Why You Need A Customer Success Manager

Why You Need A Customer Success Manager

One of the biggest mistakes most small- and mid-sized businesses make when interacting with customers is treating them as if they’re only good for one purchase. That’s why it’s important to nurture your customer relationships and prepare to turn them into a long-term customer -- opposed to a one-time customer.

At first, when a company is only managing a few customers or clients at a time, nurturing those relationships is rather easy. Unfortunately, the need for extra help arises once you start to see an influx of customers at any given point in time.

A customer success manager, also known as a customer service manager, client success manager, or CSM, is one of the most popular careers today and the need for it is real. Still, it’s a new concept for most business owners and they often have a lot of questions regarding the position.

Don’t worry, we’re going to answer some of those questions below! 

What Is a CSM and What Do They Do?

A customer success manager is vital to the day-to-day operations of your business. Acting as the middleman between your company and your customers, they represent your business as customers work their way through the sales process.

The work your customer service manager does is crucial to meeting the immediate demands of the customer, but that attention to detail early on in the relationship helps build a long-term relationship that continues to pay off in the future.

Not only that, but the knowledge your CSM has about your customer base can bring further insight to your company and how you can continue to improve -- in both the front-end and back-end.

Let’s take a look at some of the most important responsibilities of a customer success manager: 

  1. They act as a salesman when customers need recommendations for certain products or services. Having a keen idea of your business’ core values and your customers’ needs helps your CSM provide powerful and useful insight to the customer.
  2. They act as a support agent when customers have questions about your business and do an excellent job of either answering the question accurately or directing the customer to an answer.
  3. They increase customer retention by building a long-term relationship with customers that wouldn’t even think about doing business with any of your competitors. You’ll have supporters for life.
  4. They act as a quality assurance agent by frequently checking in with past customers and ensuring they were not only given a positive experience the last time they interacted with your business, but also receive the same positive experience in the future.
  5. They act as a consultant to other employees on your team due to their firm grasp of what the customers need and how they currently feel about the business’ initiatives.
  6. They act as an advocate for your business and an advocate for your customers. This is crucial to maintaining a healthy balance between employee and customer satisfaction.

Your customer success manager is asked to do a lot for your business and your customers, but that’s what makes them such an essential part of what your business is doing on a daily basis.

What Do Businesses Gain With a Customer Success Manager?

Now that you have an idea of what the customer success manager is asked to do, you’re probably wondering how that’s going to translate into results for you and your business. Don’t worry, the benefits aren’t just real, but they’re plentiful.

We believe there are four major benefits when finding the right customer success manager for your business and three of them have to do with revenue -- which should make most of you business owners excited.

Let’s take a look. 

  • Revenue, Revenue, and Revenue

The first three benefits are all related to revenue, but they’re each beneficial in their own way.

The first is the one we all want to hear when running our business efficiently -- increased revenue. This is evidenced by the increase in customer loyalty, the valuable recommendations given by the CSM, and the constant upselling or cross-selling of your products.

The second benefit you receive is the ability to multiply that revenue over the long-term. This is evidenced by the increased customer retention, the stronger relationships built with customers, and the ability of your CSM to address the needs of the customer to improve your business over time.

The third benefit is finding new ways to earn money that you wouldn’t have found before -- or that would’ve taken you much longer to find. Whether through customer referrals or through the everyday knowledge your CSM learns about your customers. 

  • Valuable Insight for You and Your Team

The fourth and final major benefit we’re going to discuss when hiring a customer success manager is the amount of valuable insight you gain about the way your business operates and the way it interacts with its customers.

Whether through the feedback given to the CSM by the customers or through the CSM’s own observations and expertise, you’ll have a much clearer idea of what your business does right, what it can do better, and what it hasn’t been doing at all. 

How Much Does a CSM Generally Make?

Since a majority of the responsibilities your CSM will have fall under the consultant category and salesperson category, ensuring you roll out the right compensation plan when paying them.

You want to incentivize them to sell, but don’t want it to take away from the quality interactions they’re supposed to be having with your customers. Basically, you don’t want them to be more focused on gaining commission -- opposed to focusing on what the customer actually needs.

With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the average salaries for a customer success manager throughout the world: 

  • United States - around $60,000 per year
  • South Africa - around $20,000 per year
  • Canada - around $50,0000 per year
  • UK - around $53,000 per year
  • Australia - $70,000 per year

Before you decide on a salary for your customer success manager, you’ll want to ensure it fits your budget and make sure the salary is reasonable, yet not too high where it will eat into the return on investment.

If you’re going to offer commission, be careful with it. Make sure they still have to work for it and make sure they’re still incentivized to help first, then sell. It’s also good practice to offer additional benefits that help improve the CSM’s morale when working for your company -- while salary plays a big role, it’s not the only thing that matters. 

How to Find a Customer Success Manager

One of the major keys to finding the right customer success manager for your company is ensuring the job description is accurate and transparent about what the job entails. If potential employees aren’t clearly made aware of the responsibilities, you could garner the wrong interest from individuals.

Let’s take a look at some tips you can follow when writing a solid job description and recruiting the perfect CSM to join your amazing team: 

  • While it’s important to note that there’s a selling element to the job, it’s best to focus more on the customer support aspect because that’s the meat of what they’ll be asked to do.
  • When writing the description, make sure it says there will be a lot of communicating with customers, so interpersonal skills are required. You should also make note of these skills when interviewing.
  • Be as specific as possible. It can’t hurt and will limit the number of people that apply without garnering the proper amount of interest to be a viable candidate.
  • When writing the job description, don’t be bland. Make sure your brand’s voice and personality are displayed in the description.

With the customer success manager position continuing to evolve, it’s important that your company stays up-to-date on all the latest trends and patterns we’re seeing in business. There will always be new and unique ways to utilize a CSM, so keep your eyes peeled and make sure you update that description.

If you need further assistance when hiring a CSM -- or becoming a CSM -- don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Consultants In-A-Box today. We have a lot of experience and expertise working with customers and ensuring a positive experience is met every single day.

We look forward to speaking with you and teaching you more about how we can help your business find success.


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  • Jordan VanMaanen
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