Customer success manager: Definition, Roles and factors


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Table of Contents

What is a customer manager?

The challenge of winning a customer base is basically just the start of a customer journey with your brand. Your efforts do not just end on landing a customer. It just starts with it. You will have to put even more strategic efforts behind keeping them and providing long lasting satisfaction from time to time. This is where a customer success manager comes in.

A customer success manager (CSM) is a personnel in an organization who looks after the journey of customers right from their first sale till the end. They work to build value based customer relationships and loyalty and make sure they have the same customer till the end. 

You can look at a customer success manager as someone who works complementary to the customer service representative. Meaning, when a customer service rep acts to react on customer issues, a customer success manager would work to prevent the issues beforehand.

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What are the roles of a customer success manager?

  • Bridge between sales and customer support

You can say that a customer success manager is the bridge that fills the gap between sales or accounting and customer support. It is believed so because a customer success manager has to look out for ways to keep the customers and also make them increase their purchases. So basically they’re motive is to crack as many sales accounts as possible while retaining the customers and solving their issues. 

  • Add value and lessen the churn

Getting new customers definitely is a win on its own, but a customer success manager has to go beyond that and ensure keep track of the customers. He/she needs to keep in touch with the customers whether they are using their product regularly, facing any issues and changing preferences. 

This process of regular intervention, when done correctly, turn out as an added value to the organization and also reduces the churn.

  • Supervise the support system

You can see a customer success manager sitting on the top and watching out the entire customer support processes. For instance, let’s say a customer comes in with an issue regarding the product. Your customer service reps will look the issue up close and solve it from the root. BUT, the customer success manager is the one who tries to figure out the reasons behind that issue and watchout for any sales changes due to that. 

  • Customer relationship management 

When you land a new customer, the effort starts from there. Customer success manager works to make sure customers are having their journeys with the brand in an ideal way. 

This means, it is now important to KEEP the customers happy and not just MAKE them happy. Hence, customer success managers have to look after the relationships and how to market them. 

When sales and services departments focus on mere customer issues and demands, a customer success manager focuses on more than that. This stretches to adding value and loyalty to the organization. 

  • Product/brand promotions

Well, when it comes to product and brand marketing, customer success managers have the best interests. Whenever there is a new product launch, it is the customer success manager’s responsibility to make the clients knowledgeable about it. 

They can also provide demos and purchase help to the customers if needed.

Managers also are aware of what the customers prefer and how the market is changing. To be in touch with the customer mindset, the customer success manager also studies customer behavior and performance from time to time.

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What makes a customer success manager?

  • Customer success managers should have strong presentation and organization skills. 
  • Along with that, the one important thing important for a customer success manager is his soft skills. This will directly affect how he/she interacts with the customers and other team members. 
  • Empathy. Customer success managers should practice to be as humble and patient with the customer as possible through all their frustrations and moods. 
  • A customer success manager needs to understand the importance of customer relationships with the organization and make sure to establish that with everyone. 
  • Customer success manager should be a leader. Leadership skills are going to help them manage the departments effectively and make them work in the right direction .
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