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9 Tips for Customer Success Managers

[fa icon="calendar"] 25-Nov-2020 10:00:00 / by Iliyana Stareva

customer success manager tipsCustomer Success is a relatively new field, both from an organisational perspective as in a department and also from a career perspective for individuals. 

I've been working in Customer Success for quite a few years. Even my early days working in PR agencies and taking care of PR clients should be considered working in Customer Success although I held a different title. 

I've also never held a Customer Success Manager (CSM) title but I've done a similar enough role at scale working through partners to drive success for joint customers. 

CSM is an exciting role, one that's gaining more and more popularity. As some would say, it's a sexy role. 

If you find yourself just starting with such a role or are interested in pursuing a career as a CSM, this post is for you.

I've primarily learned everything I know about Customer Success on the job itself but I want to give you some useful tips on how to be really at it.

I found a couple of infographics that provide helpful advice and I want to add some of my points of view on it. 

Here we go. 

9 Tips for Customer Success Managers

#1. Know your customer 

This is central to the role as you're responsible for the success of your customers. You need to know what matters to them, why they've purchased your product, what do they expect to achieve and what are the problems they want to solve. 

#2. Train and enable

Once you know what your customer wants to achieve, you need to train and enable them to get there with your products and services. Always remember that you know more than your customers. They see you as the subject matter expert so you need to keep your confidence high.

#3. Define the right engagement strategy

Identify the best frequency and channels to stay in touch with your customers. For big customers, that would often be weekly or bi-weekly meetings especially in the beginning which can turn to monthly once your customer ramps up. 

#4. Tailor your outreach

In addition to meetings, what about emails, reporting, data and all other types of information sharing? Discuss what the best vehicles are with your customers as well as frequency. Make sure you always have something new to say vs. just repeat things.  

#5. Celebrate success with your customers

Make sure to regularly report how your customers are doing against their goals and what they're achieving, even the smallest things. This is important not just to them so that they feel accomplished with your products and services but also to you so that you know that you're doing a good job. 

#6. Listen to your customers

Strive to always improve personally but also help your company improve by gathering regular customer feedback about what works and what doesn't and what can be done better. 

#7. Define the customer journey

At the beginning, customers have different needs and knowledge than two years later. Try to define the stages that your customers go through with you and your product and tailor your engagement and knowledge sharing appropriately so that you continue adding value throughout the entire customer lifecycle with you. 

#8. Don't promise something you can't keep 

Always make sure that you can keep your word. If there's a problem, explain how you plan on helping them solve it but never promise unless you already have the solution. This will only damage your relationship with the customer.

#9. Don't forget to draw the line and know when to stop

Make sure not to teach your customer to become too reliant on you. They need to learn how to problem-solve themselves so as much you train and enable them, as much as you are there to help, make sure you do it in a way so that they become self-sufficient.


Here are also the infographics so you can check them out.

The 7 'Musts' In Customer Engagement [Infographic]



Do's and Don'ts of Customer Success [Infographic]



What are your top tips for Customer Success Managers? 


Topics: Customer Success

Iliyana Stareva

Written by Iliyana Stareva

Iliyana Stareva is the author of Inbound PR - the book that is transforming the PR industry. She's also a keynote speaker and a consultant in inbound and digital for fast-growing companies and agencies. Currently, Iliyana is Chief of Staff to the EMEA President at ServiceNow. Before that, she held global and EMEA-wide positions at Cisco and HubSpot. She is also certified by the PMI as a Project Management Professional (PMP)®. In her free time, you can find Iliyana writing for her blog, dancing salsa or travelling the world.

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