In 2020, customer success has become one of the most critical positions in any SaaS organization. With so much confusion and uncertainty across every single industry, an experienced, clear-headed CSM can be the defining difference between a reassured customer and a churned one.
One additional side effect of the last year has also been a huge shift in the way organizations manage their staff. While some SaaS organizations may have experienced layoffs early in the year, others are actively hiring to help with strategic pivots and new corporate goals.
Whether you’re looking to hire customer success managers to work with your existing team, if you’re thinking about breaking into the field, or if you’re a CSM on the hunt for a new position, it’s important to understand that there is more to the job than just what’s on a resume.
Here are a few additional attributes to pay attention to when hiring CSMs:
1. Natural leadership abilities: Working with customers on a daily basis is all about being quick on your feet, figuring out problems, and knowing when to take control. Many things can be taught on the job, but leadership isn’t one of them. Looking for a natural leader with the inherent skills and tools needed to succeed can help push your customer success team to new heights. This person can make an immediate impact and help other team members grow along the way.
2. Customer relationship ‘developers’: While the value a customer achieves with an organization has a lot to do with the product itself, their sentiment and attitude towards a vendor relationship has to do with their customer relationship manager. CSMs must be ready and able to put their best foot forward with customers, which means they need to be authentic, genuine, and curious.
3. A passion for learning: The role of a CSM goes beyond simply working through customer issues, although that is a huge part of the job. CSMs must be product experts who know your solution inside and out while also keeping up with competitors, their products, and their customer base. CSMs also need to be tech-savvy enough to work with the right tools, products, and solutions needed to get the job done.
4. Willingness to go above and beyond for customers: A CSM is essentially the number one advocate for a customer within a vendor organization. This relationship, however, works two ways. While a CSM will dedicate their time and effort to ensure a customer has amazing platform experiences, they will also put themselves on the line – and put the customer first – in times of decision making or issues. Look for CSM applicants who are passionate, assertive, and understand the value of going above and beyond for a customer account.
As you start looking for talented new CSMs to join your team or searching for that perfect new position, hopefully these additional talents can supplement your list of required skills.
Interested in learning more? Check out these popular resources: