The Customer Success Manager – A Complete Guide
Sales Professionals and Business Owners alike should focus on the success of their customers; and depending on your business size, you may require a Customer Success Manager.
So, what exactly is a Customer Success Manager?
And what are their roles and responsibilities?
In this article, you’ll learn what a Customer Success Manager is, their key responsibilities, and the potential opportunities of having a Customer Success Manager in place.
The Customer Success Manager – A Complete Guide
What Is A Customer Success Manager?
A Customer Success Manager is the person who comes into play once the sales process and conversation are complete, and the potential client has signed the agreement – and now an actual client.
Their role is to help with the on-boarding process, so that the client succeeds using your product or service.
By having a manager in place to help with the on-boarding process, the higher likelihood the client will be successful using what it is that you sell – which then creates the opportunity for potential referrals too.
What Are Some Customer Success Manager Responsibilities?
Like many sales roles and account management based roles, Customer Success Manager’s generally have their own specific tasks and responsibilities.
Below is a list of possible responsibilities:
The On-boarding Process
A key Customer Success Manager responsibility is ensuring that the on-boarding process goes smoothly and is easy for the new client.
Once the sales conversation ends – the real relationship and work begins.
Studies show that clients mostly churn within the first 90 days of opening an account, so it’s imperative that you make a good impression, and stay true to your word and agreement.
Client on-boarding is the process of consistently delivering a positive result for your new client with your product or service.
By the end of the on-boarding process, you want your new client feeling 100% confident in their buying decision.
Some questions to ask to ensure the on-boarding process goes smoothly are:
- What result are they looking for?
- What does success look like?
- The timeline for the required outcome
- Is there any research or data you need to ensure you and they succeed?
- What do you need from the client to ensure they can help you succeed?
Another key responsibility of the Customer Success Manager is to have an outcome meeting.
An outcome meeting’s purpose is for both of you to get clarity on exactly what kind of outcome they’re looking for, and by when.
Not only will this establish and enhance trust, but it’ll also make sure that you’re on the same page regarding further action items.
When having your outcome meeting – don’t just focus on what it is that your product or service does.
Like that of a good sales presentation, find out what it is they want to achieve, and then prescribe how your product or service is going to help get them there.
Set Up A Team
Depending on your business size; if you’ve got a Customer Success Manager, they’ll most probably need a team to help the client get their desired result.
Your product, service, client type, and your business size will dictate what kind of team resourcing you have.
Have your Customer Success Manager pick their required team, and then give them their required responsibilities, milestones, and deadlines to help the new client achieve what they need.
Setting up metrics and KPI’s will also help you achieve this.
Just as it is important to pick the right team to help you get you and your client’s outcome right – so too is ensuring you meet and build relationships with the right people within your client’s business.
Who are the decision makers within their business?
Are there any department heads, or specific and technical types that you need to work with in their business to achieve their desired outcomes?
Ensure your Customer Success Manager put together a list of the people within your client’s business they need to:
- Build relationships with
- What they need to do to get to the desired outcome
- What detail you may need from them to ensure they’re happy with an outcome
Many Business Owners and Sales Professionals make the mistake of always looking for new business, and unfortunately take the brake’s off their existing client list.
Yes, new business is important – but so is keeping what you have.
It’s a lot easier to keep your existing base happy, then chasing new business. This is because you’ve already got the two required ingredients for the sale – being trust and desire.
Your Customer Success Manager should focus on creating loyal and repeat clients and monitor when signed agreements may be close to expiring.
Best practice isn’t trying to make them happy towards the end of their contract but having in place milestones and systems to ensure they’re always in a happy relationship with you and your business.
Customer Success Manager Opportunities – Up Sells and Cross Selling
A great opportunity of having a Customer Success Manager within your business, is that they can look for up sell and cross sell opportunities.
Up sells are when you identify a product or service that’ll enhance their current purchase.
Cross selling is offering your new or existing clients another product after they’ve just made a purchase.
To learn more about cross selling and how you can put it into place for your business, read the related article below.
Related article: Cross Selling – Your Ultimate Guide
Final Thoughts On The Customer Success Manager Role
The Customer Success Manager role is an excellent opportunity for your business, because as mentioned – it can enhance the relationship between you and your client.
The on-boarding process is critical because most churn happens in the first 90 days.
By having a Customer Success Manager in place, you can ensure your new client starts the relationship happy, gets the desired outcome they want, stays for future business, and hopefully helps with getting new referrals.