Being customer-centric has become more than necessary for modern companies to sustain in this competitive world. Customers need to be treated with utmost care right from the beginning of their relationship. Hence, to maintain such relationships, there are many roles that fulfill this responsibility. The client services manager is the most widely known role among those.
A client services team acts as a liaison between a company and its customers. They are the face of the organization for the customers to interact with. And a client services manager is the one leading this team. They are responsible for enhancing the productivity of this team. They need to make sure that the client services team is working optimally to meet the service demands.
This is just a brief description of what a client services manager (CSM) does. Now, let’s look into their responsibilities in detail.
Client Services Manager’s Daily Responsibilities
To give service with the highest quality to the customers, the CSM must possess a thorough knowledge of the company’s and client’s business needs. They must know clearly where the company’s product fits exactly in the customer’s business environment and what challenges they resolve. With such knowledge, they would always have a clear big picture in mind while serving the client. Let’s look at a few areas they are involved in.
Leading the client services team
They are responsible for the performance of the client services team. The quality of service they give to the customer depends on how well a CSM is able to manage and direct the team. They make customer-centricity a main priority for the team. They are responsible for holding the team members accountable for any service issue and removing their roadblocks.
Step in on escalated issues
Any issues that are taking longer than normal duration come immediately under the CSM’s notice. Hence, they take the necessary steps to resolve long pending issues by allocating the right resources to it. Ensuring that the services team is working seamlessly and efficiently is the prime responsibility of a CSM.
Measuring and Reporting the team’s progress
CSM’s measure the team’s performance on a regular basis. They maintain a positive environment in the team and make sure that the team’s progress is happening consistently. A status meeting every month or bi-weekly is a good place to keep the team on track and measure productivity.
CSMs take into account many metrics to quantify the efforts put in by the team. These metrics include the number of queries resolved in a month, the average time is taken to resolve an issue, etc. Based on these numbers, they create a monthly report and present them to other stakeholders in the company.
Cross collaboration with other teams
Since the services team has the maximum exposure to the existing customers, they share valuable insights with other teams like the marketing and sales team. These insights help them to create more suitable marketing campaigns that attract more fitting customers. These customers are not only good from the acquisition point of view but they also tend to stay longer in business.
Client Services Manager Long term responsibilities
A CSM is a client facing role, especially for the high-value customers. Hence, they need to be good in nurturing relationships with clients. This is a time-consuming process and takes a lot of consistently accurate steps towards the same. Few areas that are under their long-term strategies are:
Building Customer Loyalty
CSMs need to maintain a good relationship with mostly high-value customers. They need to make sure that the client is always loyal to their brand. Although they work on a reactive approach, wherein they resolve the issue as it gets raised, they still need to maintain high quality in dealing with them. CSMs must show the customers what value their product is providing to them. Based on that the customers may take decisions to remain loyal to the brand for the long-term.
Recruitment and training the team
CSMs are also involved in selecting the right candidates for their team. They examine the candidate’s personality thoroughly to know how effectively they can interact with clients. After hiring, the managers give proper training to the candidates. In this training, the manager ensures that the candidates get to know thoroughly about the product and the company. After the initial training, when the team is working, the manager continues to give support to them by answering ad-hoc calls and resolving any issues that the team is facing.
Assign goals to the team and monitor progress
To keep the team intact on a plan, the CSM sets long-term goals for the team. They assign each team-member with their respective goals set for the month or longer. While giving goals, they make sure that goals are both achievable and challenging for the team members. They take due care that the goal doesn’t overwhelm the client services executive to the point that they give up on them. And on a timely basis, they measure the progress of the team on those goals. If any changes are necessary to adjust the plan, then they do so while involving the whole team’s input.
Client Services Manager’s best practices
Few of the best practices that a successful CSM follows are:
- Ignore vanity metrics and measure only KPIs: Through this, they know what are the key parameters they should measure to track the progress of the team and report to other stakeholders.
- Constant learning of the team: To keep evolving with the team, they make sure that the team learns from every mistake. They do a root-cause analysis for any client’s grievances and ensure it never occurs again.
- Provide a great customer experience: CSMs must adhere to the company policies and procedures but not at the cost of a poor customer experience. The Customer’s interest must always be kept in priority.
- Problem solver for the team: Instead of blaming a team-mate for any failed solution, the CSM resolves the issues by himself. They are the ones with the most product knowledge and hence must step in from time to time to solve the problems of the team for a seamless experience.
The client services manager is relatively a more important role in any customer-focused company. SaaS companies are investing more in building long-lasting relationships with customers. This is the only way for them to remain sustainable in a competitive environment. A client services manager understands this core philosophy of the company for which he has been assigned to this responsibility. And with a dedicated focus on customer experience, a client services manager brings life to the vision of any customer-centric organization.