Product Managers?
Your CSMs are all about helping your customers find value in your product, reducing churn, and increasing revenue. And one way your customer success managers do this is by ensuring a smooth customer onboarding process. A seamless onboarding process means that your customers can use your product easily and have minimum questions.
However, sometimes, that doesn’t happen. Some companies don’t have a smooth onboarding process, and their customers are churning before they get a chance to get value from their product. That’s where a CSM and PM collab comes in. Your CSMs are customer-facing, and as we mentioned before, their goal is to ultimately help your customers get the most value from your product (and, of course, increase revenue, but they can only do that if your customers see the value.) So, suppose your customer success managers can relate any feedback from your customers about the product back to your product managers. In that case, they can work together to create a more streamlined experience for your customers.
For example, let’s say your customers find it difficult to set up an automated workflow in your product and stop using the product because of this issue. Your CSM notices they stopped using your product and proactively reaches out to see what’s the problem, which your customer relays to them. Your CSM then relays this concern to your PM, which allows them to create a solution that makes it easier for customers to use this feature and lessens the learning curve.
Another scenario where CSMs can help PMs is by giving them information about the customer journey and their specific pain points, allowing them to maximize results and improve coordination.
How Can Product Managers Help Customer Success Managers?
Like how a CSM can help a PM, the reverse is also possible. The product manager can ensure the CSM reduces the time to value (TTV, which is a metric used to measure customer experience) to customers. They can do this by creating in-app messaging that makes it easy for customers to know what they need to do and in what order to start seeing value from your product.
PM teams can also ensure that CS teams know how the product works, how intuitive it is, and how it overall benefits your customers. Product managers can also help with data-driven insights that help CSMs convince customers during upsells, resells, and cross-sells.
How Can Product Teams and Customer Success Teams Empower Each Other and Improve The Customer Journey?
The end goal of any customer-centric business is to ensure customer success. And it’s done by synchronizing various departments to ensure a collective, harmonious product experience. Both teams need to keep two strategies and processes in mind.
Customer success takes charge of the onboarding process where customers are familiarizing themselves with the product. They can also set goals, drop-off points, and plans in a value-driven direction. Product managers can use insights to create features that will relate well with customers and lead to customer retention.
Feedback is Important
Not every feature in a product is going to be a customer favorite. The product death cycle and the feature fallout phenomenon can happen with any product. The way to beat it is by taking customer inputs and listening to the right ones. Your product-market fit should be matched with customer profiles to ensure synchroneity between the two. PM teams can improve product journeys if they keep customer journeys in mind.
To align how your customer success manager and product manager perform, you can:
- Divide tasks for each team. The product marketing team takes charge of all products related information: Webinars, videos, emails, and in-app notifications. This can help them convey the right message to strike a chord with the customers.
- Product managers can create product guides per customer segments or customer profile sets. This will ensure that each team knows the value they can derive from the product.
- Customer success teams can ensure all touchpoints are helpful to customers and support them at all stages through a customer success tool.
- Customer success teams can assist customers with the product, create training plans, custom educational material, etc.
- The company can choose customer success software to help both teams succeed.
SmartKarrot’s customer success tool helps CSMs gauge how each product is used. You can know how multiple products within the same company perform for the same set of customers. This will give you enhanced insights into how the product works and for whom. This data can be helpful for even PMs to understand what can be improved.17
Bottom Line: A Much-Needed Partnership for Company Success
Ultimately, a strategic partnership between the product and CS teams can lead to valuable customer-centered decisions and data-driven choices. And that can result in more happy customers sticking around because they have a product built with their needs in mind and CSMs there to help them get the most out of it. Besides, who doesn’t like the idea of improved communication, happier customers, and increased revenue?
Stanley Deepak is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with 15+ years of experience. He loves tech products and book reading. He writes on philosophy and culture on LinkedIn.
Published May 04, 2022, Updated March 02, 2023