Talk of customer success (CS) abounds in today’s customer-centered economy. It’s vital, as it is the CS team that works with customers after that critical first sale and keeps them coming back for more. Customer success and marketing are typically two distinct teams that do not seem to be directly connected, but in fact, the more effectively the two collaborate, the more successful your customers—and your enterprise—will ultimately be.
The Intersection of Customer Success and Marketing
A marketing team is responsible for telling the story of your brand to your target audience in a way that not only piques their interest but motivates them to buy. Attracting new leads is their main forte. Once a customer is ready to convert, they typically pass into the hands of the sales team, after which they are transferred to the team with whom they will build their longest relationship—the customer success team.
A customer success team is responsible for nurturing positive, mutually beneficial customer relationships in order to drive value to the customer, prevent churn, and growing the customer relationship. The more value customers see, the more they will be motivated to spend more, stay longer, and promote your enterprise (at no extra cost to you) through priceless word-of-mouth recommendations.
Marketing’s emphasis is on customers-to-be; customer success teams typically only come into play after an initial sale is made. There does not seem to be much overlap at first glance, but consider this:
- Both teams need an in-depth understanding of your target audience.
- Both teams serve as the face of your brand. Marketing must make a great first impression to attract leads, while the CS team ensures that your company lives up to those initial expectations.
- Both teams contribute to customer loyalty, brand awareness, and customer-centric growth.
- Customer Success is your direct line to the voice of your customer (VOC). The best way to create messaging to attract new customers is to capture your advocate customers’ reasons (think ROI) for staying with you and growing the relationship.
By working together, your customer success and marketing departments can inspire one another to create more effective strategies that increase both new leads and retention rates.
How Customer Success and Marketing Can Work Together Effectively
When you align marketing with customer success, everyone wins. Marketing can use customer insights from the CS team to create campaigns that speak more directly to specific audiences. They can use case studies, testimonials, and other feedback provided by the CS team to boost reputability—positive customer reviews will always be more persuasive to new customers than anything that comes directly from your team.
CS teams, meanwhile, can benefit from events that would help customers, such as webinars, meet-ups, and industry events. They can also circulate customer case studies that call out specific feature usage and results to promote this strategy to other customers who could benefit.
How can you ensure these two teams collaborate effectively? Here are a few ideas:
- Promote customer review campaigns and identify references
- Identify candidates for case studies, testimonials, press releases and more
- Collaborate on promotions for win-back campaigns
- Identify key contacts for event invites and speaking opportunities
- Give both teams access to the right data – saving time, effort and productivity
- Encourage sharing between teams while minimizing in-person meetings
The key to all of this is clear communication. The more easily your teams can connect and share relevant information with one another, the more effectively they will be able to work together to achieve their respective goals.
Facilitating Collaboration Between Teams
Helping your teams talk to one another is just the first step. The second is ensuring that they continue to do so without the conversation devolving into a game of telephone in which important information is inevitably lost along the way. Your teams need a platform that can not only help each team record, access, and analyze data but also share it easily with each other.
With a good customer success platform, your customer success team will have a crystal-clear view of everything from customer feedback to which customers are your MVPs and what they have in common. It can also help identify which customer segments are responding most favorably to one strategy, and more. This will help it comes to making the right data available for Marketing and other colleagues. A CS platform will streamline the customer experience, allowing customers to consistently progress toward their goals. Your organization will be able to access all pertinent information where needed. That includes the other tools you’re already using, like Zendesk, ServiceNow, Salesforce, Slack, and your website. Your Marketers will not need to physically track down a CS team member for help—and vice versa—saving both teams time, effort and productivity.
We are not advocating that all Marketing teams need to have a full license to CS Software. The CS team is who lives in CS software. But Marketing should be able to see the necessary information when needed instead of always having to set up meetings to identify good candidates for case studies, testimonials, reviews and more. Instead, they can kickstart the research themselves.
Armed with the latest data, insights, and easy access to the answers they need when they need them, your marketers and CSMs will be thoroughly prepared to deliver the very best your enterprise has to offer. This will allow you to set and, more importantly, fulfill great expectations—paving the way to growth and success all around.
Totango’s top-of-the-line customer success solutions facilitate seamless communication between customer success and marketing teams. Explore Spark to learn how our CS platform can help your teams work together. Create a free trial account to get started today.