Customer experience (CX) includes all aspects of the customer journey, from the moment they first become familiar with your company and its products through the actual sale and beyond.
In the early stages of the customer lifecycle, CX primarily falls under the purview of marketing and sales departments, whose objectives are to raise awareness, generate leads, and convert those leads into paying customers. But once the sale closes, customer experience largely becomes the responsibility of support and success teams. These frontline agents — who Squelch believes are a company’s heroes — benefit customers through troubleshooting, training, and other assistance.
What Is Customer Success and Why Does It Matter?
Customer success teams offer education and guidance to ensure smooth onboarding and effective product usage over time, thereby optimizing customers’ ROI. Customer success managers (CSMs) also focus on building close relationships with customers through regular contact in order to gain an in-depth understanding of their business and product goals and help customers achieve those goals. In contrast with support agents, who generally provide reactive customer assistance, the work of success professionals is typically proactive.
Team Alignment Benefits Both Your Customers and Your Business
Clearly, customer success plays a significant role in boosting a business’s bottom line, as well as its reputation. But in order to optimize the effectiveness of your success team, it’s essential to achieve alignment across all departments that affect customers, including support, marketing, sales, and product.
As we mentioned in a previous post, there is a strong natural alignment between support and success. Although their specific functions and objectives are different, they both sit on the front lines of customer contact and aim to give customers the best possible experience. While support agents are well positioned to provide quantitative data (e.g. a dozen customers called this week with the same issue), success professionals are better able to surface and share qualitative intelligence regarding product adoption and challenges. The symbiotic relationship between these two departments can have exponential effects when closely aligned.
The marketing and sales departments similarly rely on the success team to better understand customers’ goals and pain points. Marketing and sales can harness these insights to improve their website copy, content marketing, and sales pitches in order to enhance the effectiveness of these efforts.
Finally, no one knows your product better than the design and development teams who built it. So it’s crucial that they work hand-in-hand with customer success to ensure the latter knows the ins-and-outs of the product and can effectively onboard and train customers. And the benefits flow both ways. Success agents have the deepest understanding of which aspects of the product customers find most useful and which, if any, are lacking and can pass this feedback along to design and development teams to inform new features and other product updates.
Learn More about Customer Success
When it comes to explaining the significance of customer success and the impact that its alignment with other departments can have on your business as a whole, this article only scratches the surface.
To learn more, be sure to download your free edition of our new eBook titled “The Value of Customer Success Across Your Organization.” This guide provides an in-depth exploration of the role of customer success and its relationship to other departments across your organization, as well as actionable advice for improving cross-team alignment.
Another resource that might be helpful is a recent webinar exploring “How Culture Can Impact Success Teams, Customers, and the Bottom Line,” which was co-hosted by Squelch CEO Jayaram Bhat and TSIA VP of Service Technology Research John Ragsdale.