What Is Customer Success Management? (With Skills and Duties)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 13 December 2022

Published 1 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Customer success management is the process of ensuring customer satisfaction and promoting customer loyalty. Customer success managers typically coordinate a team of sales and marketing professionals to develop customer success strategies. Understanding the operations of a customer success team can help you explore the different modern management theories.

In this article, we share the answer to the question 'What is customer success management?' and explore some of the responsibilities of a customer success manager.

Related: Career Development Management Theories

What is customer success management?

The goal of customer success (CS) management is typically to increase revenue and customer loyalty. CS teams usually achieve this by developing customer service processes that improve customer satisfaction with products and services. CS is a relatively new industry in the business market but is usually effective at enhancing customer loyalty and customer retention.

Professionals in customer success typically utilise skills from similar sectors of the business industry. Some of the professions that relate to customer success may include marketing, sales, customer support and training. Customer success management involves the implementation of managing procedures that help to improve the effectiveness of CS teams.

Related: Customer Lifecycle Management: Definition, Stages and Tips

What does a customer success manager do?

A customer success manager typically coordinates the operations of a CS team. Managers in customer success focus on a variety of tasks and responsibilities, such as hiring and training new team members. One of the primary duties of a CS manager can involve creating new customer success strategies to help improve retention and engage new customers. Customer success managers are often experts in both management and customer engagement.

The common responsibilities of a professional customer success manager can include:

  • liaising with customers

  • analysing target demographics

  • implementing management processes

  • creating goals for the customer success team

  • hiring new staff

  • training team members

  • working with legal personnel

  • advising companies on customer service strategies

  • managing a team of professionals

  • advocating customer needs

  • analysing customer behaviour

  • taking preventative measures to maintain customer retention

  • researching a customer's experience when they're using products and services

  • recommending marketing strategies to help gain new customers

Related:

  • How to Improve Customer Service Management (Steps and Tips)

  • Customer Success Manager Resume (Template and Example)

Helpful skills to have as a customer success manager

If you apply for a job as a customer success manager, you may want to evaluate your technical and soft skills to see if they're relevant. If you have extensive work experience in customer success, you've likely gained a few technical skills in customer service and customer support. Customer success essentially focuses on human behaviour, so soft skills such as communication and adaptability may assist you in the role. Below you can discover some of the relevant skills of a CS manager:

Attention to detail

Customer success managers often analyse customer feedback to see if changes need to be made to workplace policies. There may be vast amounts of information and feedback to study, which requires attention to detail. Customer issues often call for a thorough examination to find a reasonable solution. You can enhance your attention to detail by living a balanced life and maintaining a healthy diet. Maintaining your body's energy may help you retain your focus, which often improves your attention to detail.

Empathy

Empathy can help customer success managers by allowing them to understand other people's experiences. Understanding a customer's feedback on a product may help CS professionals devise improvements and increase customer satisfaction. You can work on developing your empathy by developing self-awareness and helping people with their hardships.

Organisational skills

Effective management often requires a degree of organisation. Having organisational skills may assist customer success managers by improving their work efficiency. The responsibilities of filing documents, answering phone calls and acting on customer feedback can benefit from organisational skills. You can enhance your organisational skills by focusing on time management, planning activities and balancing your work life.

Writing skills

Customer success managers often require writing skills to help them create clear and informative policies. Having a variety of writing skills can assist CS professionals in communicating with customers. Usually, you can improve your skills in writing by completing workshops and undergoing tertiary education.

Related: 17 Customer Service Skills: Definitions and Examples

4 careers in customer success

There is a wide variety of careers in the customer success industry. Some roles might be good entry-level positions. Below you can find some careers that relate to customer success:

1. Customer service representative

National average salary: $56,587 per year

Primary duties: Customer service representatives usually assist customers by providing them with information on the company's products and services. Their responsibilities may include processing orders, answering phone calls and using management software. Customer service representatives generally work in call centres or customer service centres or for businesses that provide products.

2. Customer care specialist

National average salary: $62,231 per year

Primary duties: Customer care specialists primarily focus on answering questions about a product or service. They generally have a wide range of knowledge about products and services that their workplace provides. They tend to work in call centres or for commercial companies and receive on-the-job training to further their knowledge.

3. Customer specialist

National average salary: $68,517 per year

Primary duties: Customer specialists cover several responsibilities in customer success. They may assist in analysing customer feedback and planning methods to improve customer satisfaction. Customer specialists usually work as part of a customer success team in a business or large company.

4. Customer success manager

National average salary: $81,333 per year

Primary duties: Customer success managers commonly focus on the coordination of CS teams. Managers help to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of customer success teams by implementing management strategies. One of their primary roles can be to formulate processes to improve customer support services. Customer success managers typically work in large corporations that utilise CS teams.

How to become a customer success manager

Here is a step-by-step guide on becoming a customer success manager:

1. Undergo tertiary education

Completing a qualification or certificate is not always a requirement to become a customer success manager. Generally, the more qualified you are in management processes and systems, the higher chance you have of gaining employment in a managerial role. A certificate in customer success management or a bachelor's degree in management systems usually provides you with the skills and knowledge to manage a CS team. Certificates typically take one year to complete, and a bachelor's degree usually takes three years to complete.

2. Gain work experience

If you have extensive work experience in customer success, then you may have the necessary skills to coordinate a team of CS professionals. A common avenue into the industry of customer success is to gain work experience through an entry-level job in customer service. Roles that provide transferable skills can include customer service representative, customer specialist, marketer, digital marketer and customer care specialist.

3. Apply for the role of a CS manager

When you apply for the role of customer success manager, it's important to review your resume. It can be beneficial to tailor your resume to the specific role. If your potential employer is searching for candidates who demonstrate leadership skills, focus on your leadership experiences. You can search for careers as a customer success manager using online job boards.

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to questions commonly asked about customer success management:

What are the differences between customer service and customer success?

Departments in customer success and customer service may share similar goals, though their responsibilities often differ. Customer service focuses on assisting customers and ensuring the provision of information about products and services. Customer service professionals also help customers when they're returning products or reporting them as faulty.

Customer success professionals focus on customer satisfaction. Instead of directly assisting customers with issues, CS professionals research those issues and devise policies to prevent them from arising again. Customer success also focuses on a few more business aspects in comparison to customer support, such as marketing and sales.

Related: 12 Good Customer Service Examples

Why is customer success important to a business?

Effective marketing strategies alone are not always enough to maintain customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer success management is a relatively new practice, although it may prove to be a useful business tool. Customer feedback is important for businesses to improve their products and services. Often, it requires an expert in customer services to create solutions from this feedback.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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