4 Things I Wish I Knew When Starting Customer Success Management
On my first day as a Customer Success Manager, I was confused.
Isn’t *everyone* responsible for our customers’ success? (don’t laugh!)
I just sort of did my thing, and the first handover I got was an email from Sales.
“Hey, just signed a contract with firstname.lastname@example.org. Have fun.”
I’m not even joking.
And at the end… guess who they blamed for the churn. 🙂
This was 10 years ago, and today I want to share the key 4 things that I WISH I knew back then.
1. Good handovers don’t just happen
A good handover process needs to be a planned and standardized process. We need to take care of that. Sales won’t. If you don’t have a standardized handover template, build one now!
2. Focus on the right stakeholders
You can engage a user all day long, but if the decision maker doesn’t see the success, you’ll still lose the contract if your competitors buddy up with the CEO. Make sure you know who the important stakeholders are. They are usually not the ones that talk to you the most!
3. Defining success
It can be such a simple question, but I felt awkward to ask it in the beginning. I thought that I should just know it… but always, always, always ask. “How does success look like for you? When would our solution accomplish its goal with you?”
4. Handling feature requests the right way
Don’t run to your PM with every feature request. Customer Success is the voice of the customer in the organization, not the direct telephone line to the CEO. It’s our job to filter, prioritize, and pass ideas on in a structured way.