Customer success is a relatively new focus for a lot of companies, and traditionally it’s been the responsibility of marketing to ensure clients are receiving the care and resources they need for a satisfying experience, both during their purchase and through its implementation. But as the impact of customer success is researched more thoroughly, it’s become clear that customer success is a strong driver of revenue. In response, the vision of CS management is expanding outward from marketing and influencing the overarching business strategy. For now, marketing may play a big role in the process, but it’s becoming an increasingly company-wide effort, with lots of departments playing a role in customer success.
Executives recognize the importance of factoring CS data into their decision making, and they’re looking for a way to collect, store, and analyze that data in effective ways that inform business objectives. Because of this, you’re going to see IT departments grab a larger share of the CS budget as more and more companies begin to adopt CSM platforms to manage customer success and glean powerful, actionable insights across multiple departments.Did you know 30% of companies don’t have a coherent understanding of #CustomerExperience? @Kilterly explains how #CSM platforms are changing businesses: Click To Tweet
Customer Success as a Function of Marketing
Marketing remains at the core of customer success, building the foundation of what companies understand about their audiences. Marketing is responsible for key aspects of customer experience like:
Defining buyer personas
One of the tent poles of a good marketing department is crafting defined user personas. They’re the ones who will be doing market research to figure out where your customers are, who’s buying, what they’re looking for, and how they want to get their information. This information drives marketing strategy and messaging to ensure the right people are hearing the right things, presented to them in the right places.
Buyer personas aren’t created once and then set in stone. It’s up to the marketing department to constantly listen to the market, discover trends, notice changes, and update your buyer personas accordingly. Marketing keeps their ear to the ground, always, to make sure your company is always hitting the right notes and catching new opportunities before the moment has passed.
For many companies, the audience isn’t a monolith. It can be broken into smaller, specialized parts that might have specific needs, interests, or expectations you can pinpoint for more effective messaging. Marketing does extensive research to understand who prioritizes what, and how to position your product in a way that’s the most relevant to their needs.
The marketing team’s greatest assets are the customers you already have. Marketing is constantly extracting feedback to learn what’s working, what isn’t, how to reframe messaging, and overall trying to create warmer leads and shorten the sales cycle.
The marketing team collects and analyzes a ton of data, and they need technology that can help them makes sense of the information they’ve gathered. What’s more, once it’s collected, are they storing it somewhere that other departments can access it? How do you connect the dev team to the feedback about their product or how does sales locate their most up-to-date user personas? That’s where CSM software becomes a critical pathway between departments.
Customer Success as a Function of the Organization
Marketing may be responsible for the fundamentals, but an effective marketing department can’t operate in a vacuum. Even the strongest, most capable teams need help; they lose effectiveness in CS without it. Other departments offer resources, knowledge, and aid that marketing may not otherwise have access to or the specific skill set needed to get it. Executives have begun to notice this, but 30% of companies don’t have a coherent definition of CS management that is universal across their organization, and they don’t have a plan for how to make customer success a priority company-wide.Is your marketing department alone in driving #customersuccess? They shouldn’t be. @Kilterly breaks down the ways CX is a company-wide objective: Click To Tweet
By implementing a CSM platform, it makes it easier for leadership to build a comprehensive strategy based on actual data that involves all departments. Managers can use CSM software to:
- Prioritize CS as an integral part of your brand identity
- Assign an executive to manage the process and build accountability for maintaining a culture of customer success
- Align CS data with larger business objectives
- Inform, guide, and inspire individual and company-wide goals and success benchmarks
In time, these things will sync departments together under the shared goal of increasing customer success as a means to improve departmental functions and meet organizational goals.
CSM Platforms and the Individual
Customers can be fickle in nature, and customer success depends a lot on buy-in from the team. The outcomes of CS are affected by engagement, and without the right tools, the team gets discouraged. A CSM platform needs two things to be successful: a proper training program to encourage adoption by individual team members, and a detailed program that ensures compelling data is being shared with the necessary teams to inform strategies. Information gathered from CS ties into the CRM for sales to see opportunities for acquisition, upselling, and renewals and spot buying trends that might otherwise go unnoticed. Customer feedback can inform priorities for the dev and engineering teams to build out new features or fix recurring issues. Service teams can gain insight into their performance and optimize how they work for better results. Supplying individuals with a clear understanding of how the CSM platform will benefit them and make their workload easier will increase the likelihood of enthusiastic adoption within the company at large.
CSM platforms can transform your organizational culture into one that prioritizes customer success initiatives and helps teams build a product or service that meets a customer where their needs are. For more information on how to manage customer success, schedule a demo with our experts or start your free trial