Does the CS team have influence on the product roadmap to get the needed product analytics to run effective customer engagements? What cross team practices make a difference?
CS definitely has a major influence on the roadmap, as it should. I remember hearing once at a Tableau conference that, while analytics was important, too many companies tended to create too many reports, sometimes at the drop of the hat. Adoption is I believe the one of the key analytics for CS and for a successful roadmap. From a support standpoint, the metrics of CSAT, NPS, Cases opened/closed and Self-Service for both individual and overall customers is important.
Product analytics is what you need now. It is very possible that most of our business in the next few weeks/months might depend more on what customers already have rather than New. Without the data available now, you won't be able to assist your customers as effectively. Companies who have already made the investments into Product Analytics should take full advantage of it now, and others should use the current situation to highlight the gaps. There should be enough stress in the system to cause this item to go higher in the executive team priority list.
Excellent point @David Perrault , product analytics is always important, but especially during this time that may see some changes in customer disposition toward buying new solutions. Laura Fay recently published the 2020 XaaS Product & Analytics - Key Study Findings. The study assessed the effectiveness of embedded product experiences and analytics in driving 3 critical outcome vectors of a successful XaaS business model.
Do you think the CS Team should have a seat at the table when it comes to discussing product analytics?
CS should be driving the discussions about Product Analytics. Product Management and CS are clearly the two main consumers of this information.
CS has strong influence on the product roadmap. There is a tool to enter and track all customer feedback which is used by the product team for quarterly roadmap planning.
Product analytics are shared with the CX organization to help increase usage for features. Often this is done through campaigns and in-product process support/training.
Yes, I believe CS teams should heavily influence the product roadmap, as they are front and center in hearing first-hand any post-live challenges. As well, in organizations where Professional Services (PS) is a separate organization/team, they should also heavily influence the product roadmap due to first-hand knowledge of the business requirement gaps in stock code faced during implementation. Our PS organization keeps track of customizations and/or process workarounds which are frequently needed and reviews this annually with the Product team.
even if your company is an integrator or MSP, and do not develop the SW/features itself, you may contribute to the vendor bringing original feedback from real customers to influence the roadmap.