What Is a Customer Success Engineer?

What is a Customer Success Engineer and what are some of their primary skills and responsibilities? Also, how much do they make annually? Spill those beans here. 

customer success engineer
What Is a Customer Success Engineer

In the Customer Success niche, you would have definitely come across designations like Customer Success Manager, Customer Success Leaders, and Customer Success Officers too. But there is less surety if you have met a Customer Success Engineer (CSE) in the given space. If that is what you have been pondering about lately, this blog will put an end to those queries, hopefully. Today, we will learn what a customer success engineer is and what are the skills and responsibilities required to wear the CSE hat. Without any further ado, let us get started right away. 

Who is a Customer Success Engineer?  

Just like the name suggests, the customer success engineers look into the technical deployment and implementation of the particular product or service to the customer. It again depends on the nature of the product, its maturity in the market, and its complexities that require the CSE to delve into the customer’s needs.  

If a customer is unable to understand how the product should work, or if they face some grave technical glitches, (which is not something that they can fix easily), that is exactly when a customer success engineer comes into play. They help the customer reach a firm or steady state and once they do that, the CSE goes into the next implementation. 

How does a day in the life of a Customer Success Engineer look like? If you are wondering the same, then watch this informative video by CSE Chen Arbel, where she speaks about her experience on the team, why she loves the intersection of coding and working with clients one-on-one, and why she cherishes the people behind the platform. 

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Skills and Responsibilities of a CSE  

Like most of the corporate roles where skills are achieved and sharpened during the tenure – you too can expect the breadth of your hard and soft skills to broaden up. Here is enlisted the range of skills or experiences that are usually expected from a customer success engineer: 

Technical Skills/ Hard Skills: 

  1. The CSE is expected to educate the team members with the correct technological know-how and draft out technical documentation if the need arises. 
  1. For the smooth deployment of the technical processes, the CSE is responsible for building the tools and automation in accordance with the company’s needs. 
  1. The CSE should also have expertise in debugging technical issues at the various levels of the stack and ensure that they lessen or eradicate at the earliest. 
  1. In case of an escalation that needs the intervention of any other team or the higher positions of the same team, the CSE should manage and intermediate between the same. 
  1. The CSE should also scope efforts for deployments and new integrations on a timely note, as and when required. 
  1. Needless to say, the engineer in the customer success domain should be extremely proficient in technical and software development skills. 
  1. He or she must also have a complete understanding of the product architecture and be totally familiarized with the cloud-based solutions and databases as well. 

Communication Skills/ Soft Skills: 

  1. A successful manager is one who has the perfect blend of hard and soft skills. On that note, the CSE too should have a good emotional intelligence quotient. He or she must be able to empathize and observe the subtle tendencies of a customer’s needs. 
  1. The CSE should be well-versed in the particular working language and should be able to communicate well with people from all walks of life. 
  1. Just in case, a customer reaches out with some technical queries, the CSE must know how to patiently handle the case and explain to the customer the solutions with love and empathy. 
  1. Also, they should be able to render the customers with some of the best practices for integrations and suggest how to derive the best out of their products. 

Salary of CSE World Wide  

It is a common question – how does a Customer Success professional make? There, the salary of CSE too does not take a backseat. Here we will put some spotlight on the average salary that a customer success engineer makes around the globe. Note that these salary estimates are put forth on an average and depend on a lot of factors such as the standard of living of the country, GDP per capita, employment and unemployment rates, etc. 

Customer Success Engineer Salary in India 

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The national average salary for a CSE is ₹7, 32,000 in India. The lowest salary stands at ₹302K to the highest being at ₹2,125K.  

Customer Success Engineer Salary in the USA 

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The national average salary for a CSE is $97K in the USA. The lowest salary stands at $64K to the highest being at $147K.  

Customer Success Engineer Salary in the UK 

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The national average salary for a CSE is £41,658 in the United Kingdom. The lowest salary stands at £26K to the highest being at £66K.  

Customer Success Manager Vs. Customer Success Engineer

Let us look at the vital differences between customer success manager (CSM) and customer success engineer (CSE):

Customer Success ManagerCustomer Success Engineer
A customer success manager is solely responsible for the entire customer journey.A customer success engineer is only concerned with the technical aspects of the execution process of customer success.
A customer success manager looks after the overall needs of the customers.Customer success engineer only looks after the technical aspects that come in the way of successful implementation of customer success.
CSM is the pivotal point of contact once sales is done and dusted.CSE is more of a product expert with a strategic mind and customer-oriented.
CSM does not work as a coach and trusted advisor during the execution of technical solutions.CSE works as a coach and trusted advisor during the execution of technical solutions.
The sole objective of a CSM is to drive a positive customer experience across the entire customer lifecycle and ensure that maximum ROI (return on investment) is generated from the provided solutions.The sole of a CSE is not to drive a positive customer experience across the entire customer lifecycle and ensure that maximum ROI is generated from the provided solutions.

The Significance of Customer Success Engineers (CSE) in B2B SaaS Business Environment

We live in a competitive B2B SaaS business environment where customer problems have become more technical. With technological advancement, these problems have started to become more technical-driven. This is where having personnel with a deep understanding of customers’ needs and getting things done through a team help upsurge the overall customer experience.

The customer success engineer (CSE) is one such individual who knows about working with customers regularly. This means they have the knack for deciphering the customers’ issues and needs beforehand. They also have expertise in resolving these problems technically. The ultimate responsibility of a person driving the role of a customer success engineer is to connect all the teams working in an organization so that every employee knows the basic process of functioning and has relevant data at disposal to resolve the customers’ queries swiftly.

A customer solutions engineer is an expert in the technical aspects of the product, but the one thing they lack is conveying the message to the engineering or product team. The best thing for a CSE is to convey the message in a language that ensures easy interpretation that leads to product enhancement.

Having a representative of customers in the engineering team can become a blessing in disguise. It can help the company devise products that exactly meet the customers’ requirements, resulting in optimal customer satisfaction.

How the Customer Success Engineer Position Will Evolve in the Near Future?

There was a time when the customer success engineer designation was not there. During those times, the CSM had to carry out technical aspects of the product and ensure customer satisfaction. But, today, thanks to the advancement in technology, B2B SaaS companies have realized the importance of the CSE position.

Today, any company with more than 150 employees needs a customer success engineer. The CSM and the customer service managers have their own limitations. They cannot interact with the product engineers and get the work done. This is the role of an expert, so this position has started to gain prominence.

Soon, we will see more and more B2B SaaS companies employing people at the Customer Success Engineer position and see how their overall customer satisfaction increases.

A CSE has the knack of interacting with the technical team and engineers to get things done. With the help of a Customer Success Engineer, you can expect your company to roll out many more product updates after getting feedback from the customers.

Since the customer success engineer is a part of the technical team, they can take a cue from the customer success managers and get the enhancements done in the product, which can go a long way in ensuring increased ROI for the company.23

That’s a Wrap  

In the blog, we learned that the customer success engineer is responsible for the technical know-how of the processes and for the rightful implementation of customer success. We also ascertained that he or she is the product expert who owns a customer-service mindset and serves as a trusted coach to the customers during the deployment of the technical solutions. At the end of the day, both the customer success managers and the customer success engineers aim to imbibe a healthy relationship with the customer where both the company and the clients are benefitted. A successful company is the one where the customers are successful.  

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