Understanding Customer Success: What It Takes To Be Successful
Updated: Nov 24, 2019
It takes a unique personality to succeed in customer success. You need the resilience of sales, the versatility of operations, and the analytical skills of marketing. The people that work in customer success are in a day to day struggle to retain more customers and anticipate more problems. A certain set of skills is needed to do that efficiently.
This adjective isn't used in business that often but it does apply to customer success reps. Identifying problems, whether it's through the phone or by analyzing data, is the first step in helping the customer achieve what they want. Observing a situation or block of information and being able to dial in on the pain points or product flaws is imperative to fostering a happy customer.
A customer success rep helps buyers feel comfortable by speaking with confidence. This confidence stems from knowing the product and software platform thoroughly. A good customer success rep never implies they have to outsource to find a solution because they know the product just as well, if not better, than anyone else. Good product knowledge also means understanding the customer situation and how the product caters to it.
Having interpersonal skills is a must. Making those buyer-seller interactions meaningful and sincere so a customer knows that their problems are your problems. A good CS rep makes the customer feel like their success is more important than making a profit. Empathy is needed for this. Communication within the business is also important. Every department should know what they can do to help the customer success team make the customer succeed.
This is more of a hard skill. Different companies use different CRM softwares like Hubspot, Gainsight, or Totango. There is always a learning curve when switching softwares. However, if a customer success associate puts in the time and effort to efficiently gain an understanding of what the platform can do, they should be able to relate using one software with another because of that inclination to tech.
Customer success requires a positive mindset. 0% churn rates and a 100% happy customer base is unrealistic. The technology affiliated with customer success is always changing. But the better a CS department can identify problems, understand the solutions, and communicate, the more of an edge they will have on the competition and their ability to grow as a company.