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What makes a successful customer success professional? Here’s the top 5 attributes and skills

What makes a successful customer success professional? Here’s the top 5 attributes and skills

over 4 years ago by Dan Young


This past year has seen us working with our clients in securing them Customer Success talent we take a look at the skills and attributes required for the role and what impact this relatively new position is having on Tech and Digital businesses…

The "2017 U.S. Emerging Jobs Report" (Ok, I know it is US, but we are never far behind) from LinkedIn which shows that "Customer Success Manager" is ranked 4th in the Top 20 Emerging Roles – they suggest that 5 years ago people now in this role were working in roles across account management, sales, project management and customer services, so what do the people with this diverse backgrounds all have in common to make them successful customer success managers.

The role of a CSM is to understand the customer better than they understand themselves and to build solid relationships built on trust and open and clear communication channels.

1. Creditable

In order to form the relationships and partnerships required the CSM must have the domain expertise required to be an essential part of SaaS business thought leadership – they will become the trusted advisor to clients and customers so must build the trust with individual and possess the ability to communicate at all business levels.

2. Emotionally Intelligent

Emotional intelligence can be defined as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” Which is important across nearly all business functions in todays changing work environment but is an essential part of the CSM repertoire as they must be able to read the mind-set of customer to determine suitable solutions as well as having the ability to manage their own emotions when dealing with the on-going relationship, project delivery and support.

3. Advisory

A consultative approach within the B2B SaaS environment is essential, the CSM is there to bridge the gap between your business and your customers and must be able to advise both customers, internal teams and stakeholders throughout the relationship both during and after product implementations etc.

4. Sociable

CSM’s must be likeable. Although their role is not focused so much on the commercial side of the relationship they must still be able to build the relationships through personality and confidence, they will ideally be great listeners which will enable them to understand complex issues and offer required solutions.

5. Proactive

With access to data that might not be visible to customers, the CSM will need to be proactive and analytical in their approach. They are not there to sit back and wait for issues to arise but are required to solve a problem before it becomes a problem – so proactively working across the information and data available with an attention to the details will allow business relationships to succeed.