CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGEMENT: 2022 Best Practices, Software & Effective Tools

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Table of Contents Hide
  1. What is Customer Success Management?
    1. Customer Success Management Factors
  2. Customer Success Management Best Practices
    1. #1. Recognize and educate your customer
    2. #2. Check-in on a regular basis to monitor the customer’s health.
    3. #3. Using customer data, identify opportunities
    4. #4. Use your best customers to attract new customers.
  3. Customer Success Management Software
    1. Benefits of Customer Success Management Software and Tools
    2. Top Characteristics of the Best Customer Success Management Software Tools
  4. Customer Success Management tools
    1. Customer Success Management Platform in 2022
  5. Customer Success Management Certification
    1. #1. CustomerSuccessBox 101 Training for CSMs
    2. #2. SuccessCOACHING
    3. #3. Cisco Customer Success Manager (DTCSM)
    4. #4. PracticalCSM’s Certified Customer Success Management Professional (CCSMP) Customer Success Certification
    5. #5. Customer Success | How to Understand Your Customers
    6. Choose the Best Customer Success Management Certification for you.
  6. What does a customer success manager do?
  7. What are the top 3 5 priorities in customer success?
  8. How do you succeed as a customer success manager?
  9. What does customer success do?
  10. What are other names for customer success?
  11. Is customer success manager a good job?
  12. Is being a CSM stressful?
  13. Does customer success pay well?
  14. Is customer success a sales job?
  15. In Essence
  16. Customer Success Management FAQs
  17. Is customer success a good career?
  18. What's another title for customer success manager?
  19. How do customer success managers get paid?
  20. Can you make a lot of money in customer success?
    1. Related Articles

How do your employees determine what your customers want and require? Especially when only a few of them get to interact directly with customers. Even frontline workers, such as customer service representatives, only interact with customers who have individual, short-term needs. In many cases, hiring someone whose job it is to understand your customer base and focus on long-term needs is necessary. Most businesses refer to this person as the customer success manager or CSM. In this post, we’ll go over customer success management software tools and the best practices platform, as well as what certification is required to be an effective customer success manager.

What is Customer Success Management?

Customer success is the practice of meeting the needs of your customers when they use your products or services. To ensure that those needs are met, your team may need to position itself internally as thought partners, strategists, and the customer’s advocate.

However, it entails more than simply ensuring that customer expectations are met. It’s also about focusing on the customer relationship. Customer success management entails anticipating and responding to customer questions and concerns, as well as being proactive in providing solutions and new offerings that may increase the organization’s value.

Customer Success Management Factors

A CSM is responsible for a variety of tasks that span the customer life cycle journey. To illustrate, those responsibilities can be divided into eight categories:

#1. Segmentation

Segment your customers based on the actions required to achieve the desired outcome. Customers should not be segmented based on how much they pay you.

#2. Orchestration

To encourage expansion, CSMs must orchestrate client expectations, accountability, and future meetings. Customer success software is used by many CSMs to make this more manageable at scale.

#3. Intervention

Knowing when and how to intervene is critical for excellent customer success management. Use customer data and customer milestone achievements to appropriately time these interactions.

#4. Measurement

CSMs should constantly assess how the customer is doing and how the company is doing to meet the needs of the customer. Metrics like net renewal rate and retention rate are excellent places to begin.

#5. Expansion

Renewal and expansion are equally important components of customer success as retention. CSMs should make time to look for opportunities in client data.

#6. Communication

It is not so much that CSMs must communicate as it is that they must understand how and when to communicate. This relates to having a CSM who is both a support and a sales specialist. Internal communication is also important throughout the company.

#7. Instrumentation

Instrumentation is the art of achieving your goals through software and automation without being limited by the tools you use. Proper instrumentation takes time, but it is well worth the investment. It ensures that you are gathering the correct data from the appropriate sources and transforming it into actionable insights for your CSM team.

#8. Operationalization

This final stage involves taking data from the instrumentation stage and acting on it. To work, this requires a combination of technology and human interaction. Customer success management playbooks, for example, aid in the transformation of data into simple actions that CSMs can implement.

Customer Success Management Best Practices

While your customer success management strategy may differ, there are a few core best practices you can implement to help clients stay with you longer and increase their lifetime value across your products.

#1. Recognize and educate your customer

Adoption is the first stage of the customer journey and frequently necessitates the most listening and training. Listen to the client’s desired outcome from using the product during the adoption process and determine the goals they must achieve to make that happen.

#2. Check-in on a regular basis to monitor the customer’s health.

Retention is critical in reducing churn and is dependent on ensuring that the product can meet the changing needs of the customers. CSMs can create key performance indicators and other metrics and then track their users’ performance against them. This assists in determining the success of your CSM strategy and identifies customers who may be heading in the wrong direction.

#3. Using customer data, identify opportunities

The expansion stage assists in matching your customers’ additional requirements with your products and services. This contributes to their success and increases their spending with you over time. Expansion doesn’t have to be a difficult sell, especially if the CSM has built trust throughout the relationship. A good expansion opportunity will make immediate sense to the customer and will be built to scale over time if necessary.

#4. Use your best customers to attract new customers.

It takes time to convert clients into advocates, but the wait is well worth it. When businesses make large purchases, they frequently seek recommendations. The more advocates you have, the more sales you’ll get from word of mouth and referrals.

Customer Success Management Software

Customer success management software is a set of business tools that provides a comprehensive view of customer communications, feedback, behaviors, product usage patterns, health scores, and other pertinent data points.

To get a unified view of your customers, you can easily integrate your customer success management software with your CRM, email accounts, project management tool, survey platform, and so on. Furthermore, your customer success team will be able to determine which strategies are working and where they need to make changes.

Benefits of Customer Success Management Software and Tools

Without robust tools for monitoring customer communications and behavior, all of your customer success management efforts may appear insignificant. Let’s look at the top advantages of customer success management software to see how it can transform your business.

#1. All customer communications must be managed

Customer communications can come from anywhere. While some prospects may inquire about your product via your website’s live chat window, others may simply send an email. In this case, you’ll need a reliable tool to centralize all of your customer communications. Your team members can keep track of every message, assign it to the appropriate personnel, prioritize urgent issues, and share quick responses.

#2. Maintain consistent communication among team members

Everything can go wrong if there is no centralized system to monitor customer messages, health, or behavior. Your customer success management team will have no idea what strategies are required to retain customers or to monitor the success of existing strategies.

#3. Examine the customer experience

Companies that adopt a customer experience mindset generate 4-8% more revenue than their industry competitors.

Customer success management software allows you to track key customer experience metrics like CSAT (customer satisfaction), NPS (net promoter score), CES (customer effort score), and others. Thorough and consistent tracking of these metrics will assist you in identifying the aspects that customers dislike and what can be done to improve the CX.

#4. Reduce customer churn

Customer churn in the general retail industry was 24% in 2020, according to a Statista report. The online retail industry, on the other hand, had a churn rate of 22%. Although churn is unavoidable, there are many “right” things a company can do to reduce it.

Using the best customer success management software is one such strategy. This tool can provide you with information about overall customer health as well as product or process-related feedback.

Top Characteristics of the Best Customer Success Management Software Tools

Every customer success management tool has its own set of features. There are, however, some fundamental features to consider.

#1. Health scores

Customer success experts use a customer’s health score to determine whether a customer is at risk or healthy. This gives your team more visibility, allowing them to take the necessary steps to reduce customer churn and upsell to existing customers.

#2. Automation capabilities

Powerful automation features can save you time and increase your productivity. You can, for example, assign tasks to team members who are best suited for the job. Similarly, you can send automated alerts or notifications to employees to keep them up to date on the customer journey.

#3. Chatbots

Chatbots are another noteworthy feature found in the best customer success management platform. You can tailor your chatbots to your specific requirements and make them available on your website 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Bots can assist you in generating leads and assisting customers with common questions, such as appointment confirmations.

#4. Analytics for customer engagement

The best CSM software includes customer engagement analytics to track your audience’s engagement levels. For example, you can track their participation in various communication channels (social media, email, live chat, etc.) and see how frequently they use your product or service.

Customer Success Management tools

Based on our own experience, there is no universally correct answer, but I’ve compiled a comprehensive and detailed list of great and fundamental customer success management tools that you should consider implementing as soon as possible.

Customer Success Management Platform in 2022

Here are ten customer success management platform options for strengthening customer relationships.

#1. ProProfs Help Desk

ProProfs is the best free customer success management platform for keeping track of all customer interactions. You can communicate with customers via email, live chat, web forms, and a help center, and you can create powerful chatbots to provide assistance around the clock.

ProProfs Help Desk’s Best Features:
  • Proactive chat invitations will draw the attention of website visitors.
  • Make a knowledge base and add onboarding videos, guides, and documentation.
  • Use private notes to collaborate across the organization.
  • CSAT, CES, and NPS surveys can be used to track customer satisfaction.
  • Integrate with popular CRM tools like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

#2. Custify

Custify is a simple and easy-to-use customer success management platform for SaaS companies looking to reduce churn and increase customer lifetime value. Custify’s concierge onboarding and automation features distinguish it in the market.

Best Features:
  • Automation and playbooks
  • Concierge onboarding
  • Several customizable health scores
  • Customer perspective from every angle
  • Automation of task management

#3. Zendesk

Zendesk is a popular customer success solution that helps you communicate with customers and solve their problems. You can set your team up for success by utilizing powerful automation tools and reporting capabilities.

Zendesk’s Best Features:
  • Create powerful answer bots to help customers with basic questions.
  • Utilize customer data to provide personalized solutions that are tailored to their specific requirements.
  • Using reports and analytics, you can gain insights into team performance.
  • Recognize when a customer is typing a live chat message and respond more quickly.
  • Allow multiple agents to contribute articles to the knowledge base.

#4. SmartKarrot

If there is one platform that encapsulates the most recent evolution in customer success, it is SmartKarrot. From onboarding to advocacy, SmartKarrot is one of the most comprehensive, intelligent, and actionable platforms for operationalizing and scaling customer success.

Best Features:
  • Customer 360° view
  • Customizable health score
  • Account intelligence
  • Customer contact points
  • Automation and success playbooks

#5. HubSpot Service Hub

HubSpot, as one of the best cloud customer success management software platforms, assists you in streamlining customer-centric processes like onboarding, support, and retention. Commonly asked questions can be easily converted into an online library of help articles, videos, and guides.

Top HubSpot Service Hub Benefits:
  • Create a customer portal where customers can track the status of their tickets.
  • Prioritize critical issues first, and you will delight your customers.
  • Assign scores to contacts to track the health of your customers.
  • Use CSAT, CES, and NPS surveys to track customer satisfaction.
  • Make the most of your customer support tool by accessing free educational content.

#6. PlanHat

PlanHat has a lot of great features. It has a simple interface that was designed to facilitate customer success. Although many other customer success tools have similar features such as customer health scores, customer monitoring, and playbooks, it is the way these features work that distinguishes them.

Best Features:
  • Product engagement
  • Customer health scores
  • Customer monitoring
  • Scalability
  • Data security

#7. Gainsight

Gainsight is a high-quality customer success management tool that many tools use and recommend. Its popularity may be due to the fact that many large corporations, such as Cisco and General Electric, prefer the tool, or it may be due to the numerous features that not only provide an easy-to-use experience but also cover the entire customer life-cycle.

Best Features:
  • Customer health ratings
  • Scalability
  • Data safety
  • Customer tracking
  • Customer profiles

#8. Totango

Totango is a promising software with customers such as Google and Zoom that should help you keep all of your customers happy. You can keep Google and Zoom happy if they can. Spark, Totango’s customer success tool, has a simple and straightforward design from the start. It’s simple to use, and the fluid interface is one of the software’s best features.

Best Features:
  • Customer segments
  • Data security
  • Customer tracking
  • Scalability
  • Permissions & user access

#9. Intercom

Intercom provides an easy-to-use platform for engaging your customers no matter where they are. This tool can help you achieve a lot, from one-time personalized messages to entire marketing campaigns that help you generate reliable leads.

Top Intercom Features:
  • Create powerful chatbots that can answer basic customer questions.
  • Make customizable banners for your website’s top or bottom.
  • Test messaging sequences to determine which campaigns perform best.
  • Send out proactive messages to customers during problems or unexpected events.
  • NPS surveys are used to track customer satisfaction and loyalty.

#10. Accelo

Accelo is yet another customer success management software for service businesses. Using a shared inbox, you can easily convert email requests into tickets, allowing support staff to quickly resolve client issues.

Top Features of Accelo:
  • Real-time access to client projects and communications.
  • Provide detailed invoices to clients and ensure accurate billing.
  • Make insightful reports to better understand budget usage, profit margins, and other metrics.
  • Determine your most important and profitable customers.
  • Connect to Salesforce, HubSpot, MailChimp, PayPal, and other tools.

Customer Success Management Certification

According to one study, customer-centric businesses are 60% more profitable than their competitors. Furthermore, according to the CMO Council, 14% of marketers believe that customer-centricity is their company’s trademark.

But how do you get started in customer service? You can clearly demonstrate this by obtaining the appropriate training or, better yet, obtaining customer success management certification.

Some of the best customer success management certifications are listed below. Continue reading to learn more about these programs.

#1. CustomerSuccessBox 101 Training for CSMs

As a CSM, you will learn how to use CustomerSuccessBox effectively in this course. Also, how to make sense of the data you see, how to plan your day to effectively manage your portfolio of accounts, and how to increase the retention rate.

Specifications include instructions on how to:

  • Create your profile.
  • Organize your tasks
  • Control your alerts
  • Track account product adoption and much more.

#2. SuccessCOACHING

The CCSM program’s research foundation provides specific insights into a customer success manager’s core competencies and the best practices of great customer success organizations. Todd Eby, James Scott, Andrew Marks, and Aaron Thompson are among those in charge.

The CCSM programs are supported by a body of knowledge derived from working with companies large and small all over the world, and they provide an incredibly unique series of customer success training programs designed for current and aspiring CS professionals. A Customer Success Management Certification will help you achieve your goals no matter where you are in your career!

#3. Cisco Customer Success Manager (DTCSM)

The Cisco Customer Success Manager certification provides a solid framework as well as a core set of skills and knowledge to assist you in delivering immediate value to your customer relationships.

Validate your ability to develop and integrate solutions; identify adoption barriers and how to overcome them; implement adoption frameworks and interpret customer usage data while guiding customers to renewals; cultivate new sales opportunities throughout the customer lifecycle.

The cost of this customer success management certification is $2,395 and the certification is valid for two years. It is an ideal certification that will provide you with a verifiable certificate that will assist you in finding work.

#4. PracticalCSM’s Certified Customer Success Management Professional (CCSMP) Customer Success Certification

Rick Adams manages the CCSMP, a high-value practical training program. This certification answers the majority of your questions about customer success, such as what, why, and how.

The Certified CSM Professional program includes both training and certification. Its foundation is the Practical CSM Framework, and it offers at least four levels of professional customer success management certification.

#5. Customer Success | How to Understand Your Customers

This course is intended for beginners and will help you better understand your customers. It was created by Chuck Wall, a business consultant who specializes in strategy, customer insights, and marketing.

The goal of this course is to provide you with the knowledge you need to better understand your customers. After completing the course, you will have gained more in-depth knowledge to help you advance in the customer success industry.

Important learning objectives:

  • The distinction between big data and big insights
  • Developing customer relationships
  • Changing customers into repeat customers
  • Study of cases

Choose the Best Customer Success Management Certification for you.

Customer success will never let you down. No matter what industry you work in, understanding customer success will help you succeed. I hope this list helps you choose the certifications that are right for you. Learn it, and then shine!

What does a customer success manager do?

A customer success manager (CSM) helps your customers progress from sales prospects to active users of your products. They prioritize customer loyalty and long-term client relationships, and they frequently work with the same customers for as long as they continue to work with your company.

What are the top 3 5 priorities in customer success?

So those are the five essential components of customer success. Success in onboarding, product success, customer success, company success, and team success These five key aspects of customer success requires your undivided attention if you want to ensure your company’s current and future success.

How do you succeed as a customer success manager?

Customer Success Manager Skills Required:

  • Customer
  • Communication
  • Relationship management.
  • Industry expertise
  • Problem-Solving.
  • Expectations Management
  • Empathy.
  • Listening actively

What does customer success do?

They are typically in charge of retaining customer loyalty, upselling existing customers to new product features, cultivating long-term relationships with their customers, and ensuring that their customers achieve the goals they set out to achieve when purchasing the product.

What are other names for customer success?

Customer Success Engineer, Sales Manager, Customer Success Specialist, and other titles are also used in the industry for customer success managers.

Is customer success manager a good job?

If you enjoy working with people and are motivated by results, customer success is a great career path for you. It’s a very rewarding job with many opportunities for personal growth, learning, courses, and professional development.

Is being a CSM stressful?

You must take care of yourself if you are to take care of your customers. Customer success is a demanding job. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and overworked when working remotely because there’s less separation between work and home life.

Does customer success pay well?

According to Glassdoor, the median base salary for a customer success specialist based in the United States is $64,682 per year.

Is customer success a sales job?

A customer acquisition strategy must be agreed upon by Sales and Customer Success. Bottom line: The primary function of sales is to sell to new customers. The Customer Success team is in charge of retaining current customers and facilitating subscription renewals and follow-up sales.

In Essence

You will lose customers regardless of how good your product, advertisements, and marketing are if you do not have a proper customer success management team that uses the best CS tools.

A customer success tool assists you in regaining customers while keeping existing ones satisfied. Such an important tool cannot be chosen hastily; you must consider the size, field, and goal of your business.

Customer Success Management FAQs

Is customer success a good career?

If you enjoy working with people and are motivated by results, customer success is a great career path for you. It’s a very rewarding job with many opportunities for personal growth, learning, courses, and professional development.

What's another title for customer success manager?

SVP Customer Success and CCO are the most common titles.

How do customer success managers get paid?

Managers of Customer Success

Managers receive a 70% base salary, 30% variable compensation, and a small bonus opportunity. If the company meets its revenue target, the manager receives a bonus.

Can you make a lot of money in customer success?

After those are deducted, an experienced CSM in a lucrative industry could earn up to $150,000 per year. For example, an average CSM at Microsoft earns $136.10 per year in total compensation, but the average base salary is only $120,975. Furthermore, the top 25% of CSMs at the company earn an average of $146,000 per year.

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