After the era of customer service and customer experience, now is the time for customer success to try its luck. Talking in terms of B2B businesses, client success is one of the factors that businesses are focusing on, in 2020. Client success is especially sought after in the top-most IT sector and SaaS companies, considering the adverse effect of high customer churn rate, and the need for dynamic revenue growth. To get a fact-check, here’s how client success director has made it to the headlines this year.
Customer success specialists have seen a 34% annual growth in demand in the past five years.
In a digital technology-based world, relationship-focused roles are gaining a new highlight these days. Hence, such roles require extraordinary talent and skill-set to take over the umpteen responsibilities and shine out as a client success leader.
Let’s make the maze look easier. Read on to find how you can make yourself suitable for the top client success director jobs and take your career on a new high.
1. What Does a Client Success Director Actually Do?
To become prepared for a client success director job, the foundational step starts at the mere definition of this dynamic role. A leadership role in the client success team holds the responsibility to direct the team to drive maximum revenue returns from each existing customer.
To achieve this, the client success team has to ensure clients gain business value from the organization. Resembling a mutual benefit relationship, client success plays a major role in bridging the gap between the company and the clients.
A client success director’s role does not end after client acquisition. If you are to assume this role, your job starts after the client on-boarding. You are supposed to ensure maximum ROI for the client such that they continue to enlarge their share of investment in your company.
LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report mentions customer success as one of the top-most emerging jobs in 2020.
2. From Technology-centric to People-centric
There is no denial about the fact that digital technology is overtaking the global organizations today. But in spite of that, you as a client success director or client success manager (CSM) need to ensure the presence of an organic relationship with your clients. You have to be amiable and good at initiating interpersonal relationships.
More than just relationships, you need to identify the respective client success criteria and current perspectives, and forecast renewal or upscaling plans for them. Keeping in touch with the clients is extremely important to identify the client’s requirements and mend them with your plans and products.
3. Knowledge of Product and Technical Support
For a long time, organizations have had product success managers, account managers, and customer experience managers working together towards client retention. Results – client frustration due to increased response times, poor customer service, reduced ROI, uninteresting renewals, unprofitable company policies, and absence of attention.
Thus, as a client success director, you have to be capable of handling all these mishaps and work in sync with all these teams as well. To be able to do that, you must have a sound knowledge of the product, technology being implemented, and capabilities and flexibility you can offer to your clients.
Apart from that, you need to have sound knowledge of analytics and accounting to be able to drive the client’s behavior insights, best possible plans, premium packages, upsells and cross-sells, etc. You should be aware of specific indices like the Net Promoter Score (NPS) or the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) that can be used as a prime sword against the growing customer churn rate for your company.
4. Understand And Drive Client Orientation
Did you know, more than 90% of the B2B buyers depend on peer recommendation while selecting a partner?
If you weren’t aware of this fact, probably you haven’t brushed up on your client success knowledge yet. There are several such trends that have been and are being observed in 2020, in the client success industry, as it continuously flourishes across a wide array of businesses. To be a pro at client success leadership, you need to have these trends at your tips to be able to understand and act accordingly.
You should be able to provide technical as well as programmatic support to a client through various project plans and support resources. In the background, you should be able to track down the client churn risk, maintain account health, and ensure continuous feedback practices to keep the client-base intact.
5. EQ is The New IQ
As a client success director, you have to focus on Emotional Intelligence. For you, the Emotional Quotient weighs higher than the Intelligence Quotient. To foster mutual benefit relationships with the clients and engage them in long-term policies and plans, you have to implement excellent strategy and direction.
With a continuous drive, backed by decisiveness, adaptability, and business acumen, you should be able to row your boat as well as that of the client. To achieve mastery on both the oars, soft skills, especially a sense of empathy is vital.
Making the client see their well-wisher in you is a jewel that is acquired via a great deal of client-specific policies, periodic plans, and consultations.
Above all sorts of knowledge and skills, you must have the passion to drive such a novel concept in your organization and lead the team through deep-drowning churn rates to sky-rocketing revenues.
If all this information is condensed in one statement, you have to be a people’s person who knows how to get their own share of profit while ensuring the client receives their own benefit as well, thus maintaining a long-term strong clientele.21
The client success industry is set to explode in the next few years. Follow these five tips and get yourself a place in the future’s most desirable job roles.
Ritesh has over 20 years of experience collaborating with customers and adding value to their organizations. In his prior role as head of healthcare practice for a high growth US healthcare tech organization, he built a centralized knowledge house to drive customer-centric delivery.
Published May 27, 2020, Updated April 08, 2022