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3 Ways Customer Success Can Help With New Product Rollouts (Without Irritating Customers)

With the direct connection between CS and customers, you’ve got a goldmine when it comes to customer marketing.
Stefan Palios
September 20, 2022
Blog

You know Product and Marketing will get most of the glory on a new product or feature rollout—bless them—but that doesn’t mean customer success can’t be sung-at-a-later time heroes as well.

Given the direct connection the CS department has with all customers, you’ve got a veritable goldmine of opportunity when it comes to supporting a product launch. 

Any product rollout communications or “customer marketing” coming from CS needs to be done subtly, so you’re not ruining relationships for the sake of an extra like or comment on social media. With that constraint in mind, we’re outlining three strategies that customer success managers can use to support a rollout without annoying customers.

1. Add it to your regular customer communications flow

Most customers want to be kept updated about what’s going on in your organization—it’s just one way you’re demonstrating that you understand their needs, something 66% of customers explicitly want to feel. So tell them about those new things as a side note to your regular communications flow.

Here are a few ways to get that done: 

Add it into a regular call agenda: we recommend adding it as part of your greeting (“I’m doing well, just focusing a lot on this new feature rollout to help customers with X. But I know we’re talking about ABC today…”). If that doesn’t feel natural, you can bring it up near the end of your call as a strictly “thought you’d like to know” comment.

Add a PS into customer emails: sending an update anyway? Add a note at the bottom of the email. You’ve told them, but it’s not intrusive.

Add an extra slide in a QBR deck: if your next quarterly business review is coming up anyway, add an extra slide at the end so they have it and are aware, especially if the feature addresses a concern they have or is helpful to their use case. 

These are manual methods that make the new product rollout a natural part of customer communications. They subtly leverage the relationships you have with your customers and build quiet awareness that can lead to potential upsell and expansion conversations. This also gives opportunities for Customer Success Qualified Opportunities (CSQOs) to come to light.

2. Support the marketing team by owning rollout comms

If informal awareness isn’t enough, you can step up to own product rollout communications for customers. Yes, this is an extra task on your plate. However, it serves the Customer Success team as well—when the Marketing team sends out campaigns on blast, the messaging is often not well aligned for existing customers. 

Here’s what you would need to do:

  • Collect all marketing messages about the rollout. 
  • Edit those messages to fit current customer needs and have a CS tone of voice.
  • Segment and automate sending within your customer success platform.

This is a specific reach-out that can be scaled easily—it also makes sure no one falls through the cracks because it’s a bit more formal. Just make sure you scale your CS outreach without losing the personal touch.

3. Bring success stories and feedback to light internally

Ok, so the Marketing team brings in a bunch of new leads and then the Sales team closes them. Teamwork! 

But now it’s onto you in Customer Success—so share the stories you’re hearing. 

  • A new customer going through onboarding remarks on how easy the feature is to use.
  • The new feature led to an upsell with an existing customer.
  • The new product rollout helps keep a customer from churning.

Make sure these stories are shared—preferably through an automated template that pushes to a company-wide Slack channel—so everyone can see what’s going on. With your assistance as a Customer Success team, the Product team gets direct feedback on the new feature, the Sales team gains stories they can use to convince new prospects to sign on, and the Marketing team can source co-marketing or case study opportunities to use in future campaigns.

Reduce internal friction with the customer’s voice

We know there’s often some friction between the Customer Success and Product teams. Everyone wants to do right by the customer but internal divisions can feel painful. Instead of CS being seen as a welcome voice of the customer, they can be seen as adversaries within the organization—always asking Product for more because customers demand it. 

These three strategies are opportunities to bring CS into the whole company fold. You’re there to support and empower customers, of course, but you can also help with new launches in a way that drives the company forward. You just need to do it in a way that preserves the special relationship you have with customers, and we respect that.

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