Your Company’s Road to Success: 4 Requirements to Look for When Hiring a Customer Success Manager


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Customer Success, which was once an uncharted, exciting new territory is becoming more and more commonplace. As your SaaS businesses grows and expands, you may be recognizing the need to hire a customer success manager (CSM) or even an entire customer success team dedicated to maintaining a healthy, lifelong relationship with your clients. However, customer success is still considered a new discipline and you may find yourself wondering, what kind of traits should I consider when hiring my first CSM?

Certain traits are obvious, for example, members of your customer success team must be organized, motivated and hard working. But what about the traits that make an employee a great customer success manager?

Here are four that you should consider.

Data Savvy
Customer Success is an analytical problem. A successful customer success manager must always have one eye on the numbers. Analytics allows CSMs to assess how engaged the customer is with your product or service. Are the employee engagement rates low? If so the customer might be at risk for churn and preventative measure such as additional training must be taken. On the flip side, is the engagement high? This could mean that they are finding your product or service beneficial and might be ripe for an up-sell or cross-sell.

Team Player
The CSM must not only work well with with his or her immediate team but with employees across all departments within your company. This is because achieving customer success is a company wide goal. The sales team must be informed when an existing customer is ready to add on a new feature, the support or IT department must be ready to train and educate a new customer, etc. If your CSM doesn’t communicate well with all the departments, errors and eventually, churn will occur.

People Person
No doubt about it, the CSM must be a people person. The CSM’s role is to build and nurture the relationship with your client. The CSM is your customer’s best friend, their advocate, their go to person whenever they have any questions or concerns about your product or service. They must always be there for your customer and check in on them regularly. After all, when your customer’s contract is up for renewal, they will be considering, beyond the product itself, the interactions they shared with your CSM.

One Step Ahead
If the world of customer success had to be summarized with one word, it would be, proactive. The CSM must always be one step ahead – whether it’s predicting that a client is at risk or seeing an opportunity for an up-sell or cross-sell. Customers need proactive help and attention, not reactive, and that means your CSM must have the ability to always stay one step ahead of the game.

Don MacLennan
Don MacLennan is co-founder and CEO of Bluenose Analytics. Don is passionate about analytics and insights that lead to great products. He has held leadership roles in several subscription-based businesses, where he came to understand the importance of customer engagement and loyalty. He started Bluenose with the desire to help other vendors build great products and delight their customers.


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