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How to streamline Customer Success and Product teams?

9 December, 2022 3 min read
How to streamline Customer Success and Product teams?

Customer Success teams are the voice of ‘The Customer’ and ‘The Product’. Goes without saying, the product and CS teams are not mutually exclusive and have a tandem relationship. I want to, however, bring out the importance of how a fruitful collaboration between these two teams can play a big part in formulating the customer experience.

Can Customer Success and Product Teams work in isolation?

Imagine your product as a new house. The product team is the architect. The CS team is the interior designer. Do you get what I’m trying to say?

And so, while building the product is like laying a solid foundation, the ongoing process of maintaining and upgrading the product falls into the hands of the CS teams. Having a seamless communication structure between these two teams is of utmost importance to ensure maximum efficiency and output and ultimately a good customer experience.

Let’s suppose the product team launches a new feature. Imagine the CS team having absolutely no idea about it, and the feature strikes the customer’s door without any heads-up or notification. Let’s be real, no one likes such surprises!

Now imagine the opposite – a much-awaited product feature is launched, and the product team duly relays and trains the CS team, which is followed by a trickle-down effect on the customers through an effective communication strategy. Wow! That’s music to my ears. It’s a win-win for everyone!

Let us quickly deep dive into how this can be achieved.

Building a strong relationship for an enhanced customer experience

Setting the tone for shared outcomes: This helps drive both teams towards a common goal and bridge the communication gap. How can we do this? Companies these days are laying out the product roadmap open to their teams and customers, calling for open collaboration. Nothing beats this.

Tips to improve collaboration

1. Setup an internal process of communication: Allow for feedback

Having a project management tool such as Trello or Basecamp where CS teams can keep dropping in feature requests and the product teams having complete visibility over it can be really helpful. This way, the product teams can prioritize which tasks to line up and share timelines for them accordingly. On the other hand, the CS teams can have visibility of what’s in store for the customers and keep them abreast with the relevant information.

2. Weekly syncs to discuss upcoming features: Allow for collaboration

A weekly meeting can be conducted between the two teams to:

  • Discuss the roadmaps and any urgent requirements that need to be picked up
  • Discuss risk accounts and churn factors so they can align themselves accordingly
  • Share small wins that can be passed on to customers as a feel-good element
  • Share small wins that can be passed onto the product team
  • Share the feedback that comes from the customers after they feel like are being heard!

3. Product marketing strategy: Allow for communication

How are we communicating about the product to our customers?

How are we internally communicating with our teams about our product?

What is the marketing strategy we intend to opt for? Will it be to educate our customers, and advocate for champions, is it blogs, webinars, and user pilot notifications?

Answering these questions is critical because, without an effective communication strategy, all efforts will be in vain.

As I mentioned earlier, a public product roadmap is the best approach to increase visibility, collaboration, and coordination.

4. Align shared metrics for both teams: Allow for ownership

The product roadmap is just one of the ways to implement this. However, setting some common goals like utilization, time taken to adopt a certain feature, open requests, new feature implementation, etc. will allow both teams to stay aligned and in close sync to achieve this as a unit and not in silos.


Ultimately, the idea is to foster product adoption and customer delight. While both teams may define this in their own ways on a day-to-day basis, the end goal for them converges after a point – Customer Success.

The chart above helps us understand how we can gradually evolve as teams and how we want to place ourselves on the spectrum of operational maturity:

It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for both these teams to develop a co-dependent relationship to build that well-structured, thought, and beautifully curated product environment that customers look forward to logging into!

Think of it like this – the CS team is the emotional, more qualitative side of the story of your customers, and the Product Management team is the rational, more quantitative side.

So go ahead and set up that meeting you’ve been meaning to and get both your teams under one roof and get the ball rolling.


Author profile image
Anupama Sahore

Anupama is an experienced Sales, Community, and CS specialist with 8+ years of experience across industries like SaaS, Fintech, and more. She works as a Senior CSM at a leading CLM software company.

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