Road to success: Why hire a customer success manager?
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Road to success: Why hire a customer success manager?

April 17, 2021
Fred Layno

Photo by Icons8 on Unsplash

The valuable exchange between a buyer and a seller does not end with the initial purchase. Most of the mutual value develops over time as the customer continues to benefit from the product and makes more purchases. 

Almost a decade ago, customer success managers were almost unheard of. Nowadays, more and more companies are shifting towards continued customer care and growth, transferring responsibility from an account manager to a customer success manager.

In a survey by LinkedIn, the Customer Success Manager role is named one of the top 10 fastest-growing careers especially in the Software and IT industry, with about a 736% increase in hiring since 2015.

According to, there will be about 88,800 new customer success jobs by 2024. This only shows how critical the position is for subscription-based business growth.

READ: Is your business failing? Here’s why it’s okay.

What is a customer success manager?

Customer success managers (CSMs) are middle-management level officers. They may lead a dedicated customer success team and report to a general operations manager. They are generally in charge of providing support to customers from the time they purchase your products until they become active users of them.

The main focus of CSMs is to build customer loyalty and long-term client relationships. 

Being a CSM is like a big balancing act. They require skills in both customer service and sales, have both company interest and customer interest in mind, and possess product expertise and customer insight. 

They may have similar skill sets and goals, but the difference between customer support and customer success lies in their approaches.

Customer support representatives are trained to resolve product-related issues and educate the customer about how the product works. They collaborate with other teams like engineering to help improve existing features. They are also responsible for gathering customer feedback to help improve newer versions or upcoming releases.

On the other hand, customer success managers proactively work with customers to ensure they are satisfied with the services of the company and to look for areas of improvement. The customer’s role becomes more valuable and integral to the company’s success.

Customer success is all about ensuring that your customers get their desired outcome while using your product. 

6 responsibilities of a customer success manager

1. Guides new customers during onboarding 

One of the CSM’s biggest priorities is onboarding new customers. Educating customers on how to use your product is highly important.

Onboarding teaches customers about your product’s key features, and aims to educate them on how to use the product based on their needs. Onboarding helps customers get one step closer to achieving their goals.

A common mistake, however, is teaching customers all of the features of the product.

Customer success managers should only teach customers those features that customers find initial value in. The sooner your customer gets a return on investment, the sooner they realize the importance of your product and explore its other possibilities. 

2. Continuously trains the customer

Training helps customers be more successful in using the product by making it easier for them to use your product.

Customer Success Training may involve visiting customers or scheduling conference calls with a customized training program on how your product can be used according to their needs.

Training also ensures that customers are aware of resources and tools available for learning, and where to get them. 

3. Follow up on renewals

The job of the CSM is to encourage customer loyalty and retention. Follow-ups are key in customer success. CSMs should be able to keep track of customer product expiration dates and follow up with them to renew their contracts. Less follow-ups mean high churn risks which negatively affects your customer retention rates.

If they aren’t successful in retaining the customer, then it is also their duty to learn about the problems or reasons why the customer refused. Also, they proactively educate the customers on new features.

4. Encourage up-sells and cross-sells

Customer success can also be driven by up-selling and cross-selling. Since CSMs work closely with customers, they can identify opportunities to introduce other products and services or even upgrade to higher subscription plans.

CSMs can also  explain to customers why the additional purchase will be helpful and specific to their needs. Through the rapport that your CSM builds with the customer, they will be more likely to trust your brand and recommend it to their friends. 

5. Build relationships between customers and the support team

While CSMs are not generally involved in the development of the product, they act as the bridge between the customer and the support team.

They relay all the problems that they gather from working with the customer such as technical issues, minor product problems, and basic business questions to the customer support team.

CSMs should ensure a healthy communication between customers and support to make it easier for users to resolve issues.

6. Be the voice of the customer

It is the responsibility of the CSM to also advocate the customer’s needs. They need to be invested in understanding what the customers like about your product and what they don’t. These can be gathered through surveys, reviews, referrals, and more.

CSMs should be able to collect, analyze, and share these data with other departments. While the customers’ requests might conflict with each other or with the company’s plans for the product, it is up to the customer success manager to find the happy balance to help develop the product in a way that reflects the customer and the company’s voices. 

BizScale can provide you with a customer success management team. You just need to complete this form, email, call 833-722-5310, or book time on Calendly. Take the first step to success today.