What is a Customer Success Manager?

March 25, 2013
min read time
Sam Aparicio
Sam Aparicio
Co-founder & CEO, Ring.io
What is a Customer Success Manager?

A Customer Success Manager (CSM) is a new kind of role that combines the best of technical support, customer service, and sales.

Customer Success Managers have a primary goal: retaining customers.

Working for tech companies that sell a subscription service, CSMs focus on:

  • Onboarding new customers, making sure that their initial deployment is successful.
  • Training existing customers, so they get the most out of the product or service the company sells.
  • Handling incidents and service disruptions in an emotionally intelligent way that builds a strong relationship with the customer
  • Building community among the users, in a way that gets employees of the company engaged in online conversations with customers.
  • Measuring customer happiness and retention.

Customer Success Managers are measured themselves on retention and customer happiness. For example, SAAS companies aim to retain at least 70% of their customers annually, and want to score 8 or higher in the Net Promoter Score benchmark.

Over at the Totango blog, Ed Powers suggests 3 types of moments that Customer Success Managers aim to produce:

  • Moments of Connection — The kind of repeated personal assistance that lets customers know they are important.
  • Moments of “WOW!” — those times when customers discover something unexpected in your product or service, or experience an act of kindness from someone in your team.
  • Moments of Truth — Those times when the company responds in an admirable way to outages, service disruptions, or problems with the customer.

Customer Success Managers require a mix of relational, technical and analytical skills to help them achieve the desired company outcomes. This is why people who are digital natives and have a high affinity for social media tend to have great success in Customer Success positions.

Are you involved with customers? Please share your thoughts about Customer Success Management in the comments below.

by Sam Aparicio, CEO, Ringio

Have you got the right tools for making your customers successful? Ringio offers a CRM enabled phone for the businesses who love their customers. You can test drive Ringio right now.


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