Guest Author: Arleen Atienza.

Arleen Atienza has been writing for several organizations and individuals in the past six years. Her educational background in Psychology and professional experience in corporate enable her to approach a wide range of topics including finance, business, beauty, health and wellness, and law, to name a few.

If you want to build a customer-first organization, every customer-facing department must examine how their practices align to deliver a positive customer experience. In many businesses, this experience begins with Marketing. Marketing and Customer Success teams must collaborate to ensure that the promised and delivered customer experiences are consistent. 

Marketing handles lead generation up to the point of sale, whereas Customer Success is in charge of everything that occurs after. However, when Customer Success must handle marketing independently—whether it’s developing an onboarding campaign or announcing a product update—the outcome is typically a 500-word email or a poor call-to-action. 

This is not a dig at Customer Success teams. They are attentive, considerate, and excellent at one-on-one communication. But developing a compelling customer communications program at scale is a task best suited to Marketing.

You must align your Customer Success team with your Marketing team if you want them to effectively communicate with all your customers. Together, these teams can develop powerful campaigns that can increase retention rates and improve customer experience

To have a better understanding of this relationship, let’s explore some of the benefits of bridging the gap between Marketing and Customer Success.

Benefits of Aligning Marketing and Customer Success.

When Marketing and Customer Success teams collaborate, they produce significantly better results. 

Marketing teams understand the principles of mass communication, while Customer Success is in sync with existing customer needs. By joining forces, their campaigns can help customers get the most out of your product or service. When customers achieve their goals with your company, you can expect a drop in customer attrition.

Customer retention is not the only benefit of this partnership. Here are some of the advantages of having Marketing and Customer Success work together:

Stronger Brand Positioning.

Customer Success helps Marketing determine which features are most important to prospects. Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are more in touch with customers and have a deeper understanding of their needs and expectations. By sharing their experiences, CSMs can help Marketing identify what resonates with existing and potential customers. As a result, the Marketing team can tailor its approach to reflect the core values of the business and its customers.

The Right Prospects.

The Marketing team is often first in line when it comes to screening prospects to find and attract the most promising leads. The quality of prospects improves when Marketing only targets clients who are likely to achieve their goals. The Customer Success team can then help customers who are a good fit for the business and ensure they get the best value from the product.

More Upsells.

Customer Success teams can drive considerable account growth. After determining the customer’s goals, the CSM may recommend ways to get there faster—typically through upsells. Often, Marketing and Sales representatives rely on CSMs to notify them of upselling opportunities. In any case, a customer that has a positive experience with the company is much easier to sell to again.

More Brand Advocates.

Brand advocacy and word-of-mouth marketing are the holy grail of marketing initiatives. However, it can be a challenge for Marketing to achieve these—mainly because they have little influence over what happens after the sales transaction. Customer Success is the one with an impact on what occurs after the sale. 

When Marketing and Customer Success teams collaborate, they create the most valuable marketing assets: satisfied customers who are happy to recommend your product or service to their family and friends.

How to Align Marketing and Customer Success Teams.

Marketing’s primary goal is to attract and convert leads, whereas Customer Success is responsible for identifying customer needs and challenges to deliver solutions. To maximize the benefits of both sides, they must work together toward a greater goal.

Here are a few actionable ways to bridge the gap between Marketing and Customer Success to help achieve higher customer satisfaction and improve retention:

Communicate Constantly.

Both teams must be more open about what they are doing. Marketing should keep the Customer Success team up to date on new customer campaigns. Ask the Customer Success team what resources or information they find helpful. Marketing should also seek support from CSMs to help increase the success of customer campaigns.

CSMs should share their existing customers’ success stories and significant customer insights with the Marketing team. Marketing’s goal is to show prospects how the company’s product can make their lives easier. Marketing reps can share success stories that resonate deeply with prospects, giving them the confidence to buy your product.

Align Metrics.

All teams involved in supporting these customer initiatives should use the same metrics to track the success of their program and deliver a cohesive and positive customer experience. Set up standardized metrics and make them transparent and accessible.

Marketing should measure retention and net Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR), and Customer Success should track the number of brand advocates. Both Marketing and CS should measure customer satisfaction. 

Many companies use the Net Promoter Score (NPS) to measure customer satisfaction and loyalty, but more and more businesses are starting to monitor customer advocacy. It’s a more reliable metric because it’s based on tracking referrals, recommendations, and customer reviews.

Build a Customer Loyalty Program.

Do not use an outdated spreadsheet to keep track of your most valuable customers. If you want to elevate your customer experience, you need a well-coordinated method to identify, mobilize, and recognize your best customers. You can do this with a customer loyalty program.

Whether you’re rewarding your customers with points, coupons, discounts, or exposure on social media, Marketing and Customer Success teams must work together to make the program more appealing to customers.

Identify Expansion Opportunities.

Upsell and expansion opportunities are crucial for company growth. Always be on the lookout for new ways to provide value to customers as they move along their journey.

CSMs can leverage marketing expertise to reach out to current customers with new offers, including upselling or cross-selling products. The Marketing team can help produce the right collateral for the CS team to present to their customers.

Both teams can also collaborate to develop customer segments for various account expansion activities. These customer segments can be based on demographic information, market size, or stages in the customer journey. With the right marketing methods, the CS team can help expand the business in the customers’ territories.

A strong relationship between Marketing and Customer Success is the cornerstone of a positive customer experience.

When Customer Success and Marketing work together, they find customers who are a better fit for the business. This leads to improved customer acquisition rates, lower attrition rates, increase revenue, and higher customer satisfaction.