Bridging the Gap Between Customer Success and Product Innovation
Author: Laura Moussa
I’ve witnessed remarkable outcomes when Customer Success (CS) and Product teams sync up their strategies. Understanding the product perspective is pivotal. Product teams continually seek their niche, placing immense value on existing and potential customers.
To do this, they rely on market research, sales insights, and CS feedback. It’s crucial to note that Product and CS often interpret feedback differently. While I’m not a product expert, I’ve closely collaborated with Product teams over the years.
It’s vital to reassure the Product team that CS feedback isn’t meant to derail their roadmap or encroach on their territory.
As a CS leader, one of my foremost priorities is aligning with the Product team. I aim to grasp their roadmap design process, the types of feedback they find most valuable, and their resource limitations. It’s vital to reassure the Product team that CS feedback isn’t meant to derail their roadmap or encroach on their territory.
In my experience, a dual feedback approach proves highly effective. There’s quantitative feedback for day-to-day operations, spanning all customer-facing roles (support, sales, CS). This feedback is transactional, logged as it arrives. Typically, Product teams create algorithms based on weighted priorities to filter feedback for their roadmap. This approach gauges feature request frequency and assesses its necessity for customers (nice to have, need, will lead to churn).
On the other hand
On the other hand, qualitative feedback carries more emotional weight, stemming from CSMs’ experiences. This feedback occurs quarterly and often involves brainstorming sessions. I’ve found it valuable to include someone from the Product team in these meetings to gain context and ask clarifying questions. During these sessions, I take the top feature from the Product’s roadmap and ask CSMs to rank them based on impact and frequency. This feedback is essential because it originates from highly engaged or high-value customers, offering a perspective that resonates with CSMs who view the product through the lens of the customer.
It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things DIFFERENTLY. ~ Warren Buffett
This process fosters internal alignment, yielding actionable solutions like professional services or adjustments to the Product roadmap, while also averting budget conflicts.
With over a decade of dedicated experience in Customer Success, Laura recently returned to Athens after a fulfilling decade in San Francisco. Over the past seven years, she has excelled in the role of Customer Success leadership for two Silicon Valley SaaS companies, both serving prestigious Fortune 500 clients. Laura's unwavering commitment to delivering impeccable customer experiences and driving revenue through robust client relationships underscores her professional ethos. Passion fuels Laura's drive to empower individuals to reach their full potential, whether on the customer front or within her teams. Her unwavering belief in transparent, open communication leads her to tackle challenging conversations head-on. Laura thrives on proactively navigating the complexities of business, always staying ahead of the curve. Outside of her professional pursuits, Laura cherishes quality time with her children, indulges in self-improvement literature, and finds solace in horseback riding adventures.
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