You just got off a call with a newly implemented customer account… and they are PISSED.
It’s the third time they’ve reached out regarding a bug that’s affecting their workflow.
You’re not at fault, you already relayed the issue to your product team. The trouble is it’s one of those hard-to-identify issues and the product team can’t replicate the problem. It’s the third issue the customer has had since implementing a few weeks ago and you’re concerned the account will churn.
When 72% of consumers see having to re-explain their problem as poor customer service, it’s easy to understand why the customer is so upset.
So what went wrong? If you trace back your steps, you’ll find a leak in your feedback loop. But how did that happen?
Mishandling Voice of the Customer
When customer-related information moves across departments like sales, marketing, and product, it gets filtered due to human biases, assumptions, and team dynamics. It’s like the classic game of telephone–the message is never the same at the end of the line.
In addition to filtering, each team has different goals and agendas around their work. Customer success and product teams strive to offer what customers truly need in terms of support, service, and new features or functionality. Whereas, sales and marketing teams focus primarily on new customer and logo acquisition.
Since the main focus is slightly different from team to team, by the time you receive information, it’s already diluted–or worse, misinterpreted.
The only way around it is to capture and share feedback between departments. But how can you do this at scale? By sharing raw, unedited customer-facing calls between teams.
Sharing calls allows you to surface valuable customer insights to other parts of the organization. This information can be applied to everything from elevating your product to scaling your business.
Let’s look at why sharing calls is a win-win solution for you, your colleagues, and your customers.
Reasons #1: Identify Early Churn Indicators
Consider the following scenario:
A sales rep is on a call with a lead, selling them on an upcoming feature that’s on the product roadmap, but it’s pretty complex and its full release may get pushed back. The rep closes the deal, but now the customer has wrong expectations about the product. In situations like these, customer relationships can quickly go south if the desired feature/function is delayed or even dropped from the roadmap.
There’s no guarantee your product roadmap and company priorities will stay the same. All of this leads to a disconnect between what you promise customers and what you actually deliver.
On top of that, if your customer success team identifies at-risk accounts solely on lagging indicators like implementation time and platform engagement, it’s much harder to spot signs of churn as early as the first sales conversations.
When calls are shared between colleagues and cross-referenced, it’s much easier to spot messaging and implementation gaps in product experience to keep your customer accounts healthy.
Reason #2: Enable Faster Customer Implementation and Onboarding
One of the biggest challenges for any SaaS platform is quicky implementing and onboarding new customers. Integration build-outs, customizations, and simply getting time on the client’s calendar can take time.
When you share implementation and training calls with product, you can directly highlight areas of the platform that are difficult to use or understand. These calls should also be shared with your support team members to help surface frequently asked questions that would make for a good help center article.
With this data in hand, implementations and customer success team members can improve their customer onboarding process. This creates a better customer experience and helps your team better prepare for common roadblocks and questions.
Reason #3: Break the Wall Between Your Customers and the Product Team
Product and CS executives mainly deal with reactive feedback—support tickets, bug fixes, server issues. And it’s difficult to troubleshoot a problem without knowing exactly what caused your customers to take a particular action.
When the product team gets access to the unfiltered voice of the customer, they can understand:
- How the problem originated, or
- What triggered the customer to request a feature, or
- How the product road map will develop in relation to customer needs
This way, you can prioritize feature requests and retain your best customers with good customer support.
Reason #4: Build Stronger Inter-departmental Relationships
Although you all have different milestones to hit or may work in multiple time zones, customer acquisition and retention is still an inter-departmental effort…with the product team leading the charge.
So, how do you promote teamwork amongst different employees?
Build a library of customer calls where your team received major compliments. Invite teams to listen to that one call where a CEO said your platform changed their life and turned their business around.
Celebrating the praise together helps build stronger morale and relationships between individuals and departments.
You can even weather the storm by instructing the team to listen to your customer compliment library to rediscover an appetite for customer happiness. (Plus, we all love to hear compliments!)
Sharing calls between teams and departments not only helps you to empower every conversation you’re having with your customers but also allows the voice of the customer to guide your product success.
Everyone benefits when customers feel valued and see value in using your product or service.