Enable Customer Success Managers to Actually Do Something

Customer Success Managers should be able to do something for the customer.

This probably sounds ridiculous (and it should), but hear me out on this…

I was an account manager for a larger software company. I reached out to accounts and took requests, but here was the kicker: I personally couldn’t help the customer with 90% of their requests/issues. The software was too technical for an account manager to be involved- I didn’t have access to billing, training, or anything support related. So when customers gave me a request, I pushed it to someone else, and then I followed up with that person until I could get what I needed.

Here’s the problem- every degree of separation creates a breaking point in the information chain. Anytime you need to email or instant message someone for information, you create a potential delay. The delay could be just a few seconds, or it could be a few days if someone is out of town or if they just “miss” your email. The more breaks you have in a system, the longer the delay can become.

Now the customer doesn’t realize what is going on in the background- all they experience is an extremely long wait for what they thought was a simple request. If you want to deliver exceptional value and build massive loyalty, a quick response is a step in the right direction.

So how can you fix these “breaks”?

Enable customer success managers to do things

Give your customer success managers the power to fix problems, update billing information, and any other value-add service that isn’t too technical. This reduces break points and enables the customer success manager to react quickly to a request.

Give customer success managers access to information

It may not always be possible to have customer success managers do everything. Some technical products require a specialized team for support. If that is the case, give customer success managesr as much access to information as possible. If the customer success manager needs to put in a request to a technical team, use a ticketing system so the customer success manager can get updates which can be passed onto the customer. If your customer schedules training with you, then give your customer success manager access to the calendar so that they can quickly set up dates.

If you can eliminate breaks in the process, then you can deliver a better experience to your customers and drive more loyalty.

At the end of the day “I took care of that for you” or “Here’s the information you requested” goes a lot farther than “I’ll pass that along” or “I’ll look into that”.

How do you manage customer requests that are outside of the scope of a customer success manager? I’d appreaciate hearing your feedback.

Thanks for reading.