When I started as a customer success professional, I had no idea about the challenges that I had to face.
But after having been in this field for more than a year now, it is safe to say that all the doubts I had have been put to rest for good.
I always believed that being in the customer success field would be a rewarding experience. And I am glad I was not wrong at all!
Here are some of the things that I learned after being in this amazing customer success field for a year now:
1. Empathy towards your customer is the key to success
Empathy is extremely important for success. The customer care environment needs to be transparent, kind, and empathetic to customer questions.
Empathy helps customer success professionals become more aware of customer problems. With empathy, you can connect with customers on a personal level.
Being sorry for someone facing a problem and trying to solve their problem is the core facet of empathy.
I am the one listening to customers’ voices, and hence I need to be a customer champion.
Feedback also has helped me know customer issues and develop empathy.
Customers need to know that you are genuinely interested in their problems. As a customer success professional, this is my number one learning from the customer success field in a year.
2. Practice what you preach
Customer success is all about communication and transparency. My main goal as a customer success professional is to improve customer success outcomes.
As a customer success professional, I give time and importance to customers. This is why accountability and ownership become important.
Customers get in touch with you for your wisdom, experience, and product understanding.
While encouraging them to be aware of the product and company, you need to maintain a similar interest in their company and product.
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3. Develop your own voice as a customer success professional
If you do not have your own personal voice, it will be difficult to be in customer success. You need to have your own set of principles and values.
These traits need to translate into your work and resound with the rest of the company. Your personal vision should match with what the client wants.
Your own voice needs to be strong and integrated with the brand voice as well. Your voice of influence must be helpful to clients and allow them to get the best of the product.
4. Persuasion is a must
Every customer success manager needs to be persuasive. In my experience, this is important learning with customer success.
A good customer success manager will help customers use the product in ways they could not imagine. You can ensure customers get full value with persuasion.
Some customers may have expectations that are tough to meet. This can be handled through persuasion.
You can manage shortcomings and expectations in that manner. You get better insight and focus on the customers.
5. Support and confrontation go hand-in-hand
Confrontation is basic when it comes to customer success.
You need to handle customer confrontations in the best manner while maintaining customer integrity and company reputation.
The support you provide will go a long way in increasing customer satisfaction. I feel bad news, in case of any, needs to be delivered in time.
Listening to customers and keeping them as a priority will help in that case.
6. Managing expectations is crucial
Not every problem has the same solution. Some issues take a longer time to resolve than others. It is important to be upfront.
Tell the customer there is a problem, and it will take time to solve it.
Customers may find it tough to handle upgrades, which may be hiccups.
Managing expectations in that can be crucial. This can be helpful in engaging customers while keeping them invested in the firm.
7. Not just answer questions also ask them
The customer success field is not one-way traffic. You are expected to ask questions and be invested in the process.
Listening to the customer is obviously important. However, the more important thing to do is ask questions. Hear customers out, ask questions based on their doubts, voice your opinion.
This can be helpful for you to develop a rapport with the customer.
Prompt them with more questions, so you get a clear understanding of the issue. This worked wonders in building my personality as well.
8. Be totally invested in your customers
Get more insights from customers. Ask their inputs on certain products or tasks. Create conversations that help build a rapport.
Ask for their honest feedback. Probe them about the product.
Try to understand how they think, know their pain points, and create a plan for future development.
You need to form strong connections with customers and creatively maximize the product’s outputs and value.
9. Look for roadblocks and problems outside your product
As a customer success professional, one needs to look for problems outside the product. It can be anything from a product being the wrong fit to a lack of knowledge of using it.
These problems and roadblocks are external to the product. But, it would help if you kept them in mind.
Customer education and customer knowledge may be of immense help in solving these problems.
10. Being proactive pays in the long run
You and your team members need to be proactive in the long run.
You need to keep the customers at the core of every strategy and product. This will help engage customers and ensure they know they are cared for.
Proactive nature pays off in the long run. More customers are involved and aware of product offerings.
When you anticipate a customer question and are prepared to answer it, you are being a proactive person.
This can be through self-help guides, FAQs, or videos that help customers become involved with the product.
As I continue to grow in my customer success career, I am extremely grateful for the things I have learned and how they have shaped me to grow in my profession.
Product adoption, customer success, customer satisfaction, and customer growth are the pillars on which a customer success career rests.
I took inspiration from customer success best practices for SaaS companies which helped me a lot.
Customer success is an evolving field, and one needs to align with the situation. The customer success space continues to grow, and so does my interest in the field.52
Apart from being a customer success professional, these learnings have helped me develop as a person too.
Dattatraya Shetty is an IT Professional with 2 Decades of experience in areas of Product Development, Implementation & Service Delivery Management. As the Head of Implementations and SOC Compliance in Smartkarrot he is on a mission to provide relishing customer experience.
Published January 03, 2022, Updated March 02, 2023