What Can Customer Success Learn From Marketing?

October 22, 2019

Marley Wagner

Category: Customer Onboarding, Customer Retention, Customer Success as a Service, Customer Success Marketing, Customer Success Resources, Customer Success Strategy

If you’re trying to build out a Customer Success strategy in your business, you don’t have to start from scratch. There are a ton of resources you can take advantage of in order to set up a Customer Success department, but one of the most useful resources is right there in your own building: your marketing department.

Aside from you, no one else knows your customers like your marketing team does. Their whole job hinges around knowing what your customers want, what they like, and what bothers them the most.

Don’t worry, it’s not a one way street! Your CS teams have a lot to teach your marketing teams as well. Not all customers are created equal — some of them will have an easier time onboarding, adopting, and using the product than others. CS professionals will know who those customers are so that marketing can direct their efforts to the people that will be the best fit for the product.

Where Should You Start?

Start with a conversation. Meet with the marketing team and explain the goals of your Customer Success department. You’ll quickly realize you’re both working toward the same ultimate goal — the bottom line of your company — and your approaches and tactics to meet that goal will likely have significant overlap.

The marketing team is in the business of making promises — about what your product can do for customers, about the features it will grant them, and about how much easier and more efficient it will make their lives. The CS team is in the business of making sure those promises are fulfilled. So, it only makes sense to get both departments on the same page.

Talk About Key Metrics

Everyone’s lives will be a whole lot easier if you’re on the same page when it comes to tracking your success. Establish which KPIs and information are most useful for both your CS team and your marketing team. Those exact pieces of information will depend slightly on the nature of your business, but there are a few that will probably help:

  • Buyer Personas — who are your customers? Where do they spend their time? What are their priorities, in their personal lives or in their jobs? Both CS and marketing teams need to be talking to the same customers, or you’ll both just be spinning your wheels.
  • Efficient Channels — Your marketing team will have the best insights into which channels are the best way to reach your customers. They’ve experimented with campaigns of all shapes and sizes, and they have a sense of which methods work and which ones don’t. Your CS team can use the same channels to keep your customers happy.
  • Segmentation — not all your customers have the same needs and priorities. Chances are, your marketing team has already divided them into useful segments based on location, income, job description, company size, subscription level, and any number of other factors. Your CS team can replicate those segments, or at least use them as a starting point to develop their own, to customize messaging and assign CSMs.
  • Effective Content — part of being an effective CS team is providing your customers with great content. Onboarding materials, educational materials, FAQ sheets, or resource libraries are all crucial content pieces. Marketers are content masters. They’ve been tailoring and creating content for your customers all along. They know exactly what kind of content works and what doesn’t — and they have the metrics to prove it. Take a lesson from that content for your own CS efforts.

How Marketing Insights Can Help

The job of marketers is to generate leads, feeding the funnel with potential customers who are likely to purchase your product or service. Once those customers have passed from marketing to sales, and then on to CS, your job is to make sure that those customers find success, staying happy and healthy while they use your product. Hopefully, if you do it well, they’ll purchase upsells and cross-sells, and they’ll renew their subscription.

Knowing which content was the most effective during the pre-sales process will help you create new content that will resonate with your customers — onboarding materials, educational courses, upsell/cross-sell pitches, product descriptions and update information, support documents, and everything else your customers interact with.

With the help of your marketing team, you can better learn how to communicate with your customers, understand their pain points and needs, and learn what their most common objections and problems are.

CS and Marketing: We’re Better Together

The best way for these two departments to help their company succeed is to focus on the same goals. Marketing can learn from CS which customers are the best fit for the product and the company. CS can learn from marketing how to talk to those customers.

Even better, Customer Success can feed back into marketing. The value of customer reviews and testimonials when marketing can’t be overstated, and your CS teams can point to which customers are most likely to give the best feedback in your marketing efforts. When they join forces, they’ll bring in customers who are primed for success and primed to provide the best feedback on your company, continuing the cycle of new customers.

Your entire organization needs to join forces when it comes to customer advocacy. 86 percent of customers will pay more for a better experience, and 89 percent of customers said they switched to a competitor after a bad customer experience.

Customer experience is everything. Customers are spoiled for choice in almost every industry, so they’re giving their loyalty to the companies that treat them the best — and it shows. Companies that lead in CX spending outperform those that don’t by nearly 80 percent on the S&P 500 index. Between marketing to the right people in the first place and helping them succeed once they’re on board, Customer Success is the most important thing you do.