Marketing is the primary tool that many businesses use to reach their target consumer, grow their ventures, and build their reputation. One could even argue that the lack of a good marketing plan could set a business up for failure. That’s why most companies place high importance on their marketing divisions.
However, focusing on marketing alone is not enough to drive and sustain growth. Industries are growing to be more customer-centric, pushing companies to prioritize the advancement of consumer experience. This is the part where customer success comes in.
What Is Customer Success?
Customer success focuses on retaining client loyalty and reducing churn rate. This effort does so by resolving customer issues and questions through proactive actions and responses. It also uses feedback and reviews to create solutions and improve its operations.
Additionally, customer success helps customers make the most out of a business’ product. A perfect example of this is subscription-based enterprises like streaming services and online shopping memberships, which see customer success as a vital component to growing their recurring revenue.
These businesses make sure their services are a good fit for their target market by establishing hassle-free usage for their products, giving excellent customer support, and swiftly responding to customer concerns.
By sorting out challenges and problems from the get-go, businesses ensure consumer happiness and retention while increasing revenue.
However, its functions could cause customer success to overlap (and even clash) with other customer-facing efforts — and the marketing team feels that tension the most.
Where Is the Disconnect?
At their core, marketing and customer success are responsible for growing revenue and retaining customers. This similarity should enable these teams to work in harmony, but their different visions (and even actions) cause the rift between marketing and customer success despite having the same goal of growing the business.
While the marketing division focuses on promoting and selling the product, its customer success counterpart aims to help patrons realize their target outcome while using the product. They also take on different steps to achieve their desired results.
For instance, marketing runs advertisements, sends out email promotions, and even conducts virtual events to get the attention of prospects and get them to use their product. On the other hand, customer success offers a more personalized approach by providing curated support, ensuring the product is ready and easy to use, understanding customers’ needs, and prioritizing them.
Having these opposing objectives and measures make it difficult to get these two to get along — but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
When the marketing and customer success divisions work together, they are a force to be reckoned with. A harmonious collaboration between these teams can lead to remarkable results and drive significant revenue growth.
Closing the Gap
It’s imperative that a company’s marketing and customer success teams should collaborate to maximize their potential and foster long-term growth for the business. The key here is to always remember the line that connects these two business divisions together and be creative in establishing measures to reach their respective goals without clashing with each other.
Here are more strategies that companies can adopt to bridge the gap between marketing and customer service:
1. Exchange results and insights with each other
Marketing holds valuable understanding into discovering, promoting, and delivering various products to their target markets. With this perception, the marketing team offers an external voice that is vital for the customer success division and helps it narrow down the information that clients need to know about the product.
Meanwhile, customer success can provide critical insights regarding customers’ opinions on the products. Providing this knowledge allows marketing to pinpoint the products that are gaining traction and which ones need to be highlighted.
By exchanging such information with each other, both teams will gain a deeper understanding of what they can do next for their respective plans.
2. Organize events with customers
Putting together customer-centric events allows marketing and customer success to interact with existing customers and prospects. This interaction is an effective tool for marketing and customer success to gain enlightenment on customer experience and expectations.
Events are also the ideal venue to naturally introduce existing customers to prospects. This instance can help win over new customers as patrons share their stories and experiences while using the company’s product or service.
3. Conduct case studies
Customer success is in a great position to pinpoint consumers who would be the ideal example for a use-case that the marketing team wants to highlight. That means customer success can connect these clients with the marketing division to help the latter understand what success looks like in the present and provide social proof.
However, the customer success team should ensure that their chosen consumers are in the right phase for a case study to prevent them from getting overwhelmed. It’s also important to be transparent with the marketing team regarding the customer’s journey to make the process much easier for both sides.
4. Focus on high-value customers
Narrowing down the target market allows both the marketing and customer success teams to develop strong account-based marketing (ABM) plan. An ABM strategy focuses on a set of target accounts within the market.
In order to engage each account, it uses customized campaigns that base its marketing message on the particular characteristics and requirements of each account.
Implementing this strategy gives customer success an in-depth analysis of the target consumers’ challenges. Marketing can then chime in and convey how the company’s product or service can resolve those issues.
5. Consider creating a customer marketing team
The best way to ensure a smooth alliance between marketing and customer success is by having members of each team focus on collaboration. This structure allows everyone to work on multiple tasks at once instead of concentrating on just one thing.
This new group can generate leads, provide support to closed-won customers, create a communication plan between the clients and the teams, and establish programs that would turn patrons into promoters.
End Results for Companies and Consumers
Collaborative work is always a good initiative for businesses. It fosters teamwork between different departments while also nurturing the company’s growth. Working together also brings immense benefits to the customers.
Cooperation between marketing and customer success provides clients with a clear path to reach their goals and insight into how the industry works, which can also be used for future use cases.
Moreover, customers will have a better understanding of how new features can help them in their lives. Being able to give their feedback and have it be heard also increases the chances of creating a product curated to their needs.
Marketing and customer success have traditionally been thought of as being at opposite ends of the customer lifecycle. But that doesn’t mean they should operate in such a manner.
When these two teams work together, they can attract and produce customers that fit their product the most. Additionally, customers have the opportunity to learn about a brand from their own viewpoint instead of what is simply shown to them by the business. They can also become a relevant source for leads and referrals for the business.
Ultimately, the company can advance its business as it increases customer satisfaction rates and retention, extends the lifetime value of each customer, and grows its revenue.