Three challenges that hinder CSM and PM collaboration | Pendo Blog - Deepstash
Three challenges that hinder CSM and PM collaboration | Pendo Blog

Three challenges that hinder CSM and PM collaboration | Pendo Blog

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A productive relationship between CS and product teams

In the world of software as a service (SaaS), the distance between the Product team and the Customer Success team may appear to stem from competing priorities.

However, a close-up look reveals that the interests of the two teams are very similar.


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Rapid scale cause silos

When companies are just starting, the responsibilities of the teams overlap. Product speaks with customers. CS helps with product testing. As a result, it's easy for teams to be collaborative and agile.

But when organisations scale, teams find it more challenging to stay in sync. Product and CS teams may seldom interact, leading to misaligned goals, misunderstanding priorities, and miscommunication with customers.


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Poor communication

The poor communication caused by siloed teams is frustrating for internal teams and impacts your product experience.

The product teams rely on the conversations CSMs have with customers to inform their roadmap and inspire innovation. But if the CS team doesn't have a forum for sharing customer feedback with Product, product teams are unable to build functionality to address the customer challenges.

Similarly, if the product team doesn't inform the CS team about the latest product decisions and developments, CS can't advise customers about the product.


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Varied understandings of the customer experience

CSMs spend their time talking to customers about the business challenges they're trying to solve.

Product teams don't get one-on-one time with customers. Instead, they use analytics to try and understand the customer experience. Analytics is vital but lacks the qualitative and emotional aspects of sentiment and satisfaction.

Understanding both quantitative analytics and qualitative user feedback is essential to understanding the customer experience fully.


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Similarities between Product and CS

  • Both teams focus on the customer experience: Product focus on the "why" of customer needs. CS drives the experience throughout the customer journey. It builds loyalty, drives expansion, and cause retention.
  • Both teams need to be agile and adaptable: Product needs to respond quickly to competitive developments, bugs or feature requests. CS needs to be available to customers to respond to issues.
  • Both teams thrive with a product-led mindset: Product teams play an ongoing role in the business's success. CSMs leverage the product to drive loyalty and competitive advantage.


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"In fact, the confidence of the people is worth more than money." ~ Carter G. Woodson


Product and CS often fail to work together because of three key issues.

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