Aligning with Support and Engineering

Last week, we discussed the importance of aligning Customer Success with different departments of the organization and the impact of internal relationships on external ones with customers. In this context, we delved into the dire need for CS to work in close proximity with Engineering and Support, and the resulting impact of the dynamics of these relationships on customers.

Continuing where we left off, let’s get into two other very important departments that need greater collaboration with Customer Success, in order to achieve company goals and objectives.

Customer Success and the UX Team

User Experience has a profound effect on the overall satisfaction and happiness of customers. For this reason alone, oftentimes, it is grouped under the Product team – however, a lot depends on the inner dynamics of each company and their overall structuring.

During the entire CS journey, make sure to involve the CX and UX teams – essentially, they are the ones who do the research, design the UI, and find easy and aesthetically pleasing ways for people to use your solution. The right approach is to use them as a resource and make them realize that they are playing an important role in the overall CS equation.

It’s a great idea to invite the UX team in calls with customers or to regular meetings, and give them time to talk about usability. Let customers provide feedback and talk about the challenges faced by them – it’s all about getting the customer’s voices heard, making them feel important, so they get more involved in the entire feedback process. This not only helps give the UX team clarity on what’s expected of them, but also means that they can work in close quarters with the customers.

By being in touch with the actual customers who are using the product, you get contextualized feedback about how the product works and all the UX-related issues they are facing on a daily basis. When a UX team goes out and does field research and collects feedback, it’s a lot different than the feedback derived from a targeted lab. UX-CS alignment is extremely important, since it is Customer Success that enables you to get usability and UX feedback on a daily basis.

Customer Success and Marketing

In this entire CS equation, Marketing plays a pivotal role – this is because Marketing needs the invaluable information that CS has access to (raw data from customer surveys). Many at times, Marketing approaches Customer Success with the need to conduct customer interviews or work on a case study. Only after getting the essential information can Marketing structure the data, target engaged users, and use these stories in compelling ways to attract more leads, and generate more noise around the product/brand.

For example, let’s say that one of your customers is a medical company and they are using your product in a way that has resulted in a positive experience. In this case, Marketing can help CS strengthen the relationship further by converting these positive experiences into a use case or a video by interacting with this client. This fulfills two purposes – it can be a valuable asset for Sales to generate leads, and it can help educate future medical customers by sharing specific content and videos.

Building a strong connection between CS and Marketing is mutually beneficial. By strengthening ties, Marketing can proactively share details about website visitors, or about webinars and conferences. They can share all those documents that could be repurposed for Sales or existing customers. Similarly, CS should invite the Marketing team to join customer meetings, so they are in the know and can communicate with customers about the kind of content they would like to see, or check in to see if they need any kind of documentation and videos that would help them understand the product better. As far as Customer Success and its functionality goes, Marketing does not act like a roadblock – rather, it plays a more facilitative role in the entire equation.

The Goal of Relationship Building

The idea behind the philosophy of building internal and external relationships is to help you understand your customers better – a little goes a long way!

Customers tend to pick up on even the slightest trace of friction between members of different departments – this is exactly why it is so crucial to work on cross-departmental relations. A good rapport with different team members helps solve problems faster, and also gives a sense of reassurance to customers, showing them that the entire company is dedicated towards helping them and providing them with as many resources as possible.

By relying on other team members, you are actually making your job much easier. Not only does it enhance your ability to get things done in a timely manner, but it also helps your customers feel more positive and confident about using your product!

Kim Oslob

Sr. Director, Global Customer Success, Axway