When building your business, it’s easy to get focused on customer acquisition and forget about customer retention. But, it’s important to remember it costs 5x more to attract and win new customers than retain existing ones. And, according to Bain, increasing customer retention rates by as little as 5% increases profits by 25% or more.
It’s becoming increasingly popular for companies to nurture their existing customers in an effort to build loyalty and reduce churn while increasing revenue through upselling and cross-sell opportunities. It seems to be working since 49% of companies surveyed reported that their customer marketing efforts resulted in moderate or significant revenue. And 44% of these companies are small, so these efforts are effective for businesses of all sizes.
Who isn’t looking for more ways to retain more customers, improve customer experience, reduce acquisition costs, increase sales and boost revenue? That’s what you’ll accomplish when Customer Success and Marketing work together. Increasing their communication and collaboration will not only deliver these results, it will make life easier for both teams.
Customer Marketing Doesn’t Happen Naturally
The challenge is that marketing and customer success aren’t used to working together. Marketing is accustomed to attracting and nurturing leads until they’re ready to engage with sales. And if your organization has jumped on the sales enablement bandwagon, marketing is collaborating with your sales team for a consistent message and accelerated sales process.
But once prospects become customers, the customer success team takes over. They generate most of the communications sent to these new customers and drive the onboarding process. This can lead to inconsistent messaging from a branding perspective and may also result in the customer receiving conflicting information.
It reduces the time your CSMs have to actually spend with customers. From a marketing perspective, they’re missing out on deeper, up-to-date insights to improve content at all stages of the customer lifecycle. The solution? Bring marketing and customer success together and alleviate these issues.
There are many ways customer success and marketing can work together as a powerful team. Doing so drives better outcomes while making each other’s jobs easier. Here are some examples of their collaboration:
Sharing Deeper Insights
CSMs have a deeper understanding and knowledge of where each customer is in their lifecycle and their specific needs. Providing marketing with deeper insights into these moments and requirements leads to better content development and more meaningful campaigns for optimum results.
Customer success can easily identify case study subjects as well as candidates for testimonials and promoters and are able to alert marketing. Plus, they can work together throughout the case study production process.
CSMs are uniquely positioned to share customer feedback on products, marketing materials and the overall customer experience as well. They’re able to help marketing with FAQ and content topic ideas as well based on their conversations with customers.
Customer Success Enablement
CSMs need the right collateral to have informed, value-centric conversations. Marketing can help by arming CSMs with the right content at the right time for the specific persona to drive deeper, more personalized customer conversations. This enables CSMs to provide more value in each interaction for stronger customer relationships and increased brand loyalty.
Marketing can also help customer success by organizing customer events, developing onboarding emails and materials, creating CS enablement materials and sharing systems with the CSM team. This frees up customer success to focus on customers and marketing to do what they do best while ensuring consistent brand messaging and customer experiences.
Shared Systems, Data and Analytics
Even between the more closely aligned marketing and Customer Success teams, it’s difficult to know and communicate what the customer needs most in terms of services, content, interventions and incentives. Plus, it’s important to know what’s been done to address those needs as well as what’s worked and what hasn’t worked.
Failure to know customers from multiple angles such as lifecycle stages, stated goals and marketing metrics can result in embarrassing moments, strained relationships and customer dissatisfaction. For example, a quarterly business review where the customer complains about receiving irrelevant content in their inbox or where the CSM is unaware of an unpaid invoice.
Platforms like CRMs and marketing automation provide a more complete picture of each customer’s history and current situation. This facilitates customer success and marketing to collaborate and act consistently. Shared technologies prevent dropped balls and improve customer success campaign quality while decreasing churn.
Including technology in this collaborative effort allows marketing to see engagement with marketing content and onboarding emails. And, CSMs can see which customers are completing the onboarding steps, showing them which customers need encouragement to follow through onboarding activities or requiring additional help.
Shared technologies, data and analytics make it easier for marketing teams to align with customer success, increasing the effectiveness of customer nurturing and engagement. Leveraging the strengths of both teams, their campaigns help customers get the most from your product or service. And, when customers achieve their goals with your company, there’s a reduction in customer churn rate.
Customer success marketing can also help with lead acquisition by nurturing free subscribers until they’re ready for an upsell or cross-sell. Plus, loyal customers are more likely to recommend your brand to potential new customers and in today’s market, referrals are pure gold.
Modern buyers don’t want to wait on you to help them – they want to help themselves. So, enable your customers to self-service common, repeatable issues like setting up one part of your product, or changing their billing information. This frees up significant time for your CS team to focus on more complex issues that require human intervention.
Other ways to help include:
Onboarding: Customer marketing can create nurturing campaigns that guide customers through the repeatable parts of your onboarding process. This saves your CSMs time for more complicated issues like overall strategy or custom implementations.
Knowledgebase: Have CSMs tell marketing the questions most frequently asked by customers. Add these to an FAQ section on your website and leverage these topics for useful content development as well.
Customer Network: Once you have enough customers, consider having them help each other. Create forums or user groups where customers can share issues and best practices as another layer of support.
Facilitating Collaboration Between Customer Success and Marketing Teams
Regularly Scheduled Communications
Summaries from CS with their observations about changing trends, new questions being presented, customer successes (both small and large) during onboarding and beyond. Identification of case study and testimonial subject/candidates.
Agree on Shared Systems
Decide which platforms your teams will share. CRM, analytics tools, marketing automation, for example, to automate the sharing of data and insights, keep both teams on the same page as well as other teams, like finance, who interact with customers. This ensures a consistent customer experience, prevents anyone from dropping the ball on key customer communications, increases awareness of specific situations or experiences by each individual customer.
Exchange Input on Campaigns
Marketing’s broad view of customers plus insights from CSMs from their daily customer conversations is a powerful combination. When used together they boost campaign outcomes. Marketers can benefit from this shared intel by asking customer success to review audience segmentation, messaging and campaign strategies. And marketers can advise the success team on messaging for engagement and upsell opportunities based on web analytics and A/B testing. Plus, both teams aid in the development of personalization strategies.
Marketers can use valuable insights to drive content development for lead generation, sales and retention efforts. Plus, they gain an additional audience who consumes and benefits from their content, getting more mileage from each article, webinar, video, case study, eBook and white paper. Like sales enablement content, customer success content can often be created by repurposing existing content pieces based on the specific audience.
Track Positive Outcomes
Monitor successes and wins that come from the collaborative effort between marketing and customer success. Quantifying these results is motivational and aids in consistent improvement. Track metrics like:
- results from sharing case studies post-sale in addition to leveraging to close sales
- how often data is accessed, and shared reports are run
- ROI of mutually consulting on each other’s initiatives and campaigns
- engagement and conversion improvements resulting from CS enablement content use
So, if your customer success and marketing teams aren’t working together, you can do more with less by changing that. When they collaborate, they’re more effective and your business benefits. You increase customer retention and loyalty while reducing acquisition costs and boosting revenue.
Need help leveraging customer marketing content? Contact us to discuss your content strategy today.