6 Communication Tips for Product and Customer Success Teams

by Greg Skloot
Communication   |   3 Min Read
team communication

The product and customer success (CS) teams are in constant need of more communication. CS is on the front lines, hearing requests from customers and often feels at the mercy of what Product is building. At the same time, Product should find CS’ experience in the field immensely valuable for identifying the right product roadmap to focus on. To improve, consider:

1. Give product a view into CS weekly updates

Customer Success is often swimming through a mess of customer issues. Whether bugs or unanticipated use cases, they are on the front lines helping customers use the product. If you are using a product like Weekly Update where each Account Manager is giving a quick recap on their top customers and issues encountered, consider adding someone from product to be CCed.

2. Have a clear feature and bug submission process

Make it easy for Account Managers to submit feature requests and bugs. Sometimes this just goes into a spreadsheet, which is fine as long as there is a process by which Product reviews and shares feedback with CS. The most frustrating part of the process is when CS submits items and feels like they are now lost in the abyss.

3. Give product access to the CRM

Instead of having a middleman constantly pull reports with metrics that can be valuable for product, I’d recommend just reserving a seat in your CRM for the product team. They should be able to login, see reports and export data in any way they want so they can dive deeper into it using Excel. Transparency of data leads to less tension between the teams.

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4. Create a meeting and update structure that is regularly scheduled

Add some structure so everyone on both teams knows that there is a scheduled meeting or stand up once per week or month. This way, the teams know there will always be an opportunity to speak their mind and air issues if they aren’t getting feedback digitally.

5. Document a service level agreement

There should be a documented set of rules for what Product and CS are responsible for delivering. Look at this like a service level agreement (SLA). For example, customer success will commit to logging all feature requests in your CRM, and in return product commits to reviewing them and sharing feedback within 5 business days.

6. Be empathetic of each other’s challenges

Have empathy for each other’s roles. Product is inundated with requests and often feels overwhelmed. While they’d love to prioritize everything that CS brings to the table, they are often battling limited engineering resources. CS is constantly getting berated by customers when there is an issue. It is highly beneficial for members of both teams to approach from the other side’s perspective.

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