Welcome to our blog series CSM from the Trenches, a community for frontline Customer Success Managers (CSMs) that discusses trends, best practices, and advice for the frontline.
Being on the CSM frontline allows us to directly influence the success of our clients. I love that; as our clients are successful, we’re successful. Each day we learn from the trenches what it takes to make clients happy and successful.
This segment of the series focuses on 7 mentor questions for the frontline. The goal is that by sharing our experiences we’ll be able to learn and apply more practical advice / practices to our careers.
Let’s get started with this week’s post!
What is one customer success best practice you’ve applied in the last few months that has had a positive impact on your success in your role? How has it helped you?
We’ve developed a full methodology to scale customer success teams using technology. By implementing our methodology, clients have shown to increase the CSM team’s ability to prioritize SMB clients and increase expansion and retention rates.
What are one or two things you typically do during the first hour of your day that leads to a productive day?
The first thing I do in the morning is make sure I study my calendar. I then send out reminders for anyone I am scheduled to meet with, just in case something comes up. I then create a ‘to do’ list for the day, and highlight the high priority tasks.
What are one to three books, blogs, or thought leaders that have greatly influenced your career, and why?
I love reading anything by Nick Mehta, Lincoln Murphy and Phil Nanus. All three have such a thoughtful way of thinking through new customer success concepts and presenting them in an easy to follow framework.
How has a failure, or apparent failure, during your time as a CSM set you up for later success? Do you have a “favorite failure”?
My favorite type of ‘failure’ is when I attempt to take a customer success concept and implement it for my own consulting firm, CSM Practice. More times than I’d like to admit, a concept we successfully implemented for a SaaS organization, is challenging to implement for a service-based organization. This type of ‘failure’ is key to distilling the essence of the customer success concept of choice. By the time I make it work for our firm, I usually end up with a deeper understanding and in a better position to implement it for others.
What do you find most fulfilling about being a CSM?
Making a difference is an innate drive for most of humans. Customer Success Managers get to do that for a living. To me, there is nothing more fulfilling than having your day to day job being fully aligned with your core values.
If you had to give one piece of advice to another CSM, what would you say and why?
You’ve got this! And whenever you feel like you don’t, just reach out to someone in our awesome customer success community. The make up of our community is extraordinarily filled with bright, kind, and articulated professionals you can rely on.
What is one customer success principle you try to live by?
The Golden Rule is one of the key principles I personally set as the foundation in designing CSM Practice‘s customer journey and client playbooks. Burke Alder framed it well. In his blog “The Golden Rule of Customer Success – 8 Guiding Principles“, he wrote that the Golden Rule applies at every touchpoint as Customer Success managers proactively help clients achieve their desired outcomes and maximize value. I could not agree with him more.
Want to share your mentor advice? Submit your answers here.
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Other CSM from the Trenches Posts:
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