Transform Your Business: Mastering Product-Led CS

Transform Your Business: Mastering Product-Led Customer Success

Delve into the world of Product-Led Customer Success with Jolyn Isabelo, discussing its intricacies, benefits, and strategic tips for success.

In a recent Kaffeine & Karrots conversation, I had the pleasure of discussing the intricacies of Product-Led Customer Success (CS) with Jolyn Isabelo, Head of Onboarding & Scaled Success APAC at MongoDB. As organizations increasingly recognize the pivotal role of customer outcomes, mastering Product-Led CS has become a fundamental strategy for leveraging usage insights, triggers, and product-centric onboarding to drive success.

Understanding Customer Outcomes in Product-Led CS

In the realm of Customer Success (CS), understanding customer outcomes is foundational. Jolene, Head of Scale CS at MongoDB, emphasizes the importance of aligning with client goals, even if they extend beyond the immediate purview of your solution. Metrics at the organizational level, such as revenue increase, reduced spending, or expanding user bases, should guide product-led CS interactions.

Benefits of Product-Led Customer Success

Product-led CS revolves around leveraging usage insights, triggers, and the product itself to drive customer success. Jolene stresses the need to identify opportunities that align the client’s goals with the capabilities of the offered solution. Whether it’s increasing revenue or optimizing user base growth, the focus is on utilizing the product to achieve tangible outcomes.

Tailoring Product-Led CS for Scale and Enterprise

Scaling CS operations requires a nuanced approach. Jolene distinguishes between Enterprise CS and Scale CS, pointing out that Enterprise CS typically engages with fewer clients more intensively, while Scale CS manages a larger client base with less frequent interactions. The challenge lies in making these interactions meaningful, ensuring that each engagement contributes significantly to customer success.

Strategic Onboarding in Product-Led CS

Onboarding is a strategic cornerstone for CS organizations. Jolene emphasizes the need for a well-defined onboarding process or playbook. Even without a dedicated onboarding team, creating a structured approach ensures clients receive a consistent and positive experience at the beginning of their journey, setting the stage for long-term success.

Leveraging Playbooks for Success

Playbooks play a crucial role in CS, particularly in onboarding and beyond. Jolene highlights the significance of events like client kickoffs and product demos, demonstrating how playbooks guide these interactions. Whether it’s providing industry-specific insights or tailoring conversations to client needs, playbooks contribute to a cohesive and effective CS strategy.

Metrics Differentiators in Product-Led CS

In product-led CS, metrics may differ from traditional CS KPIs. Jolene sheds light on the focus areas, including tracking product usage, feature activations, and other product-specific signals. While traditional CS may prioritize revenue and retention, product-led CS may place additional emphasis on metrics like Net Promoter Score (NPS) and Customer Effort Score.

Hiring for Success in Product-Led CS

When building a product-led CS team, Jolene recommends looking for individuals with diverse backgrounds, such as sales, analytics, or marketing. The unique challenges of scaled CS, with its focus on a broader client base and product-centric approach, make adaptability, willingness to learn, and client-facing experience valuable attributes for potential hires.

Top Tips for Embarking on a Product-Led CS Journey

As organizations venture into product-led CS, Jolene offers practical tips. Aligning with existing CS KPIs, adapting metrics to suit the scaled team’s objectives, and emphasizing product activation are key considerations. Success lies in understanding the organization’s unique goals, tailoring strategies accordingly, and staying agile in response to evolving customer needs.


Mastering product-led customer success requires a shift in perspective, leveraging the product itself as a driving force for customer outcomes. By understanding customer goals, tailoring strategies for scale, prioritizing strategic onboarding, and utilizing playbooks and unique metrics, organizations can transform their approach to customer success in the product-led era.

Get a live demo!

See how SmartKarrot can transform your customer success outcomes.

Take SmartKarrot for a spin

See how SmartKarrot can help you deliver
winning customer outcomes at scale.

Book a Demo