Customer Success | 5 MIN READ

Top 7 Traits of a Great Customer Success Leader!

To become a great Customer Success Leader, you need some exceptional traits that do all the talking. Here are 7 must-have traits to excel as a CS leader.

Simran Mohanty
Simran Mohanty
May 21, 2020


It is possible getting the right Customer Success Leader might be more than just a cakewalk. As they come from a variety of backgrounds, it can be difficult to skim the one who is just about right.

To save you all the extra efforts, here is a list of such traits that one sees in an excellent Customer Success Leader. All of these are tried and tested. Let us begin.

A Team Sport for All

As a Customer Success Leader, you will be knowing that client success generates only out of team support. It takes combined efforts from various departments such as engineering, marketing, sales, product, and customer service to pull out an effective team.

customer success leader

It is of high pertinence that you learn the tactful skill of working with all these groups together as fast as you can. Having a lack of unity from any of these teams may lead to a break in the after all relay race of the company.

Expert to the Rescue

Nowadays, it is becoming crucial for companies to dig up imminent leaders in the market they serve. Customer Success Leadership plays a pivotal role in this context.

Simply put, hiring those individuals who already have a good experience doing the jobs that the clients do, are highly in demand. There is nothing more powerful than delving into best practices brought out by the personal experience with the clients.

Now you might be wondering that it is always not possible to hire individuals with the highest experience in this particular domain. Yes, that is true!

But you can at least hire someone who can absolutely immerse themselves into the job role. Either by forming a community or by taking to the social media or maybe by building a personal brand around the market domain.

Data on fingertips

It accounts for a basic requirement expected from a Customer Success Leader. It is obvious that you will be dealing with a huge volume of data, more like an everyday affair.

As Alex Turnbull, CEO, Turnbull rightly quotes it, “Great customer success leadership means setting an example for your team. Even when managing takes up most of your schedule, block off time to talk to customers. And show your team what you mean when you hand down directives. It’s so much more powerful — and action-inspiring — to see a leader actually do something, than to just hear them tell you to do it.”

It is highly expected of you to be comfortable with quick data analysis and findings. You must always be in a position to derive valuable insights which can later fuel growth to the company.

While the data stays at your fingertips, it is very convenient to point out the areas of concern easily. This can also allow the team to take in new facets and include suggestions. And can help the company to get a higher edge over the rest of the competition.

Needless to say, Time Management

Knowing the best ways to manage time is useful to every individual on planet Earth. When it simmers down to the business of this particular industry, it takes a notch up.

To do all the data and staff management, customer success leadership will demand some serious time management skills, coupled with organization and maintenance. As a matter of fact, every key SaaS metric will be needing it.

In order to manage the whole team and keep the clients satisfied. It is much needed by the Customer Success Leader to peruse into the vital traits of time management.

Yes to Relational Intelligence

Although a relatively newer concept, it is of much importance to any given SaaS. It is useful to form individualized connections and maintain a rapport with the clients. For this, you can take some time out and try to build a relationship with co-workers and customers alike.

It is these relations that may come to help to bridge a gap that was earlier caused due to any of the personal or service gaps. As the term states, it is a rather intelligent move on behalf of the customer success leader.

Instant Decision Making Skill

As a customer success leader, you must know the subtle art to distinguish between a client’s need and want. It is possible that a client might demand something very specific to your product that may not align with your vision metrics.

Be careful when you deal with a situation like that. As it is a delicate situation where you do not wish to lose the client but then you have your company’s policy too to take into consideration.

Dig into the details of the situation and understand what the customer trying to say. Understanding the root of the need can determine whether the request aligns with the current vision and mission of the company. And just in case, it is not, it is time to make an intelligent choice.

Problem Solving Mind Set

You might just bump into a pile of disconnected or complex data, every now and then but you must inculcate a problem-solving mindset to seal the deal. A strategic mindset backed by solid data is going to take you a long way.

This will also include conducting troubleshoots and creating a map of changes as per the customer’s needs. A well-perceived idea can convince stakeholders to use customer success software to increase retention and reduce churn to a large extent.  

Final Take

It is a known fact that hiring a customer success leader can be a daunting task. But it is not impossible to find the right candidates who will crush it with a boom.

Before you begin on the journey to find the suitable one, carefully define the traits that you are looking for, the job description of the company, etc. Hire a candidate who has the 3 A’s – Accountability, Adaptability and Attitude. You will need all three as your company grows and your role scales.

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Originally Published May 21st, 2020, Updated December 30th, 2020

Simran Mohanty

Simran Mohanty

Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her 'gift of the gab' to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens. You can connect with her on LinkedIn here.

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