Customer experience overtook both product and price reign that was going for a long, long time. It's more important to give your clients a good time along with a great product, just one is not enough. There are many advancements in technology, but still, no one can replace that human touch in communication, no bots or AI can do what one human can achieve in a quick zoom call.
Customer Success? What?
It may sound strange for people who never dipped their head into business, but CSMs are actually pretty important. So what do we do? There are a lot of things that are different from company to company, but the essence of the job still remains the same — you have to guide customers through the whole journey to success, hence the name. While other roles can look into customer's success as well, our responsibility is long-term. We have to not only take accountability for short-lived communication in one project but take each and every customer under our wings and do everything in our power to make their stay enjoyable.
What Do We Do?
As I have said earlier, many responsibilities can vary in different companies, but there are six general or rather main points that every CSM works with everywhere.
I have covered this stage in my previous posts, and it is something that CSMs do all the time. We are responsible for successful onboarding, possibly the most valuable and important part of any customer journey. Those first few interactions are going to merge into the first impression of the company and you as a person — so you better make it good!
Basically, everything in the CSM role is based on communication. From the very start to the unforeseen future, we have to build a relationship with the client. The goal here is to make a long-term relationship, but it's easier said than done. People no longer want to see generic messages in their inboxes as personalization has become the main focus in every customer-related role. Building trust is also crucial. Getting to that point with a client is the most important step in any journey, and you'll know when you get there.
Another important matter to always be on the lookout for is problems that customers can and will encounter on their journey. We are no fortune tellers, but we have to be able to anticipate what's going to happen and try to prevent it altogether. If not, we are responsible for resolving the problem with the client. To be completely honest, there's no project that will be a perfect smooth sailing experience — something will rock the boat for sure. It's not bad, I would say that it's only natural, it's bad when everything is too good to be true, which means that something may be really wrong and you have to pay very close attention.
Building a Complete Picture
There are many people in the company who are going to know the client to some extent, but there won't be any individual who knows them better than you. You are responsible for building a complete picture of every client, and it's a pretty big puzzle. Every person is different, and you have to find the way to their heart by trying to honestly know them better as a person.
Building a positive outlook on your company is yet another responsibility of yours. As knowing the product and the company goes without talking and you probably do, you'll generally focus on building out a good picture in front of the clients.
CSMs do rely on the whole team, a lot. There are a lot of things to be done for sure, and you can't do it alone. Let me rephrase, you can, but why? It's so easy to get overwhelmed with dozens of things to look into, and you don't have to bear it on your shoulders alone. You have to try and concentrate on long-term relationships, and when small issues rise up, you must refer them to other departments. Don't try going around and doing everything on your own, it will only lead to a very fast burnout. To put it simply, one of the most important qualities of a good CSM is teamwork, a good one to be exact. Your team is there for a reason, so don't alienate yourself from others.