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From Silos to a Cross-Functional Focus on Customer Experience Image

From Silos to a Cross-Functional Focus on Customer Experience

By Gainsight Team

Are your users receiving mixed messages from your team? Unfortunately, if your teams aren’t fully connected, it will affect your customer’s experience. And if your company’s departments are working in silos, your customer’s experience can crumble.

Worried your teams aren’t promoting a unified customer experience? Don’t fret. There are clear ways to break out of silos and create a cross-functional customer experience.

What’s causing a siloed customer experience?

For SaaS companies, outdated sales models are driving a wedge between teams. For years, businesses worked within a sales-driven SaaS model. These were the days when businesses sprayed messages across the market, hoping to land one-off sales.

The processes of those days have leaked into today’s SaaS teams, even those that have adjusted to growth-centered models. Many teams are used to having separate, defined roles. For instance, your Sales team is working within its own software and trying to close deals. Your Marketing team likely has its own set of data and is working to qualify leads.

The problem?

Those siloed roles can filter into the customer experience. And a disjointed experience equals a bad experience. Instead, you can smooth out the customer journey by rallying your team around your product and user experience.

How do you create a cross-functional customer experience?

Even if you’re new to product-led growth, breaking down silos and supercharging your customer experience is probably easier than you realize. Here are a few ways to craft a cross-functional customer experience:

1. Rethink the customer lifecycle.

Most SaaS companies approach the customer lifecycle from multiple angles. Sales has its vision, Marketing has another, and Customer Success has yet another. Unfortunately, this can drive a wedge in the customer’s experience as users are hit by different expectations from different departments.

The first step in creating a smooth, consistent customer journey is simple: You need to refocus. Remember, it’s the customer’s perspective that matters. Your No. 1 goal across departments is to figure out why customers buy the things they buy and how they buy.

You can use your in-product data to come with a more uniform vision of your buyer’s process and the customer’s journey. Rather than looking at the buyer from the lens of your individual departments, you’ll start seeing buying from the customer’s viewpoint. And from there, departments can determine how to use their unique strengths to improve that journey.

2. Re-create your customer handoffs.

Think about how the customer experience changes hands in the traditional sales model. A potential customer interacts with Marketing until they’re qualified for a sale. Then, they’re passed on to Sales. When they sign on, they’re handed off to Customer Success. It’s easy to bobble that baton and fumble the customer’s experience in this process.

If you want to iron out customer handoffs, line up your departments’ technology, goals, and data. By sharing data across departments, you can unify expectations—and that protects against gaps in the customer’s journey.

3. Share metrics and responsibilities

In traditional models, responsibilities were dealt out by department. Often, customer churn fell squarely on the shoulder of the Customer Success team. However, to have a successful product-centered model, that responsibility needs to be spread across departments.

With almost 60% of SaaS leaders giving customer renewals high priority, it only makes sense for all departments to be working toward higher retention. And that means all departments need to share responsibility for customer churn. Maybe your Marketing team isn’t communicating the right value to leads. Maybe Sales is overpromising. In all cases, sharing responsibility for churn and making it a cross-departmental cornerstone will bring your teams, and the customer experience, together.

4. Focus on your customer profiles

Another way to prevent a siloed customer experience is to share customer profiles. These are the targets every department zooms in on. If they aren’t perfectly aligned, you’ll be delivering different experiences to the same user.  It’s yet another reason your teams need a single system that everyone can rely on for customer data.

Once you nail down a single customer data system, there are three sets of data that you can use to unify customer profiles:

  • Profile Data
  • Company Data
  • Behavioral Data

5. Align design and delivery

Product teams are an essential part of a connected customer experience. And the key to a fully aligned customer experience is sitting in your product. That means you have to put the product at the center of customer acquisition.

How?

Broadcast customer experience metrics across departments. When you share metrics and goals, it’s easier to rally design and delivery around the customer experience. Here are a few metrics your teams can share:

With a common formula bonding your teams, it’s easier to direct all energy toward what matters: a better customer experience.

Unite your teams with data

In-product data is critical if you want to rally your teams around your product. And Gainsight PX was designed to give you in-depth product data in easy-to-use dashboards. Want to see how Gainsight PX works? Schedule a demo now.

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