Being a customer success manager is not easy. While you are trying to lead your customers to success, you sometimes find yourself putting out fires, doing support duties or even helping out with sales pitches. When millions of things are happening all around you, it’s hard to stay focused on your core goals and responsibilities, and the main function of your job – customer success. When engaging with your customers, there are three best practices worth implementing:
- Make sure your customers know, understand and feel that you are on the same side – it sounds like a cliché, but often times this basic premise is forgotten or taken for granted. My goal as a Customer Success Manager (CSM) at Leadspace is to translate the customer’s objectives into effective use of Leadspace products and services. Essentially, I’m there to say: “let’s make the most of your investment.” If they use the products successfully, that will have a positive influence on their company, and you likely find yourself with a happy customer. It’s a win-win situation.
- Make sure you know your champion’s objectives – at the end of the day, we all have certain numbers to hit whether it’s sales quotas, renewals, pipeline creation, version release dates, etc. Your customer champions also have their own numbers and goals, so make sure you know what they are. Help them hit the numbers they care about, NOT the numbers you care about. At Leadspace, we help customers generate targeted net new leads, as well as enrich and score existing and inbound leads. The end goal is to increase MQL -> SQL conversion and create more pipeline for their business. If your customer champion cares about pipeline creation, make sure this is the main discussion point you have with them. Other success metrics won’t matter if you don’t focus on what they care about.
- Make sure you help your champion communicate your mutual success within their organization – you’ve helped your champion hit their numbers, congratulations! So what happens next? When renewal time comes and they need to explain to their CFO why your product is worth the investment, make sure you work with them to provide materials showing your work together and emphasizing the relevant metrics that will help your champion show their achievements. Going back to the example of pipeline creation, if their goal is $5M in pipeline for the year and you helped them generate $7M, put that in a slide deck and send it over to your champion. Doing this will increase customer satisfaction and their trust in you and in your company.
As a customer success manager or client service provider, you can easily get stuck in the weeds of the day-to-day operations with your clients. Take the time to take a step back and focus on the strategic goals of your customers. If they’re successful, you’ll be successful.