Customer Success Manager 101: Everything You Need To Know

What Is Customer Success?

Customer success — a business methodology — is to ensure customers achieve their intended or desired result from a product or service. It is a relationship-focused on managing your customers.

The goal of customer success is based on the concept of customer lifetime value.

Customer lifetime value is defined as:

“The present value of the future cash flows or the value of business attributed to the customer during his or her entire relationship with the company.”

In layman’s terms — how much a customer financially contributes to your business over an extended period of time.

Customer success seeks to improve customer lifetime value by increasing customer satisfaction. This task is given to a position called a customer success manager.

A customer success manager will cooperate with sales and marketing, as well as customer service — overlooking the entire customer process.

Here’s an image to help you understand.

Why Is Customer Success Important?

Customer success is important because it helps improve customer morale. Improving customer morale by default will increase retention and lower churn. Increasing customer retention will directly lead to more sales.

So bottom line — customer success is important because it helps businesses make more money. A business’s bottom line is largely a measure of its success.

What Does A Customer Success Manager Do?

A Customer Success Manager essentially connects the gap between marketing/sales, and customer support. A customer success manager will take from both to help ensure customer success.

More specifically, here are some things a customer success manager does.

Onboarding New Customers

Onboarding new customers is one of the more important functions of a CSM — ensuring a customer knows how to use a product or service.

This is important because you want your customers to take full advantage of whatever it is you’re selling. You want to them use it right. Proper education is vital to ensuring customer success.

Failure to properly onboard may lead to negative reviews and a bad reputation. You want critics to give you a fair shake.

Customer/Account Renewals

Maintaining existing customers/accounts is also a high priority for a CSM. The whole purpose of customer success and managing it is to create repeat business. A customer success manager will track existing accounts, and follow up before the expiration date of said product or service.

Without continually following up, customer retention will decrease. A customer success manager is vital to ensure churn is avoided.

Upselling Existing Customers

Aside from onboarding and renewing, a customer success manager will also upsell. Upselling is to entice an existing customer to upgrade to a more expensive plan/package.

A customer success manager builds a relationship with customers and identifies candidates suited to upselling. It’s all about trying to increase the customer’s lifetime value — upselling is one of the strategies that does this.

What To Look For When Hiring A Customer Success Manager?

When looking for customer success manager candidates, there are certain characteristics and traits you’ll want to look out for.

Emotional Intelligence

A customer success manager needs a high degree of emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is defined as:

”The capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”

This is an important attribute a customer success manager must desire — managing a relationship with clients.

Project Management Knowledge

A customer success manager must-have project management knowledge — knowing how to effectively plan, outline and execute a strategy within a specific timeframe.

A customer success manager will also have to be able to cooperate with sales and marketing teams.

Project management knowledge is one of the more necessary tools a customer success manager requires.

Initiative

Your customer success manager needs to have initiative — knowing when to take things into their own hands and make judgment calls. To be proactive and being able to effectively learn new concepts/strategies on the go.

The duty of a customer success manager is never fixed, always changing. Initiative and adaptability are essential qualities for this job.

Final Thoughts

Customer success is a key component to business success — ensuring your audience takes full advantage of your product/service.

A customer success manager will overlook the process of customer success, and guide it to fruition.