When customers succeed using your product, your enterprise succeeds. To accomplish that, you need a well-structured customer success team with clearly defined roles within the company.
The customer success (CS) team is in charge of engaging current customers and ensuring they have a positive experience. When properly structured, the CS team can grow revenue and, prevent churn while deepening customer loyalty. Despite the value of customer success teams, not all B2B enterprises know how to structure customer success roles within their company. However, by asking the right questions and thinking critically about what kinds of support customers need, you can shape your CS team into one that retains hard-won customers while helping them reach their goals and derive value.
Thinking Critically About Customer Success Roles
To create a company culture that champions customer success, you have to consider the organizational structure and how CS teams interact with others. Customer success does not occur in a vacuum, so the entire organization must be customer-centered. However, the CS team should be the ultimate authority on creating a positive customer experience.
Here are some of the primary responsibilities your CS team should handle:
- Encourage growth: The CS team should work to grow your business by offering the existing customer additional services or functionalities that provide additional value. They should always be on the lookout for new ways to help customers succeed, including opportunities for expansion.
- Form a “first line” of defense: Because your team interacts with customers daily, they’re in a unique position to spot at-risk customers. They should be your first line of defense against churn. When there are signs of customer unhappiness—such as low customer health scores,poor verbal feedback, or low adoption—they should respond with proactive and appropriate action.
- Spot customer advocates: The CS team should also look for star customers. These are highly-satisfied customers who love your brand and product so much they’re willing to advocate for you. Such customers can offer powerful testimonials and should be encouraged to spread good word-of-mouth.
How your CS team relates to and works with other teams or divisions plays a big part in how well it will grow customer success on an organization-wide level. That’s why you must help the CS team enable effective communication with other parties by standardizing processes and aligning teams.
How Customer Success Teams Can Help Other Departments
The CS team will interact with many other departments, so it’s critical that customer data is shared across the enterprise. That way, everyone will know which assets to use, when to alert a manager, and the best next steps to take in a variety of scenarios. Here are some examples of customer success roles your CS team may take when working with other teams:
- Finance: Should the CS team discover that a customer contract is not up to date or is missing data, they can alert the financial departments.
- Customer Experience: If the CS team finds a customer with a low NPS (Net Promoter Score), they can ask the customer experience team to follow up.
- Marketing: When the team finds a customer advocate, sharing that information with marketing can lead to a case study.
- Sales: There are various ways that customer success and sales can support each other. The CS team can advise sales of renewal or expansion opportunities, while sales can notify the CS team of potential challenges they anticipate during onboarding.
How CS relates to other teams within your organization depends on your people and your product. There’s no one right way to structure a CS team or to structure a workflow that spans departments (such as the workflow that happens when the sales team hands a customer off to the CS team). So, take advantage of team members’ talents and don’t be afraid to create a unique structure or set of roles. After all, customer success is a dynamic field; why not evolve it to play to your organization’s unique strengths and needs?
Support the CS Team, Support the Organization
When you give your CS team the support they need, your entire organization will thrive. This is especially true when you give them the technology they need to optimize their role within your organization. What they need is a goals-centered customer success platform.
With a customer success platform, your CS team can seamlessly communicate with each other and with other teams within the organization. This enables everyone to instantly share customer data and histories. With help from an intelligent AI chatbot, departments such as marketing or sales can access this data quickly and easily.
Your CS team can’t work within a vacuum. Give them the right support with technology that enables them to raise their productivity and effectiveness.
Totango connects customer success teams with other teams using seamless data sharing and communication. To learn how powerful software can help your CS team thrive, explore Spark. Or, request a demo to learn more about Totango can help you.