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A Customer Success Manager is responsible for developing customer relationships that promote retention and loyalty. Their job is to work closely with customers to ensure they are satisfied with the services they receive and to improve upon areas of dissatisfaction. Customer success departments are relatively new and are used mainly in technical companies, specifically in software. Customer Success Managers often provide technical support to customers with the goal to keep customers satisfied with the business’s products.

Customer Success Managers may supervise customer success staff and report to a general manager or business manager, making them middle-management level officers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not specifically report on the Customer Support industry, but a similar career, Computer Support Specialists are expected to see a job growth rate of 12 percent through 2024. This will result in 88,800 new jobs during this period. Due to the similar nature of the jobs and the growing use of Customer Success departments, Customer Success Managers can expect to see a job growth akin to this.

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Customer Success Manager Duties and Responsibilities

A Customer Success Manager may have many duties and responsibilities. Although specific positions will dictate a Customer Success Manager’s undertakings, there are several primary responsibilities common to this occupation. A review of current job listings identified the following main tasks and responsibilities.

Establish Customer Support Practices

Customer Success Managers are responsible for creating policies and procedures that optimize the customer experience. Customer Success Managers may gather feedback from their customers, study other customer success programs and analyze customer data to identify the best practices. The Customer Success Manager must establish policies the entire staff can adhere to so all customers receive the same quality of service.

Provide Technical and Product Support

Customer Success Managers must know the company's products inside and out. They are often called upon to provide technical support to customers or to provide training on their products. They may even help customers plan and understand the best ways to utilize their software or products based on the customer's business needs or business plans. The Customer Success Manager is not focused on making sales, rather on educating their customers on the flexibility and capabilities of their software so customers are encouraged to continue using their services.

Supervise Employees

Some Customer Success Managers will find themselves supervising staff and performing basic human resource tasks such as hiring and training staff. This may include reviewing applications, conducting interviews, processing new hire paperwork, and providing on the job training or mentoring to new employees. They may also conduct performance evaluations, handle disciplinary actions and process payroll for their staff.

Customer Success Manager Skills

Customer Success Managers should possess fantastic interpersonal skills and be strong leaders. They need to be highly organized and have experience directing others. They should also be excellent communicators both orally and in writing. Employers look for candidates with all of these traits as well as the traits listed here.

Core skills Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Customer Success Managers with these core skills. If you want to work as a Customer Success Manager, focus on the following.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite, specifically Excel and PowerPoint
  • Knowledge of customer service practices
  • Technical aptitude and ability to learn software programs
  • Experience supervising others

Advanced skills While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Broaden your career options by adding these skills.
  • Knowledge of technologies such as, IT networking, internet technologies, web servers and XML
  • Experience with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software such as, Salesforce
  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field

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Customer Success Manager Resources

The internet has some useful sites and resources for those considering a career as a Customer Success Manager. We compiled a list of sites that will inspire, inform and entertain you on your path to becoming a Customer Success Manager.

On the Web

Customer Success Magazine

This magazine provides articles on the latest developments and news in customer success. Published by the Customer Success Association, it is a good source for Customer Success Managers.

Totango Blog

Totango is a company that provides customer success software to businesses to help simplify the customer success process. Their blog is full of useful posts on technologies and best practices in the customer success field. It also provides insight into what Customer Success Managers do on a daily basis.

Bluenose Blog

Bluenose is a business that provides customer success services and their blog is a great place to learn more about customer success. Each post discusses some aspect of customer success or provides tips and ideas on best practices for the job.

Customer Success Manager Books

Customer Success: How Innovative Companies are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue

A comprehensive look at the emerging field of customer success and how companies are using it to their advantages.

Farm Don’t Hunt: The Definitive Guide to Customer Success

This field guide provides basic overviews and presents practical advice and frameworks for those working in customer success departments.

Industry Groups

The Customer Success Association

This organization is dedicated to bringing together customer success professionals to share ideas and advance their careers and practices. Basic memberships are free and offer a wide range of resources and information.

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