Customer Success | 5 MIN READ

How to Deal with Burnout as a Customer Success Manager

What is Customer Success Manager Burnout and how do we tackle that? Here are some statistics that have made a huge difference and six tips to combat through.

Simran Mohanty
Apr 16, 2021

Customer Success Manager Burnout

Customer Success Manager Burnout

The year 2020 invited a couple of unwelcomed guests that saw a rise in a ton of burnout, stress, and overtime work schedules. A whopping 71% of the employees felt burnt out at least once that year. And the velocity of the workers rating their stress level as ‘very high’ rose to 42%. This elevated burnout and stress stand as a clear testament to the testing times. On that note, customer success as a niche must gear up to battle through and deal with the burnout. Then again, how can customer success manager burnout decrease the chances of unproductivity during this pandemic and lay the groundwork for a lasting change? Well, it most certainly can! Dig in to know some of the battle-tested ways to deal with burnout.

  1. Set up an after-hour Escalation Protocol
  2. Insist Proactive Communication and Open Dialogue
  3. Keep things Simple
  4. Say Yes to Autonomy!
  5. Steer away from Distractions
  6. Block some Time off for special Projects

Before we dive into the ‘How’ element, it is imperative to stay firm on some of the real-time statistics that are quite alarming to digest. 

Source: SHRM

52% of the US office workers say that they are stressed out on an everyday basis. While that is the case, 95% of the HR leaders tag employee burnout the reason behind the inability to retain staff. What tops the list is that this leads to up to $190 billion in health care costs and 120,000 deaths due to workplace stress. These numbers are horrifying in the very least and some level of strong precautionary measures must be taken up to combat these. Let us now look at some of the steps that a CSM can take up:

Set up an after-hour Escalation Protocol

While it is obvious that the priority of a customer success niche is the customer, there are times when it is draining to be in a constant state of vigilance. Especially, when it is an after-hour escalation! Kick-off by establishing some ground rules and creating a structured protocol for all. Map out an SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) for tackling the after-hour requests. This will help to reduce the stress levels that led to uncertain results previously and will now speed up the resolution time as well.

Insist Proactive Communication and Open Dialogue

An effecient CSM knows firsthand that it is impossible to complete an endless list of tasks and not get overwhelmed. Talk it out with your employees and address these issues before it is too late. Needless to say, it is hard to be attuned to an individual’s workloads and personal dilemmas. That is when you come out of the tough shell and calm your employees. Anything from customer feedback forums, one-on-one meetings, and Q&A sessions will allow open dialogue and will permit your employees to vent out their needs.

Keep things Simple

Flexibility works only where there is clarity. A statistical report suggests some of the major reasons for burnout include unfair compensation and unreasonable workload. This leads to most of the deadlines being missed every week. To avoid these pitfalls, you as a CSM must establish specific instructions ahead of time for each time. Nothing should stay too riddled or complicated. Keep things simple yet significant. Also, make sure you keep close to the projects without falling into the trappings of micromanaging. Learn how to wing out this delicate balance.

Source: SHRM

Say Yes to Autonomy!

A good CSM is the one who paves the room for open discussions, ideas and suggestions from people. Giving employees certain control over their works is a healthy initiative. The more you dominate over your employee’s satisfaction and work, you tend to allow room for more burnout, increasing stress levels, and raising missed out deadlines. This way, the employees can get more control over their individual tasks and concentrate better. Give them the space to breathe and air frustrations. You will soon start to see a noticeable change in the burnout rates already.

Steer away from Distractions

60% of an employee’s day is consumed by communicating about tasks, looking for data, switching in between apps, maintaining the shifting priorities and following up. As a customer success manager, burnout reduction should be your top goal. It is your responsibility to streamline your team’s work management processes and steer away from the big chunk of tertiary activities. And avoid multitasking in all ways. These can lead to duplicity of work, frustration, and eventually burnout.

Block some Time off for special Projects 

Taking a temporary break or setting some time aside for some of your other special projects can be helpful to a large extent. Start investing your time by working on your professional development as well. It is said, people pushed to their breaking points have the capability to render great innovations. Do not let yourself be completely burnt out yet. Rather, look for smaller opportunities that can augment your situation, scale better and create revamped efficacies. And while you take these small breaks, you can always come back with a fresh mind and work more effectively.

That’s a Wrap 

Take no backseats when it comes to reminding employees of their value and denote customer excellence. Start celebrating their smaller success stories both publicly and privately. Let your employees know that their work and presence are of utmost importance and is being valued and appreciated. When you do have bigger reasons to worry about as a customer success manager, burnout should not be the one topping the list. Give room for suggestions, open communications and a healthier environment. Above all, practice the six measures stated. They will allow you to combat through the testing times and perform better.

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Originally Published April 16th, 2021, Updated April 16th, 2021

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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