As Customer Success continues to be a hot topic within many organizations, it is becoming more apparent that defining the role of Customer Success within the product development process is very critical.
Over the years there have been traditional and non-traditional methods of understanding what should go into new product and/or feature design. I think we can all agree evaluating this process involves several decision points including the impact of a new product or feature to both new and existing business and if it will improve the level of customer satisfaction.
Having the good fortune of working with several early stage, as well as established software companies, I have always found there is no shortage of enhancement requests stored in a database and seldom visited, or which have somehow fallen into a black hole. And then there is the issue is capturing the level of detail needed by Product Management.
We all know one of the key responsibilities of a Customer Success organization is to establish a loyal and beneficial relationship with the customer. Throughout this process they are developing great insight into product adoption levels with an outcome of clearly defined requirements for improvements. Obviously we don’t want to lose sight of this vital information.
If you have not already involved your Customer Success organization within your Product Development process – it’s time to do so. I would recommend finding a way within your existing Customer Success application to capture new feature requirements while your Customer Success Manager is active with the customer. These should be easily accessible for future review to provide to the product management team, as well as to update the customer.
In addition, consider a select group of people from your Customer Success organization to lead an internal review committee or participate in daily standups or weekly meetings. This is not to take away from the role of Product Management but to provide a more clearer, refined and qualified insight into feature requests and/or enhancements. The opportunity to develop features desired and used by customers will be welcomed by your Product Management team.
Do you currently involve your CS team in product management meetings/review? What is the outcome?
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