5 styles of communication with clients
Who is customer success manager
Do you often think your work is done once you sell your product or service and close your deal? If yes, let’s try to reconsider this. Not only the sales stages are not the end of your work processes with the client, but moreover – it’s almost the beginning. Here you can ask an entirely fair question — what to start after you have already got the profit and landed the customer? The answer is pretty simple.
After the sales stages, you need to start the other more long-term phase — building a solid relationship with your customer, nurturing them, and getting loyalty towards your company, brand, and product or service. Here is where the client success manager enters the game.
In this blog, we would like to highlight the importance of the customer success manager role and responsibilities, discover the difference between client service and customer success management, and see why you should hire this specialist if you still have not done it.
Who is the customer success manager?
A customer success (CS) manager is responsible for building long-term relationships with the active customers of your company. These people solve problems even before they arise and are always ready to offer their clients a viable solution for their businesses.
Long story short, a CS manager is a person who keeps his regular customers by solving their needs with the help of your company’s products. Retention of existing customers has become an even more important player for the business profit of more and more companies, so the customer success team has become crucial for the development of modern enterprises.
A CSM must have excellent communication skills, as he should get the client interested and understand his psychology. At the same time, the client success manager must be able to present his company’s services in a quality manner. An ideal CS manager should have such skills as:
- Presentation skills;
- Communication skills;
- Leadership skills.
Also, managers need to know all the nuances of their clients’ work to help. After all, client managers bring the entire sales force together, adding value to your company.
What does a customer success manager do?
1. Become customers mentors
After the sales team closed the deal with the client, the CS manager picked the customer up and became the customer’s mentor during his journey with the product. These people close the gap between “selling” and “support” so that customers can feel that their services are reliable and won’t switch to another company. Here is the one and the first way to start building a fruitful relationship with the client.
2. Build long-term relationship
According to Worldwide Software Business Model Forecast, 2022–2026 by Mark Thomason, research director for Digital Business Models and Monetization with IDC, the software companies adopt the subscription business model quickly, and by the forecast till 2026, 87.4% of total software revenue will come from subscriptions.
It means that retaining old customers is an essential factor to look out for. Since many companies still need to get a customer success manager, this factor is often overlooked.
Through constant communication with their clients, managers can quickly provide clients with new opportunities and solve their problems even before they arise.
3. Keep customers valued and updated
One of the CS manager’s key responsibilities is to keep in touch with regular customers and periodically help them by providing new company updates. In this way, you highlight that you value them and have an excellent opportunity to check if the customer is using the product, wants a renewal, or needs your help.
It would help if you never forgot – the more opportunities to start a conversation with your clients – the better. So pay attention to some requests from the other teams who may have questions for your customers – from marketing to finance. All these things are an excellent opportunity to start a conversation with your client with a concrete topic.
The CS manager’s crucial responsibility is not to flourish one-time clients but to nurture the relationships to get more renewals, up-sells, additional services, or cross-selling.
4. Onboard newcomer clients
Onboarding new clients seems like the sales or a tech guy’s responsibility, but the CS Manager should mostly cover it. It’s one of the biggest priorities in client success management. During onboarding, you should guide your customer on the best usage of your product or service.
And why is it important? Once your customer starts to work with the solution effectively and becomes satisfied with the options you provided, he will more likely get more from you in the future. So it’s a significant step toward developing your valuable long-term relationship.
5. Stand for the customer
As the person who works closely with the customer, CSM should stand up for their needs and requests. He is also the one who can influence the customer relationship with the other company’s teams. So having such an atrocity, the CS Manager should have an in-depth understanding of customer feedback about the product and transfer it carefully to the Tech or Sales team. As an interconnector, the client success manager is the one to ensure that the customer’s desires are always heard and resolved. It will bring the company customer loyalty, increasing its brand’s reliability.
If you want to learn more about the latter, check out our blog post on important metrics in measuring customer loyalty, where we provide valuable insights and practical strategies for improving customer loyalty in your business.
Client service VS Customer success
Having read all that, you may have the question of whether there is any difference between client service and customer success. Let us explain some key differentiators that will make it clear for you.
Firstly, as we said at the beginning, the success manager works to prevent the problem, while the client service manager resolves the issues once it arrives. You may have at least one experience with client service with some e-commerce shops about your delivery or rent service for your payment. Once you have a request that needs to be resolved, the client service manager covers it. They work reactively on your situation, while the client success manager is always proactive to prevent your possible issue.
Customer success management is about achieving a customer’s goal, while client service helps you resolve the problem and ends with you once it’s done. The client manager also works for you to be satisfied with the service you get in the short term, while the success manager aims to drive customer value out of the product with a long-term perspective.
And finally, customer success management is a joint effort of the Sales, Tech, and Support teams to nurture and maintain customers during all stages of their work with s product or service. It’s shared work toward one goal. In the other way, client service is the product of, often, one person who works on resolving the case and usually closes its once the issue is fixed.
We hope it’s much more transparent about the leading roles, responsibilities, and differentiators of the CSM and client success management overall. So if you can see for yourself the need for such a specialist – just do it, and you will feel on your own experience the importance of building a strong long-term relationship with your customers to develop your business.
Customer success and client service managers need the appropriate tool to respond to customer requests effectively and establish the most convenient communication with clients.
As the Zendesk Premier and Implementation Partner, we can help you build your customer service management using Zendesk products. Feel free to contact our team to find our best offerings for your case. If you want to discover more about our Zendesk Professional services, we’ve got you covered — please visit this page. Learn more about Zendesk pricing.