Who is Customer Success Manager?
A customer success manager is a professional who represents an online company, brand or organization. Customer Success Managers are the essential points of contact for any customer concerns regarding the product, service, support, or billing.
This job role is fairly new and has been created due to the expansion of the SaaS/Cloud space. Before we explain the CSM role, let’s explain what is customer success first.
What Is Customer Success?
Definition from Gain Insights goes: „Customer Success is the business methodology of ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. Customer Success is relationship-focused client management, that aligns client and vendor goals for mutually beneficial outcomes.“
So, it ensures that our customer better understands and experience the value of the product we offer through his journey with the company.
Customer Success Manager Background
The role of customer success manager can differ from business to business and across industries. But it was account management role CMS evolved from. It is still a relatively new term.
James Scott is a general partner at Success Hacker, Customer Success advisory firm focused on providing education, recruiting, and consulting to high-growth companies. He describes CSMs as a kind of “navigator”.
“The customer is in the driving seat, but the CSM is a navigator. They are there to make sure there is a route planned towards the goals the customer wants to achieve, even though they don’t touch the steering wheel or the pedals. So it is a much more proactive role. You don’t just wait for the customer to contact you. You are asking the customer and trying to understand their needs and helping them find the features and adopt the features that will help them specifically for their business to extract value. If you do that well then they will keep paying you money and will even spend more money over time.”
Also, if you are considering applying for a job as a customer success manager, you might also be interested in researching other job titles like:
- Account manager
- Account representative
- Client manager
- Client services manager
- Customer account manager
What does a Customer Success Manager do?
The CSM’s first priority is to be accordant with what the customer needs and what their challenges are when they use product or service.
The ultimate goal of customer success manager is to sustain a company’s profitability and growth. This can only be done by keeping the customer satisfied, and by making it easy for the customer to take maximum advantage of the product or service they have purchased.
With great customer service and support, companies have better customer satisfaction rate and they become more loyal to the brand or company.
When hiring CSM, you will need someone with:
- Understanding of project management
- Good emotional intelligence
- Ability to handle unexpected scenarios
- Desire to improve on processes
6 Main Customer Success Manager Responsibilities
The job role of Customer Success Manager is relatively new and is still evolving. With time, they are taking over more and more new responsibilities within the SaaS organization.
With this in mind, we have created a list of 6 main responsibilities of CSM:
1. Customer Onboarding: This is the task of the utmost importance for the Customer Success Managers. Every customer counts and especially new ones. It is considered that good customer onboarding implies that a customer must be taken through the shortest path to value. That way they are seeing the instant ROI (return of investment).
2. Renewals: The lifeline of SaaS companies is the revenue coming from existing customers. It is important that CSM follows up on current month/quarter renewals to avoid the last minute surprises.
3. Escalations: Support and offer response to customers who are raising alerts and red flags. Those are the signs of poor customer health and must be addressed carefully.
4. Campaign Upselling: Three core tools for CMSs are: upsell, expand and upgrade! Upsell to your existing customers once you earned their trust and show them you care and know their needs.
5. Customer Health Checks: Even your happiest and healthiest customers can’t be left to chance. Nurture the relationship with them to improve customer lifetime value (LTV).
6. Customer Advocacy: You know your customers to the core. Use that knowledge to create marketing campaigns and achieve customer delight.
The Customer Success Forum on LinkedIn
Did you know there are more than 20,000 people on LinkedIn with “customer success manager” in their title? Customer Success Manager emerged over the years. It is one of the fastest-growing roles at this moment in the business world.
Also, there is The Customer Succes Forum on LinkedIn where is currently over 32,000 members. If you wish to participate in the ongoing conversation of the worldwide community of customer success professionals, simply join the forum – The Customer Success Forum.
Picture 1. LinkedIn customer success forum
Top 3 Customer Success Platforms
These 3 platforms are specifically designed to empower customer success manager and customer success teams when delivering outcomes to customers. Some of the most common features of these platforms may include automation, customer insights, task management, customer health score, etc.
Picture 2. Customer success platforms
One of the most powerful customer success software is Amity. Amity recommends the right actions and measures effectiveness based on senses changes in customer health or rhythms. This software is a combination of real-time playbooks, intelligence and automation help customer success organizations scale quickly and efficiently.
It also provides real-time insights, and a single, shared, a customizable database for all of the accounts. Their main goal is to make customer success focus of every company.
ClientSuccess is a customer success software platform. This platform helps SaaS executives and their customer success teams retain and grow their existing customer base. It provides customer success managers and teams actionable insights and rich customer analytics. Plus, it also provides best practices to proactively manage success throughout the customer lifecycle.
Christian Kuehne, Director of Customer Success said:
“ClientSuccess has helped us streamline our customer lifecycle management and has provided us with the ability to build customized health scores to objectively judge each account. It has allowed me to quickly assign tasks to my team and see the engagement and health associated with each account.”
Gainsight is the Customer Success company that offers businesses everything they need in order to retain customer and drive company growth. And they drive company growth by reducing churn, increasing upsell, and driving customer advocacy.
Also, Gainsight product helps you touch customers effectively. They do that by tracking customer health consistently and transform the way your company orients around the customer. It provides a 360° view of customers and drives retention across Customer Success, product and executive management, sales and marketing.
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