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May 31, 2022

The debate between customer success manager vs customer service manager is one that has been waging on for some time now. Customer success and Customer Service Managers both pley vital roles in a business organization athough they have some differences.

So, what is it that makes them different from each other? This post compares customer success manager vs customer service manager giving the importance of each in a business!

What is Customer Success?

Customer success…sounds easy to define, right! It is simple to define, but it is not. Customer success will be measured in terms of the outcomes or goals that are expected from the implementation or use of your company’s products or services.

Customer success, in general, is a proactive, real-time approach that includes:

  • Building, maintaining and cultivating customer relationships.
  • Understanding your customer’s pain points and key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Achieved Your customers’ goals.
  • Helping your customers implement your products and services.

A customer success strategy can be described as: “A holistic, ingrained and proactive company-wide initiative that leverages customers health and visibility metrics as also technology to continuously adjust in ways that help deliver value and improve customer success rates.”

We see “Customer Success” as a buzzword in today’s highly competitive and fast-paced world of SaaS products and B2B products.

What does a Customer Success Manager do?

Customer success managers work with customers to ensure that they receive the support and tools they need to reach their goals. This includes advising customers on purchasing decisions and onboarding new customers after purchase.

CSMs have a deep understanding of customers’ needs and are responsible to communicate common customer behaviors to sales, marketing, product, and product teams.

CSMs perform a range of tasks, and build a mutually beneficial relationship with customers. Below are a few examples of the responsibilities.

1. Advocate for the company

CSMs can have a significant impact on your customer base because they work one-on-one. CSMs are your personal cheerleaders, explaining to customers why you can fulfill their needs. Your customers will be satisfied and will refer their friends to you if they have a positive experience.

2. New customers can be added.

CSMs have one of their top priorities: Onboarding. It’s crucial to teach customers how to use your product. Based on the projects they are working on, onboarding should be focused on the features they will need to learn.

This will allow them to get up to speed quickly and move closer to their goals.

3. Follow up on renewals.

CSMs are responsible for creating repeat customers and not just one-time customers. This is why renewals are so important for this position.

CSMs need to keep track of expiration dates for customer products — whether they are monthly, quarterly or annually — and follow-up with customers to renew their agreements. You risk customer churn if you don’t follow up.

4. Encourage cross-selling and upselling.

Cross-selling and upselling are another way to increase a customer’s lifetime value. CSMs are committed to meeting customer goals. This opens up the possibility to introduce premium products or services.

CSMs can meet customers who are ready to upgrade and explain why they should. Your CSM will build a relationship with customers and they’ll trust your advice more.

5. Establish relationships between customers, support staff and customers.

Some questions customers may have are not within the scope of the CSM. Your customer support team should handle technical issues, minor product problems, as well as basic business questions. CSMs should foster a partnership between customers and support to make it easier for users solve small or long-term problems.

6. Be the voice of your customer

CSMs should feel empowered to advocate for customers’ needs as they work directly with them. CSMs need to be able to understand the customer’s needs and preferences about your products. This can be done through reviews, referrals, surveys, and other methods.

CSMs must organize, analyze, share, and communicate this information with other departments in order to ensure that your company’s decisions take into account the voice of the customer.

What is Customer Service?

Customer service is often about helping customers solve a problem or issue they have when interacting with you or your products. Sometimes, customer service may be about helping customers overcome an issue or problem that is not related to your products. The above example shows how focusing on customer support is not a good idea.

Focusing on solving “problems” will only make you and your customers look good. Support is not enough. Customer success takes the relationship one step further. Customers are empowered to identify and capitalize upon the things that will lead to long-term success and engagement.

Customer Success vs Customer Service: What is the Difference?

Customer success and customer service both deal with customers, but in different ways.

Customer service is more in-the-moment and reactionary, while customer success is more proactively goal oriented. By focusing your efforts on helping customers achieve their goals, you can help them grow as an organization.

It’s important to focus on specific complaints and issues that customers may have in order to provide the best possible experience. This includes addressing technical malfunctions or client confusion regarding processes or applications. By doing so, we can create a positive relationship with our customers.

Ideally, customers will be pleased with the solutions to their problems and have a more positive outlook on their relationship with your organization.

Customer success is all about taking a holistic view of the customer relationship and ensuring that customers are getting the most value out of your products or services. This means using customer data to inform strategic decisions that will help them to achieve their business goals, which in turn will also help you reach your goals too.

By providing a great customer experience and helping customers reach their full potential, you can create long-term relationships built on trust and mutual success.

Your goal is to offer customers a great customer experience while optimizing their return on investment. 

While customer service and customer success are both very important, it is even more crucial that they work closely together. By working together, they can provide customers with the best possible experience and help ensure they get the most value out of your products and services.

Customer Success Manager vs Customer Service Manager

The customer success manager is responsible for ensuring that the customer is receiving the best possible experience with the product. They work to ensure that the customer is able to use the product successfully and that any issues they have are resolved in a timely manner.

The customer service manager is responsible for managing the customer service team. They work to ensure that the team is providing excellent customer service and that any issues are resolved in a timely manner.

Shared Success, Shared Skills

Understanding the differences and the shared skills required for customer success and customer service roles will help you to grow within your role and possibly transition into a customer support management position. Customer success requires both the fine-grained skills of a customer service expert as well as big-picture expertise.

These roles are constantly changing and evolving. The field is growing with bright future ahead. There are a few things you can do to help it.

  • DO Make sure that these roles are clearly defined throughout your company.

  • DON’T forget about educating customers on the roles of each team so that they know who to contact and when.

  • DO Organise a meeting. Get together the customer service and customer support teams so they can share their knowledge on a regular basis.

  • Don’t keep your team members isolated. Customers service and customer success teams should work together to achieve the best results.

You can create an amazing experience for your customers by understanding the purpose of each team!

Conclusion

In the end, it’s up to each individual organization to decide what they need between customer success manager vs customer service manager. Both roles are important in ensuring that customers have a positive experience with a product or service.

However, the key difference lies in the focus of each position. Customer success managers are focused on helping customers achieve their desired outcomes, while customer service managers are focused on handling customer inquiries and complaints.

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