Customer Success Manager vs. Customer Engagement Manager the Key Differences

Customer Success Manager vs. Customer Engagement Manager the Key Differences

Do you wish to learn the difference between a customer success manager and a customer engagement manager? If yes, check out this blog today!

Customer Success Manager vs. Customer Engagement Manager the Key Differences
Customer Success Manager vs. Customer Engagement Manager the Key Differences

If hiring trends at SaaS companies are anything to go by, vacancies for Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Customer Engagement Manager (CEM) are in demand.

Both are leadership positions, and these professionals are held high in the SaaS arena. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion about the roles, and the titles are often used interchangeably. 

But considering the importance of these roles in SaaS companies, it is critical to understand the difference between the two roles.  

This write-up clears all doubts around the Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Customer Engagement Manager (CEM). We will discuss the key differences between the two roles and thus show why they are unique.  

Defining Customer Success Manager

In a SaaS business, a Customer Success Manager is an executive position. The person assuming the role is responsible for promoting customer loyalty. Their job is to ensure that the customers are happy with the products and services. The executive should provide them with recurring positive experiences and form long-term relationships. They will have to work on each customer touchpoint to ensure positive experiences.

They assist the customers at each step, by providing them with the necessary guidance and support to reach their goals. CSM is also responsible for offering viable solutions to address the customers’ pain points of the customer. This way, their job revolves around building healthy customer relationships required for the company’s growth.

 Their responsibilities include:

  1. Customer onboarding, product setup, and assisting customers wherever needed.
  2. Training employees so they can assist the customers better.
  3. Analyzing customer data and providing necessary insights to the respective teams.

Defining Customer Engagement Manager

A Customer Engagement Manager (CEM) is also an important executive position in SaaS businesses. The executive in the position is responsible for creating and maintaining customer engagement. They will have to work with both potential and existing business customers. The primary duty of a CEM is to ensure that the clients are engaged with the organization’s products and services. 

One of the core responsibilities of a CEM is to reach out to and respond to potential clients. They are also responsible for keeping the existing customers engaged and solving their concerns. Their actions have an enormous impact on the sales and upsells of the company.

 –Their responsibilities include:

  1. Engage with the customers on different platforms.
  2. Solve client issues.
  3. Identify opportunities for upsells and cross-sells.
  4. Handle client invoices and billing.

The Key Differences between Customer Success Manager and Customer Engagement Manager

We have defined the two positions in the previous section. Let us now try and understand the key differences between them. 

Key Responsibility

Customer Success Managers (CSMs) look after the operational aspects of customer dealing. Their job is to ensure that customers receive the maximum value from the product or service from their purchase. Not only that, but they should also ensure that customers have instant gratification. To ensure this, they provide product training, develop modules, and also support customers. The support they offer involves answering questions and troubleshooting.

A Customer Engagement Manager (CEM), on the other hand, is responsible for ensuring a better client relationship. They are responsible for managing the relationship with customers from a strategic perspective. They are to ensure that both customers, as well as the company’s internal team, are satisfied. To ensure harmonious relationships at both ends, CEMs use different engagement activities. 

Duty towards Customers

A customer success manager is duty bound to handhold customers as they use the product/ service. They must provide assistance and support required by the customer to succeed in using the product. Through a set of preplanned activities, CSMs must ensure that the product offered fulfills the need and desires of the customer. They must ensure that customers are satisfied and utilize the product or service they paid for. 

A customer engagement manager, on the other hand, is responsible for maintaining and improving customer relationships. They work as intermediaries between clients and the company. They must build a good reputation for their organization in the eyes of clients. Additionally, they also need to ensure that the internal team is satisfied. Therefore, their duty is towards both clients as well as the internal teams. 

Financial Aspects

As Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are concerned with ensuring maximum satisfaction to customers, their role is clear and strategically focused. And therefore, it is difficult to calculate the monetary impact of the role. 

Though the role of the customer success managers has a significant impact on the profitability of the business, the impact cannot be seen directly in financial terms. 

On the other hand, customer engagement managers connect with customers on a day-to-day basis. Therefore, their impact can be measured financially. They are concerned with making sales and upsells, so their success can be easily calculated in monetary terms. Unlike, customer success manager there is no need for complex analysis. 

Duration of Interaction with Customers

A Customer Success Manager (CSM) needs to hold hands with customers throughout their journey with the product or service of the company. They are with customers from the time they choose to subscribe to the product or service of the SaaS business till they remain a customer of the business. They are at every step to extend their support to customers. It is a long-term relationship that continues until the customer remains a customer. 

On the other hand, customer engagement managers interact with potential customers and attract them to their company. They remain with them till the time they convert into a paying customer. Once a potential client subscribes to the business’s product or service, the customer engagement manager becomes irrelevant. So, it can be said that customer engagement managers have a short-term relationship with customers.  


Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are inclined toward customers. Their sole focus is customer satisfaction. And, everything they do or plan originates from the viewpoint of customers. Although they work for the organization their defined duty requires them to always look toward the customers. Their approach need not be a balance between internal or external demands. 

On the other hand, Customer Engagement Managers (CEMs) are responsible for maintaining the relationship between customers and the internal team. Hence, they need to focus on both sides. They are responsible for empowering and nurturing the internal team with the soft skills required to handle customers. Although their end goal is to satisfy customers they need to maintain a healthy relationship with the internal staff too. They need to maintain a balance.  

Final Words

Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Customer Engagement Manager (CEM) both are two unfamiliar positions, and both of them are important for the growth of a SaaS business. As both of these managerial positions are concerned with customers, they need to work in tandem.

No business can think of growth and development if the Customer Success Manager (CSM) and Customer Engagement Manager (CEM) do not work in coordination with each other. Both these positions are complementary to each other. Unless they work in tune with each other, the goal of building a loyal customer base for the business cannot be achieved.

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