Starting a new job is an exciting endeavor, but there is always a bit of a knowledge curve when it comes to joining a new company. This learning curve can be even steeper for new CSMs, since the details of customer accounts can be largely attributed to ‘tribal knowledge’ rather than actual repeatable processes.
While most organizations have their own onboarding processes and plans, there are some key action items required specifically to bring new CSMs up to par on new accounts. Here are the five key steps for setting CSMs up for success in their first 90 days and beyond:
1. Company Onboarding
First and foremost, your CSMs should be well aware of and trained on your company’s internal processes. This will be critical when it comes time for things like communicating with customers via video calls, tracking customer engagement through a CRM platform, and submitting IT requests. Another key part of this company onboarding is to make sure new CSMs know where to submit platform and/or functionality cases and issues.
2. Account Onboarding
Next comes the account onboarding, where new CSMs will need to deep dive into all the elements of their new customer accounts. Many times, new CSMs will join accounts as assistants or co-CSMs to get up to speed before taking over entirely. This is where the larger account team will share things like the project plan, scope, goals, and success criteria.
3. Introduction to the Customers
Even if your new CSM isn’t fully educated on all things regarding his or her accounts, it’s a good idea to make an introduction early on. Your customers should be able to put a face and/or personality to the name of their new vendor contact, and making an early introduction gives both sides a chance to get to know each other and build credibility for your new CSM.
4. Sharing the Intangible Elements
So much of what a good CSM does on a daily basis requires a clear understanding of the intangible customer data. This is where your new CSM will get up to speed on the types of questions and topics that come up most often in customer conversations, the volume of issues and/or complaints logged, billing requests and/or in-process change orders, and other account-specific elements. Your team can streamline this step by leveraging a customer success management platform to house all of your customer data in a single place.
5. Clear Goals and KPIs
In order for a new CSM to be truly successful in their role (both in the first 90 days and long-term), they must have clear goals and KPIs to work towards and against. Early on, customer success leadership should outline these success metrics in detail and show the new CSM exactly how to track progress and check in against these goals. Without a level of success to work towards, your new CSMs won’t be able to know for sure if they’re succeeding in their new role.
Want to learn more?
You can learn more about setting your CSMs up for success with these additional resources from ClientSuccess:
- Webinar: Building Your 100-Day Leadership Plan
- Toolkit: Customer Success Leaders Toolkit
- eBook: How to Become an Elite Customer Success Leader