As the delivery of products and services grows increasingly reliant on technology, Customer Success has become a key business function for companies across industries. Customer Success Teams enhance the experience and value that customers feel they receive from a product or service, making each customer’s interactions successful and ensuring a high level of customer retention.
The Customer Success business function leads the post-sale relationship, offering its clients a single, comprehensive support tier from purchase until the end of their customer journey. This function aims to establish a strong and trusted relationship between a company and its customers, highlight the value of their product or service, and contribute to a high-level of customer retention. This is important as it is much more expensive to attract new customers than to grow the relationship with existing customers.
Here, the role of Customer Success draws parallels to Management Consulting in that it is necessary to understand a customer’s business needs, identify how they can achieve their goals. Customer Success also plays a key role with regards to process improvements and new product developments by relaying customer feedback directly to the product design team.
A company’s Customer Success commitment generally translates into a personalised and customised support offering. Here, a dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) is responsible for defining the partnership, touch-points and check-ins along the customer journey.
Overall, Customer Success engages in multiple key points in the customer journey and sales life-cycle of any business.
Top 5 Skills Required
Here is a list of the top 5 skills you’ll need to be successful in a Customer Success role and why they’re important:
Tea & Biscuits with a Customer Success Manager
We interviewed a CSM from a leading London-based tech startup to find out what Customer Success entails and what you need to succeed in this role.
Q. What is the biggest challenge you face in your role?
A. The biggest challenge (and one of the biggest rewards) is encouraging clients to trust you and share information with you. As a CSM you are supposed to be a strategic partner but for that to work you need to earn your seat at the table. Every client will require a different approach but when you get it right it’s extremely rewarding!
Q. What do you need to be successful in your role?
A. You need to be organised, able to establish a rapport quickly and good at thinking on your feet.
Q. To whom would you recommend a career in Customer Success?
A. I would recommend a career in Customer Success to anyone who enjoys meeting new people, likes a challenge and thrives in a fast-paced, target driven environment.
Q. How does a typical day in Customer Success look like?
A. As a CSM you have a book of business that you manage. The ultimate goal is to ensure that each client renews their subscription with your service, so your day-to-day role centres on enabling their success. For new clients you will have kick-off calls to establish what success looks like, and start the process of realising their goals. For existing clients you will have check-ins and reviews to ensure the goals you agreed upon are still accurate and are being met as efficiently as possible. Where there are problems it’s your job to come up with a solution and liaise with the relevant teams on your side to make this happen. Most of your day will be spent speaking with clients – sometimes face-to-face, sometimes over email, sometimes over the telephone. It’s fast paced and clients can be difficult and demanding but when they renew you know you’ve done a great job!