Customer Success | 5 MIN READ

Why Great Customer Success Managers Need to Excel at Customer Handoffs

The sales-to-customer success manager handoff process can be complex but defining a proper process will get you with a long-term return on your investment.

Rohan Sheth
Dec 24, 2019

customer success manager

So, you’ve nurtured and moved a lead through your sales and marketing funnels and turned a prospect into a bonafide customer. Someone’s purchased your product. The transaction’s been completed. You’ve secured a sale. That’s the end of it, right? Wrong.

Customer Success Managers

Most customer success managers think that the customer journey stops here. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. As a manager, you still need to engage with customers long after they’ve clicked the “Buy” button. Otherwise, they will just take their business elsewhere. The sales-to-customer-handoff process can be long and complicated but creating a proper customer onboarding program will provide you with a long-term return on your investment. Here’s how managers like you can excel at customer handoffs.

Use the Right Software

customer relationship management (CRM) system is an essential piece of software that lets you collect all kinds of information about your customers — names, addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, interests, purchasing habits, you name it. 

CRMs are important during customer handoff because these programs provide you with all the information you need for future interactions with customers. This can help reduce customer churn — the number of customers who shop elsewhere after purchasing something from your organization. 

Your CRM will be the bedrock of your customer onboarding strategy and one of the most important tools in the customer handoff process. Without one, you won’t be able to track customers properly as they move through your sales and marketing pipelines. However, using a customer success platform alongside your CRM will generate even better results. Software like SmartKarrot lets you create touchpoints across the customer lifecycle and access valuable intelligence about customers for deeper insights and engagement. 

Send a Follow-Up Email

Customer relationships are like all those friendships you had at college. The longer you don’t talk to your former classmates after you graduate, the harder it is to make contact. This is why it’s important to maintain communication with customers soon after they have completed the sales process. 

Sending out a follow-up email after a customer completes a transaction might sound like a waste of time. The customer has already completed their order, and you’ve received your money. Who cares, at this point? Many customer success managers fail to realize that maintaining customer relationships, however, can boost repeat orders and increase brand loyalty. Just like with your former college friends, you need to persist with these relationships to make them work.

“Customer loyalty often hinges on the quality of communication after the first sale, so businesses that use one-on-one marketing tactics can often build loyalty in areas where competitors fail. By tailoring communications to individual customers, companies can create a comfortable atmosphere that inspires a two-way flow of information that builds loyalty and develops new ways of selling.”

Experience Investigators

As a customer success manager, you don’t need to complicate the follow-up emails. You could thank a customer for their recent purchase and suggest some other products they might like (SmarKarrot will help you decide when’s the best time in the customer lifecycle to send these emails.) The important thing is that you are communicating with customers and keeping awareness of your organization alive.

Segment Your Customers

As a customer success manager, you need to work with your team and segment customers based on factors like age, location, interests, and purchasing habits. This will make it easier to communicate with different groups of customers who share similar behaviors and experiences. 

It’s important to realize that not all customers are the same, so using the same communication methods during handoff can prove fruitless. Using different methods, however, will make it easier for customer success team members to spring into action when a handoff is approaching. This can lead to more sales in the future.

There’s research to back this all up. One study suggests that segmented campaigns generate a 14 percent higher open rate than regular non-segmented campaigns. This is because customers like to receive personalized, targeted messages, not just during the initial sales funnel, but after handoff too. 

“You can create various customer segments based on individual preferences and tailor your communication accordingly. Simple things like personalized product recommendations, discounts, or reminders about their wish lists can make a big difference.”


As a customer success manager, you will be responsible for targeting the right audience, but you can’t implement this alone. This is why it’s imperative to communicate with your sales team on a deep level so they understand your goals and objectives. 

Want to optimize customer handoffs and improve retention in your organization? Customers hate it when they never hear from you again after completing a sale. Using software like SmartKarrot will improve communication across the customer lifecycle so you can engage with customers more effectively.

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Originally Published December 24th, 2019, Updated September 16th, 2020

Rohan Sheth

Rohan has over 11 years of experience in client services, marketing and hospitality field. Previously, he was head of digital marketing for a hi-tech mobile application. Rohan is driven by new challenges and the possibility of making an impact on individuals and businesses.

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2 years ago

Rowan Daniels

I’ve always believed that sending customers a follow-up email is a good idea and shows that you care about your customers. It’s a process we automate but with slight personalization and it works well for us. We’ve started to segment our customers recently too, this is allowing us to target them more effectively and this has been great!

2 years ago

Shona K.

Good point about the follow-up email, they are nice to receive. Not just the transactional email, but a more personal one to say thanks, where to find support and perhaps some usage pointers. Regarding segmenting, this is something I’ve just started myself. I’ve noticed the high open rate already and it’s higher than the 14% average so I’m really happy about that.

2 years ago

Emily Rose

I want to implement a CRM system but I’m not sure what to look for or if they will even be in my price range. I do send follow-up emails though, I’ve always seen it as courtesy and a way to thank them for their continued business. It goes a long way. Customer segmenting is something I’m just taking a look at, it’s a little confusing but necessary to evolve the business.

2 years ago

Bernie Wexford

As our business grows, I’m looking more into tools which could assist the extra workload. A CRM system sounds handy but I don’t know where to find one. Right now only the basics are logged about the customer, purchasing habits and interests would be so helpful. We could use this info to segment and target them more efficiently. I’ll be looking for the perfect software.

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