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?
Finding the right software tools and work processes that helps you structure your day. As a CSM you have to be able to navigate in between a lot of different tasks and assignments, which at times can difficult.
So making sure that you have time in your work day where you can zoom in 100% on 1st priority tasks is important. For us at Traede, this has meant changes in regards to our service channels (phone, e-mail and chat), so that we continue to deliver timely and 1st class service but also allowing us to focus on complex tasks without having to jump in and out of it these.
What are one or two things you typically do during the first hour of your day that leads to a productive day?
First of all, I make sure to say “Good morning” to my colleagues. We are a small team, so appreciation of each other is 1st priority.
But else I run through my to-do-list (maybe re-prioritize it), email inbox (both my own and our support), check the phone logs to see if we need to reach back out to customers that have tried to reach us outside business hours.
I believe it’s all about giving yourself the best opportunity to have a successful day.
What are one to three books, blogs, or thought leaders that have greatly influenced your career, and why?
I think for this purpose I will only say this one. It was the first book I read when I became a Customer Success Manager and gave me a great insight into what to expect and how I should take on the challenges that I have met through the job. Of course you will also face a lot of situations that will force you to go in new direction that aren’t mentioned in the book, but I have found it to be a good book to go back to again and again.
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”?
I don’t know if I have a “favorite failure”.. But I would say that what I have learned as a CSM is that you have to be firm in your communication with your clients. A lot of misunderstandings can happen if you do not take charge in regards to using the product that you are selling correct. Your clients usually come with a specific mindset when they start using your product and if you aren’t clear on best practice, you might get of to a confusing start which can be difficult to get back on track.
So make sure to have a structured onboarding flow that can be clearly presented to your clients when they start up. This will help you as a CSM in your day-to-day work, but must important it will make sure that your clients feels secure and that they will get of to the best possible start with your product.
What do you find most fulfilling about being a CSM?
- Making clients experiencing successes with using our product.
- To see and hear that clients are using our product more and more, that they get to be advocates of- and champions in our system.
- Being pushed everyday to deliver the best possible service.
If you had to give one piece of advice to another CSM, what would you say and why?
Make sure to celebrate successes both with your team and your clients. They are the ones that are gonna boost you everyday.
What is one customer success principle you try to live by?
Personal service is the key to make relationships; be the best version of yourself – this will always help push yourself forward.
Want to share your mentor advice? Submit your answers here.
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Customer Success eBooks:
Other CSM from the Trenches Posts:
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