Do You Know Your Neighbors?

Ah, Support and Success. Success and Support. The trophy children of your Customer Experience.

While it seems pretty clear that there are some obvious delineations between departments, there’s less focus on the overlap and how important the overlap is in providing a well rounded customer experience.

I think it’s safe to say we’re all too familiar with the common disconnects that plague the Success/Support relationships in most organizations: deals close and somewhere along the lines expectations have been muddied, each team has a laundry list of self serving specific agendas, cross departmental communications can break down – we get it.

But in terms of where we overlap, we’re all working toward the common goal of educating and empowering our customers, and fixing their problems. So why aren’t we working together more often?

The work environment Bliss Billingsley described is absolutely 🙌🏼 ideal 🙌🏼, but the truth of the matter is most organizations have a long ways to go before they get to G2Crowd’s easy to navigate the environment.

By nature, the Support team is trained to identify product/process disconnects and deploy fixes. The Success team is surely trained to do the same but also does a bit more consultative work. In honoring the overlap of their core responsibilities, both teams should feel empowered to surface the internal issues impacting progress but should feel empowered in their direct communication with one another.

I’ve worked in a lot of organizations where interdepartmental communications were bottle necked through management. When I’ve probed deeper, the diplomatic answers were always “we want to streamline efforts”. That sounds noble but by limiting your ICs to communicate their ideas or grievances through management directly, you lose authentic communication.

My recommendation? Get rid of the bureaucracy! Encourage your Support and Success teams to meet, and to do it frequently. Sit the teams near one another, and come up with a communication system that feels comfortable and approachable to/for all. Ensure org updates are shared across teams. Encourage shadow sessions and joint customer calls! You know – build 👏🏼 a 👏🏼 community 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼!

Ryan Moline said it best when he said “some of the best employees within an organization are poached from the Support team” – so open that window of visibility between the Success and Support organizations so that ICs who want to career path from one department to another have a genuine understanding of what to expect and where they can help improve.

Jenn Arevalo is one of the co-founders of the Chicago Customer Success Podcast. She is currently a Team Lead on the Account Management team with Sprout Social.


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