Isn’t the term Customer Success Manager (CSM) self-explanatory? Upon giving slightly deeper thought, the first thing’s in mind, is that it’s certainly a role with a lot of responsibilities. The second thought tells me, that customer health and value are the two major key aspects they care about that no other role explicitly works on. While they also being a salesperson at times and yet in other scenarios being a hardcore problem solvers! This blog tells you about the types of Customer Success Managers based on their role as an individual.
How much more magnificently could this role have been formed? I don’t think that can be anything better than this! Continue reading to figure out, which one are you!
Types of Customer Success Managers
It’s imperative to categorize the CSMs based on the roles they handle in day-to-day activity for better comprehension. One may know what all they are as an individual while assuring and prioritizing success for the customers. And cumulatively called a “Customer Success Manager.”
Post-purchase, the first task is to onboard the customer. The stage isn’t any less challenging though it is the very first step. Only if onboarding went impressive, will the product adoption be smoother.
A smooth onboarding and product adoption come into play when there is essential training given about the product. Do you think the training is only during the onboarding process? Well, it’s throughout the customer journey and the product evolution.
Check out The Ultimate Guide to Customer Onboarding!
As easy as it might seem, the actual training is the delicate part. To be a good teacher is to make all the hundred students understand the concept. With background research and efforts, it must come as if it is a piece of cake. To make sense of the concept and demonstrate the feature to a customer.
And of course, for a CSM to have reached that point, S/He went through an intriguing process of training too! Now do you think, are you an excellent trainer?
A CSM is more like an attorney with domain knowledge and experience. They are not just advocating for the business but also the customers indeed while understanding their respective needs.
An advocate exactly understands “what, and why” to answer the “how”. And so must the CSM be one! That’s the level of intricate details one has viewed to suggest important business decisions. And to advise the customers for the success they trust you with their business.
It comes with observation, expansion of knowledge, and experiences. So it isn’t an overnight thing. But although you would be one!
Do you see yourself here?
Suggested Read: Top 7 Customer Success Email Templates that your team needs!
The long-lasting foundation comes with the strongness of the relationship. It’s like a make it or break it situation when it comes to an individual CSMs point of view. But the former must be the true cause in the ideal world to work out something between your customer and the product.
The term “Relationship” is conveyed, but significantly comes with “empathy, active listening, and patience.” Empathy is essential to stand in the perspective of the customers while understanding their emotions to come to solutions.
With active listening, you know what their dilemma is and have built a rapport that is for real. So it takes patience to avoid their rage to come to the common point that both you and your customers want! Apparently, that is a solution to continue the relationship with no rough patches.
So this is a forever ongoing relationship you make with the customers until their journey with your product. That’s again something unique to see as a comparison to various other roles in the industry where the relationship is short-term.
How have you been doing this?
Data, data, and data, are what you deal with every day once customers are onboarded and are engaged with you.
You certainly should be in love with it to derive great insights! Data can tell a lot of stories, as much as you are open to seeing it.
For instance, if the product adoption is low, you’d know that there is some blockage in the system. If you figure the customer with a large CLTV, you must know they are valuable. If there is churn, then you know you’ve missed something or there is a flaw you need to rectify!
It’s fun to understand real-time insights, isn’t it? To make necessary changes or try to implement something new, hoping it fixes or perhaps increases something.
As an analyst, you are drawing crucial insights for business as well as for your customers well being! How has your journey been being a customer success analyst?
Extra resource: 6 Key Responsibilities of a Customer Success Manager in a SaaS Company
When there is a process in place, there are some problems indeed that may be approached or may have not yet. Everything we are exploring isn’t a full-proof strategy but rather experimentation.
So you know this fact, and it’s the moment you are on your feet. Start thinking to clear the blockages that are in between your customer and the product.
The lesser the chaos there is between the product and the customer, the greater your product becomes for them! With your knowledge of the product and the domain, you are an apt solutionist!
Have you had these battles of challenges where you solved the tiniest to incredibly toughest problems?
There are 1000s of customers associated with your product. And isn’t just one! Most of us are inclined to diligently solve one thing perfectly and only then move to the next. But in real-time scenarios, there are just many projects and it needs your simultaneous involvement.
The moment we are less engaged in a project, you lost the crucial details, and might see a client churning. Despite this, you would have trained your mind to get there and you are just great at handling multiple projects simultaneously! This isn’t less processing tasks either but CSMs manage to do it!
Have you lately elevated your project management skills?
Finally, you come to the point to sell something more to your customers. Over time you would have built the relationship with the same customers your sales team brought to you.
Of course, there is a difference in the sales you both make. To the sales team, it all started with the leaders who might or might not need your product. As a CSM you are guiding customers to the success that has a missing link. Mostly filling in by giving the explanation, as to how your product can help them achieve their business outcomes.
So you are bridging the gap by explaining and not exactly selling. It is all from a perspective where you already know the ins and outs of the customer’s business.
And on the other side, you are taking care saving the customers you already have to continue making business.
So have you been involved in cross-selling and upselling activities so far?
Additional Read: The Effective way to Sales, Customer Success, and Implementation Handoff
You’ve made it till the end! Did you realize what you’ve been doing as a CSM? All that combined to be one whole of you to be a perfect one, but need not be necessary!
A role-based distinction can further be combined into three major junctions based on the nature of the work:
1. Product associated
2. Service associated
3. Sales associated
Ideally, all these distinctions are just to make sense of the roles and the nature of the work. To land yourself good at extremely one, two, many, or all the things! But in a real scenario, all these combined are expected in an individual in a small to enterprise organization but the only distinction is the type of customers handled.