Looking for the perfect Customer Success Manager? Not sure what business skills they should possess? Your business has to establish a relationship with your customers and understand them. A CSM can help you achieve this goal.
1. Past Experience
While it’s not required, it’s important to find someone who has past experience with success. You shouldn’t have to spend months, weeks, or years teaching a CSM about customer care and success. The right person understands customer service and relationship building. Keep in mind that there may be some candidates who may have not worked as a CSM before.
They should have a year experience working in management for a customer service company. They should also feel comfortable with speaking to customers face-to-face or over the phone.
2. Communication Skills
Communication skills are also a must for CSMs. You should hire a CSM who can communicate their thoughts clearly and effectively. They should have formal and informal, non-verbal and interpersonal, verbal, and visual communication skills. While having all of these skills are important, written skills tend to have an edge over these.
This is especially the case with SaaS companies. You’ll notice that your CSM will communicate a lot through e-mail, live chat, or social media. They may also be required to write best practices, customer guides, or thought pieces. This CSM should be comfortable and confident enough in their thoughts to convey them through the written word.
3. Social Skills
Along with communication skills, social skills are important. The CSM should work hard to build relationships with customers. Relationship-building is at the heart of customer success. It’s important that they enjoy talking to people and have exceptional people skills.
Your CSM should interact with your customers, including accounts and creatives. Your CSM should get to know your customer base and build from there. For example, if a CSM previously worked as an insurance agent then it shows they understand the challenges of the industry. This allows them to build a connection witn your customer base.
This brings us to our next point. Empathy is crucial for the success of a CSM. Customers want to feel understood and validated. There will be times when the CSM will have to empathize with your customer base.
Your CSM should be able to identify the customer’s unique problem. They should also address that problem and provide a helpful solution for the customer. Empathetic CSMs are those that understand buyer psychology and knows what it takes to take a customer to action. To learn empathy skills, ask your CSM to shadow your stuff. This will give them a better idea of what your customers need.
5. Organization Skills
This role requires a high level of organization. CSM have to be organized since they have constant access to data. If you can’t access that data then you can’t use it. Some of the best CSMs use project management tools such as Evernote and Trello to implement actions and organize their thoughts.
6. A Team Player
It’s also important for a CSM to be a major team player. That’s because the CSM will have to work with your success team and other teams such as customer support, engineering, product development, and sales. The CSM has to be a high-energy team player who can work with a wide variety of personalities. But the CSM will work with customer support the most.
The success on the CSM is dependent on how they work well with the other departments and hierarchies in your organization. The CSM is required to collaborate and get along with the product development team in an effort to understand your products.
It’s important for CSMs to be engaged, innovative, and willing to accept change. There will be a lot of trial and error involved with the work since this role is still new. The right CSM can help you identify your customers and establish a relationship that will improve your business.