A Customer Success Manager (CSM) is responsible for ensuring that customers have a great experience. Typically, the sales team will pass a customer off to a customer success manager once the sale is completed. CSMs are responsible for onboarding new customers and providing support when necessary. They help ensure that customers get the maximum value out of the product, reducing churn rates.
CSMs have so many different responsibilities that day-to-day activities can vary quite a bit. Here’s what one day might look like for a customer success manager.
9:00-9:15: Review tasks for the day and plan a schedule.
CSMs juggle many different accounts. On any given day, they might be in contact with dozens of different customer contacts and members of the sales team. With so many different tasks and meetings on the schedule, most CSMs find it helpful to begin the day by reviewing their schedule and prioritizing the day’s tasks.
While working with a variety of clients, CSMs have to deal with unexpected issues. But even though some deviation from the schedule is to be expected, it’s still helpful to create a plan for the day.
9:15-9:30: Daily sales huddle with the team.
Being a CSM is a people-oriented job and you can expect to spend plenty of time with the other members of your team. Like sales teams, most customer success teams convene for a meeting at the beginning of the day. Oftentimes these meetings feature motivational videos or exercises. The main purpose is to allow CSMs to motivate each other for the upcoming day and .
9:30-10:00: Respond to emails and prior support tickets.
Communicating with customers who need support with specific problems consumes a lot of time for CSMs. On most days, they can expect to begin the day with unresolved issues from previous days. To support customers, CSMs want to respond promptly to unresolved emails and tickets. Many of these issues can be resolved relatively quickly. Others, however, may require scheduling a longer call or video session. Sometimes the CSM may want to consult someone in technical support or product development.
10:00-11:30: New customer onboarding calls and preparation work.
CSMs play a critical role in onboarding new customers. Typically, a sales representative or account executive will hand off an account to the CSM on a joint call. Of course, before that happens the sales team representative must fill the CSM in on the account and the customer’s needs. CSMs usually review their notes before jumping on a call with a new customer.
During the calls, CSMs introduce themselves to the customer, work on building a rapport, and begin the onboarding process. This may involve offering basic product training, pointing the customer towards training resources, or scheduling training sessions at a later date. Most importantly, CSMs must establish trust. A good CSM wants customers to come to them whenever there’s a potential problem. That starts with building a strong relationship on the first call.
11:30-12:30: Follow up with new customers.
Of course, the onboarding process doesn’t end with a phone call. CSMs must follow up with new customers regularly during the onboarding period. They typically ask customers about how the product is working for them. When necessary, they provide resources for additional learning and troubleshooting.
At some organizations, it’s customary for CSMs to create “customer success plans” for new customers. These plans may include information about the customer’s objectives and a strategy for how they will use the product to meet their objectives. Ideally, the objectives should be paired with trackable metrics. CSMs often include a schedule for product training in the customer success plan.
Even if the CSM does not write up a formal document, these are the types of questions that they consider when onboarding new customers.
12:30-1:00: Check in with manager and co-workers.
Before delving into the afternoon’s work, CSMs check in with their manager to fill them in on what they’ve done and their goals for the rest of the day. Some managers like to hold a team meeting in the afternoon.
After a busy morning, CSMs enjoy their lunch hour.
1:00-4:00: Handle customer support communications across multiple channels.
Providing customer support takes up a significant chunk of a CSM’s day. Most companies today seek to be available on multiple channels, so CSMs will likely communicate with customers through some combination of chat boxes, email, ticketing systems, phone calls, social media, or even video conferencing. The types of problems CSMs handle range from very minor to more major issues that require consultations with multiple people.
Customer communication isn’t just about putting out fires, however. During all contact with customers, CSMs represent the brand to customers and ensure that they’re having a positive experience even when things aren’t going exactly as planned.
4:00-4:15: Take an afternoon break.
Talking with customers can be tiring. Towards the end of the day, take a brief break to grab an afternoon snack and refresh yourself for the final stretch.
4:15-5:00: Inter-departmental meetings and check-ups.
CSMs are constantly in touch with other parts of the organization, and that requires strong communication. They meet with members of the sales team to learn more about new customers and the onboarding process.
They can also expect periodic meetings with product development. CSMs need to know about new product features so that they can help customers take full advantage of all developments. CSMs also have critical feedback for the product development team. They have the most direct contact with customers and therefore have a great deal of knowledge about how people are actually using the product and how it might be improved.
With so many different responsibilities, every day in the life of a CSM is unique. But all CSMs can go to work expecting to be challenged and stimulated.
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