TL;DR: Customer success is one of the top 10 fields for employment in the tech sector and the Most Customer success departments have different structures to suit each of their unique requirements consisting of a Vice president of Customer Success or Chief Customer success officer, Director of Customer Success and Customer success managers. The Director of Customer Success comes somewhere in between in the hierarchy.
The Director of Customer Success acts as orchestrator and owner of the operational strategy and plan for the business. In the role of the leader, He/She delivers critical business insights and performance requirements to drive immediate, medium, and long-term business decisions and process improvements.
Responsibilities of a Director of Customer Success
Optimize Customer Journey and Drive Value
- Design and implement best practices for delivering predictable customer success outcomes and thereby being instrumental in building long-term strategic relationships with customers
- Manage all aspects of client onboarding, including gathering information from customers, conducting training and initial account setup
- Conduct strategic Business Reviews(EBR and QBRs) to understand the customer lifecycle milestones, and also to communicate the value of the product and showcase product ROI.
- Interact with existing customers to identify pain points, prioritize business opportunities, and productize solutions to ensure customer success.
Lead Cross-Functional Team
- Effectively communicate customer learnings to the sales and product team to help direct the roadmap of the company
- Clarify ownership for each part of the customer journey
- Drive initiatives with marketing for better customer marketing and advocacy
- Work closely with BI, analytics team to get more insights (cross-functionality).
- Orchestration of various tools.
Drive Renewals and Upsells
- Establish upsell and cross-sell playbooks to expand the organization’s footprint within the customer base
- Influence the future lifetime value through higher product adoption, customer satisfaction, reducing churn, and driving new business growth through greater advocacy.
- Maintain value-based relationships with customers and create champions.
Own Key Metrics
- Establish and manage Customer Success KPIs (Renewal Rate, Customer Health, Onboarding Success Rate, etc.
- Maintain performance metrics and leading indicators to make data-based decisions and recommendations
Create a world-class customer success team
- Recruit. mentor and groom team to deliver a culture of customer delight
- Ensure CustomerSuccessBox or any other customer success platform is the single source of truth for customer health.
Requirements for the Role
There are specific requirements and traits a candidate must possess to be considered for a CS director role.
Experience and Qualifications
The basic qualification and experience required to be a Customer Success director are:
- Must have at least 4to 5years of overall experience in the SaaS space.
- The candidate must also have 4 to 5 years of experience in a Customer Success Manager or sales-related role.
- Exposure to subscription- and renewal-based business processes, upselling, or cross-selling as well as deep knowledge of and experience in implementing Customer Success best practices.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to lead and inspire mid-level managers to drive company growth.
- Ability to create strategies, implement them, track performance, and achieve set objectives
- Must be an analytical thinker with keen problem-solving; process development and improvement; as well as task planning and delegation skills.
- Demonstrate a deep understanding of customer concerns and thoughts regarding the product and services
- Proven record of driving customer satisfaction and enhancing customer experience in their past work
- Possesses strong listening and coordination skills to comprehend the customer’s concern and work along with the product/engineering team to successfully resolve them
- Has led teams in the past and knows how to derive exceptional results from them
Questions to ask in the interview for selecting Director of Customer Success
What are the most important goals / KPIs for Customer Success at a company of our size and stage?
The answer should tell you, what’s the level of depth of understanding…Does she know the real metrics that affect business or is just caring about secondary metrics like NPS?
What is the synergy between Customer Success and Sales and Product teams? How should they work?
If the person is unable to answer probably he is not fit to work in a Startup as Customer Success is not a separate island here. Because in a Startup you should have the agility to drive product changes and work closely with sales and product teams.
During the early days of starting out, how should you staff the CS team?
The response would let you know how much work the person is ready to take upon himself/herself.
Ask about any top 3 customers that he/she has lost.
It will help you sneak into the mind and know what went wrong and what could have been done to prevent it. If the person is not being able to answer it correctly probably not fit for a leadership role.
When you visit customers, what sort of agenda do you like to follow?
If they don’t have a great answer, they haven’t really done enterprise customer success.
Can you show me your QBRs and other documentation you’ve built for customers?
You can peer straight into their mind.
Can you present your past team quarterly performance?
This will give you a sneak peek into metrics, the initiatives taken and also give you a fair idea about the team building, leadership, and articulation skills