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Does it really make sense to hire a teacher for your next customer success role? Let us try and find out through this blog.
Customer success is an industry that is growing by the year. There are new avenues for professionals looking to grow, learn, and excel in their careers. However, there is an issue with who fits the role. Would it be customer service experts, sales professionals, marketing professionals, or anyone else? It is necessary to know what skill set defines customer success. This is why knowing professionals with that skill set will help immensely.
One career that fits in with the customer success role is that of a teacher. There is ample relationship building involved in both roles. There is also a good focus on building a good culture. Teachers would make for great customer success managers, and here are five reasons why.
There are a lot of similarities between customer success roles and teachers. Teachers have skills that will help them transition to the role of customer success.
Teachers plan in advance what they will teach, how students will be graded, which part of the syllabus needs to be completed, and more. The teaching plans or lesson plans are what teachers follow to finish the syllabus for students.
Similarly, customer success plans are detailed paths that customer success managers need to adhere to for success and goal achievement. These customer success plans have a detailed roadmap, including key goals, challenges, objectives, milestones, and more. The customer success plan is one that needs to address the specific goals of customers. Customer success teams create the customer success plan to meet standards and goals. Customer success plans are also reviewed and adjusted from time to time.
Customer success managers and teachers deal with multiple people at all levels. A teacher has to deal with students, staff, senior management, curriculum changes, etc. Also, each student grasps differently and has a different learning style. This is one area where they need to deal with multiple layers of people.
This is similar to how customer success managers have to deal with customers from different industries. If two customers are in the same industry, the chances of them having similar goals are also limited. The stakeholders for customer success managers include sales teams, marketing teams, customers, customer success leaders, and more. The customer success manager communicates on a regular basis with multiple stakeholders and connects with them.
Customer success managers need to assess the health scores of customers. It is a big part of their role and responsibility. Customer success managers need to assess customer health scores whether it is any of them – red, green, or amber. These customer health scores show how the customer is performing. The CSM judges customers on how they use the product. CSMs review health scores to see customers who are failing. This will give them insights into which customers might need to be engaged better.
Teachers also have scores and assess how students are performing. Teachers need to determine how students are performing for their curriculum as it is an important deliverable. This can be done in certain intervals – quarterly, half-yearly, or annually.
Teachers and customer success managers have similar terms while measuring success in their SaaS business. These metrics help measure their respective segments- SaaS business and school. Customer success managers also need to measure business success periodically. Terms like Net Revenue Retention and Lexile are similar in terms of productivity. Each of them is used to measure success and customer or student retention. Another similarity in terms is how SaaS businesses have quarterly business review for SaaS business. For teachers, the terms include parent-teacher meetings, or student meetings. Parent-teacher meetings are when all stakeholders are met and reviewed. In QBR or executive business meetings, business leaders come together to get an overall idea of how all teams performto achieve goals and objectives.
In the field of customer success, onboarding is a huge factor. Onboarding is considered to be the hand-off from sales and is like inducting the customer into the product. This is a big deal since the customer gets an idea of the product – what it looks like, is given an activation formula, and more. There are a bunch of resources and ‘how-to’ guides to cover. The CS team needs to connect with new customers and understand their motivations.
For teachers, the process is similar. Teachers meet and greet a bunch of students every year. Teachers need to onboard students regularly into their learning materials, curriculum, and practices. This includes activities like sports, breaks, and how homework is structured in the school. These nitty-gritty details make a prominent part of the onboarding process.
The CS industry needs professionals who understand how customers feel and have ideas on improving customer experience – just like how teachers look to improve the student experience. The CSM needs to plan differently for each customer and create processes that match their flow. Just like CSMs are responsible for customers, teachers are responsible for students.16
TeachersCustomer Success ManagersNeed to be strong, creative, and organizedNeed to be disciplined, willed, and responsibleMust be good with communicationExcellent communication skillsNeeds to understand students to help them achieve the best results academicallyMust help customers to reach their respective goals that were plannedNeeds to be supportive and take student feedback seriouslyNeeds to keep customer feedback in mind while planning
Teachers and customer success managers are similar in keeping the focus on their respective departments – teaching and customer success. It is important to notice how their areas of interest and responsibilities overlap. Both roles need the involved to be learned, empathetic, and communicative. Hiring a teacher as a customer success manager is an easy transition and can be considered.
Stanley Deepak is an accomplished sales and marketing professional with 15+ years of experience. He loves tech products and book reading. He writes on philosophy and culture on LinkedIn.
Published June 14, 2022, Updated March 02, 2023
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