What is a Customer Success Manager: Roles and Responsibilities

Landing a customer is one thing; keeping the customer happy and satisfied is another. 

Fact: It takes about 12 good experiences to make up for a single bad experience (source)

Companies have recognized this fact and in order to increase customer retention, have started to work with customer success managers.

But first, let’s see what customer success is


What is Customer Success?

Facts about customer experience

Customer success is to look out for potential challenges a customer can face and proactively provide solutions to those problems even before they arise.

This proactive approach helps businesses keep their customers happy and have a better customer relationship, which helps increase customer loyalty.

Fact: Customer experience is now the biggest deciding factor for customers to decide which company they want to work with. (source)

To proactively handle potential issues, companies have created a customer success manager role that takes care of customers and their issues. 


What does a Customer Success Manager Do?

Customer success managers (CSMs) support your customers as they transition from sales prospects to active users of your products.

Customer Success Manager: Roles & Responsibilities

The goal of customer success managers is to offer a window where the client can come back and talk to them about whatever product-related problem they are having. Often the client success manager remains with the client till the day they work with the company. This builds trust and one-to-one relationships, so clients start to think of your brand as someone they have a connection with.

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Responsibilities of a Customer Success Manager

A customer success manager (CSM) helps in customer onboarding. Not only that, but they also make sure customers get assistance during their partnership with the product, be it making a buying decision or helping them opt for new features and modules.

Here are the common responsibilities of customer success managers

  1. Be the voice of the company

    Customer success managers have a unique opportunity of influencing a customer’s decision while making a purchase. This is because the customer relationships manager is talking and helping the customer from the beginning, and customers have a one-to-one relationship of trust with them.  

    Customer success departments are taught to be the voice of the business. Good customer success needs a personal relationship with the support team to make sure they are promoting the company product and help increase customer satisfaction, both in the short term and long term.

  2. Onboarding

    One of the major responsibilities of customer success professionals is the onboarding of new clients. As the client has just bought the product and is new to it, they do not know what to do and how to do it. 

    This is where the account manager comes in and help the client with:

    • What needs to be set up
    • What training material is needed
    • How to do basic stuff

    A knowledge base like The Cloud Tutorial can be of great help while onboarding a client. It makes sure customers do not need to wait for the support agent or the account managers to get to know what needs to be done. A simple article on the knowledge base can guide the client on what needs to be done.

    This makes sure customers get comfortable with the product quickly. Otherwise, a bad customer experience may affect customer satisfaction, and they might never come back.

  3. Follow Up

    Another important role of customer relationship management is to follow up with clients whenever needed. 

    The follow up can be to see 

    • If the problem the customer was facing is solved or not.
    • To make sure the customer renews the product or service.
    • A monthly/quarterly check with the customer to see if he/she is comfortable with the product or service

    This proactive approach builds trust and helps customers understand that the company cares for them, hence better customer retention.

  4. A bridge between clients & customer support

    Success manager job description makes them be a bridge between the clients and the customer service. 

    Customer success management professionals connect with customer support and follow up

    to see if their client’s issue is resolved or not. Similarly, customer service conveys their message to the customer success manager that needs to be discussed with the client.

    This exercise makes sure the client has someone who can talk to the product support team on their behalf and vice versa.

    This leads us to our next role.

  5. Become the customer advocate

    Whatever best practices your client success team follows, their prime goal should be to be the voice of their customers and take care of customer needs. They should feel responsible for their customer’s success and help them achieve what they want from your product.

  6. Data Analysis

    A competent customer success manager needs to do basic data analysis to measure client success. They need to have a skillset to collect data and analyze it using different analytics tools. Once the data is collected and analyzed, there need to be concrete action steps to make sure the customer journey is made easier and more seamless. 

Pro Tip: As data analysis needs some technical knowledge to collect, analyze and execute, You can have the customer success manager hire some help, so this exercise is more of a help to him rather than a burden and a difficulty.

Depending on the requirement, basic tools like TCT can help analyze most searched questions; Google analytics can help see a customer’s journey. Advanced tools like powerBi that can help analyze and visualize the collected data.


How to be a Successful Customer Success Manager?

To be a good customer success manager, you need to have the following skills. 

  • A good client success manager needs to have product knowledge so they can help out the customers and answer questions accurately and confidently. Being the first contact when a client starts using a product, they need to be able to answer questions swiftly; otherwise, the client may feel they have been thrown on to someone junior who does not know what he/she is talking about.
  • Project management is also a necessary skill all good client success managers have. They are the ones who work as a bridge between the company and the customer. They surely need to be able to manage different clients and products. Both employees and customers rely on them to run things timely and smoothly.
  • Communication is the key to every client/business relationship. A client success manager needs to understand and communicate easily with the clients. They need to understand every client has their own requirements and pace. If you know all the answers but are unable to communicate effectively, you are not a good fit for a customer success manager job.
  • Not all customers are the same, neither they have the product knowledge as your customer success team has. A success manager’s job role requires a cool head as they will encounter a lot of customers with no knowledge of the product and ask basic questions.
  • Just like leaders, a customer success manager needs to create a work environment that is a role model for the support team. That helps the overall environment of the company and makes it more customer-centric.
  • A good customer success manager should be smart enough to understand what tools to use to make a customer’s experience better, as well as save their precious time. For example, instead of answering client’s same questions, again and again, they can use a knowledge base like The Cloud Tutorial that will answer the most repetitive questions without the need for any human intervention.

    Or they can install a chatbot that can take all the necessary initial details of a problem that they can use and forward it to the support team (instead of getting the details himself and spending unnecessary time)

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Traits of good customer success managers
They are ambitious They have a cooperative attitude
They sound confident They understand the client quickly
They are persuasive They are friendly

FAQs

As the job title suggests, this role is to be of help to customers. Basic technology knowledge, as well as product knowledge, is enough. But if the product is of technical nature, the customer success manager needs to have technical knowledge as it will help them solve customer’s problems with ease.
It depends on the company and the product. Depending on the industry, product value, location, and customers, salary ranges between $50,000 and $140,000. It also depends on your experience.

Note: these numbers are only averages. It can vary depending on your circumstances.

You can ask questions like:
  1. How can your past experience help us achieve a better customer success rate?
  2. Please up-sell me this module (it can be a random thing, just to check the skills of the interviewee).
  3. Can you share what you know about our product and services and how you think they can help in our customer’s journey?

Conclusion

As companies are becoming more and more customer-centric, hiring a customer success manager is becoming a must. But most companies need to understand what customer success manager’s responsibilities are and what are the traits of a successful customer manager.

In this article, we have shared all the details.

Using tools like The Cloud Tutorial, a business manager and a customer success manager can make sure client’s issues are solved promptly and saves time for them to focus on more important tasks on hand.

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