Why I Should Consider Hiring a Customer Success Manager for my Business

Who is responsible for customer success? Leaders and executives hire client success managers, or CSMs, to be the face of customer interaction and subsequent success. However, the business owner or CEO must select people to represent the company best, its beliefs, and its inner workings. The buck stops with them.

Business owners should be working on their business, not merely on their business. Thus, hiring a customer success manager helps take that task off their plate to focus on the bigger picture. You can read on to learn why this hire can help take your business higher.

A drawing of a smile gauge depicts the outcome of hiring a customer success manager.

What is a Customer Success Manager?

A CSM understands the client’s needs, the company’s abilities, and how to marry the two for successful client engagements. They are the face of the CEO as an engagement moves forward. Often, customer service representatives manage an element of a client issue, whereas the CSM is committed to educating the client and ensuring a long-term relationship.

Further, the client success manager will likely be assigned to a client or industry of similar clients so they can offer comprehensive guidance along the way. Having one individual instead of several agents is essential for your business growth.

If you’re wondering, “What does a customer success manager do?” it’s as simple as it is complicated since it’s not one thing. 

  1. They advocate for the company and educate clients about additional services or products to assist with problems or potential future problems.
  2. They bring on new clients and retain existing ones. Building and maintaining a relationship with clients as they grow is as important as updating and supporting products and services offered.
  3. They are the voice of the customer to the company. The CSM will be that voice if there’s a consistent problem or issue or just room for improvement.

What is a customer success manager’s role for small businesses? Simply put, this person will wear all the hats. They might be the only person, rather than one of many, who can assist clients and help them along the way. Their breadth of knowledge makes them a valuable resource for clients.

What a CSM Is Not

Sometimes, it’s essential to look at what a role is not, just like you would map out what it entails. A CSM is not:

  1. The chief financial officer – Their role is not to reduce budgets, offer promotions, or seek to buy or sell portions of the company. 
  2. The chief of staff – May be responsible for a team, but it is not their duty to manage everything within and across the company.
  3. The CEO – although they will be involved in many aspects of the customer’s journey, they are not responsible for the actions of everyone in the company or the everyday goings-on.

Client Success Manager Skills

As mentioned above, the client success manager is responsible for many things – some difficult and some simple. At the basic level, they are responsible for these five things:

  1. Client happiness
  2. Client education
  3. Client training
  4. Client growth
  5. Client retention

What is the difference between a client success manager and a customer success manager? The terms “client” and “customer” are interchangeable in scope, but a “client” is defined as a B2B sale, and a “customer” is a B2C sale. Sometimes, there is overlap in determining what a customer success manager is — consider technology products (physical products) that require maintenance or servicing (service offering).

Why Hire a CSM?

Many SaaS companies employ these people to ensure renewals and reoccurring revenue. Ultimately, they build loyalty and lifetime value for their customers and the company. How can this translate into other industries?

  • B2B industries such as VOIP or web developers (who also maintain sites and security) can benefit from having a go-to CSM on staff because they can translate customer needs into solutions and vice versa. 
  • B2C industries such as hardware and retail can benefit from a CSM because they can project their high-level understanding of the companies’ offerings to the clients.

Imagine having immediate insight into your clients’ troubles, successes, and ideas. The CSM is that person.

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Coach Dave



Dave Schoenbeck
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