How to Build a Career in Customer Success

In this article, we discuss what Customer Success is, the skills you need, the responsibilities and how to get started in your Customer Success career.

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Customer success is a relatively new term, mostly used within Tech and SaaS companies to describe the team responsible for building and maintaining relationships with clients. Account managers are a similar role. Working with clients is an integral part of any company, being able to build and manage those relationships will determine the reputation and success of the business and its product, which is why more organisations across the globe are looking for individuals to fulfil this role.

The definition of customer success is “the process of increasing customers' satisfaction while using a product or service. Customer success is a specialised form of customer relationship management.” – Ultimately, the end goal for a customer success manager is to ensure clients are happy with a product and getting the most out of it. Client facing roles take a lot of energy and learning, and any previous customer service experience is integral for a success role. Customer service is typically seen as providing assistance to customers (new or returning) in a one-off instance, whereas customer success would be providing an ongoing support and maintenance of a professional relationship.

What Skills Do You Need for a Customer Success Role?

There are a lot of integral skills you can learn within any customer Service role, hospitality or retail included, any role where you are interacting with customers on behalf of a business. Roles that are face to face, whether B2B or B2C, have some advantages in comparison to connecting and getting to know someone through phone calls and/or emails.

There may also be a part of sales tied into customer service or success roles, alongside product and industry knowledge. Being able to understand the needs and wants of a client, and how you can support them ongoing, comes side by side with selling a product or service. People skills, organisation skills and complaints handling are great skills to have, and you can learn these from any role working with customers. They are transferable into so many roles, and progression can be endless – for example, you can move into direct sales, marketing or managing a team.

Why Is Customer Success Important?

Supporting and keeping contact and connection with clients is integral to the growth and sustainability of a company. If you are providing a service or product, your clients are going to need to know there is someone there to support and guide from the start. This is also where the element of sales come into the role, showing WHY your clients need your product/service, and more importantly – how they can achieve their goals using it.

Building a relationship with your clients is the most important, a good working relationship will not only help your reputation in the long run, but ensure clients are happy with your product and want to continue using it.

What Responsibilities Does a Customer Success Team Have?

A customer success team is vital to develop strategies to keep clients engaged and happy, pass on feedback for improvements and help develop your product. They will be working directly with your clients to help them get the best of your product, so they will know first-hand what improvements need to be made, alongside what demand there is for new features or changes.

Within your customer success role, you will also be responsible for updating the administrative records with deals, client information, and progress on new leads. Working directly with the sales team, the CS role is to maintain and build on relationships that have been initially formed from sales. Communication is very important within this role, not only with clients, but with the other teams within your organisation also, having all the information is important to ensuring you can help your client use the product to the most potential, and get them the results they need.

Where to Start?

There are plenty of opportunities to get customer service experience which will help pave the way to customer success roles. Hospitality is an option, or retail, anywhere that can give you experience working with people!

There are many forms of customer service and customer success, you will find roles within plenty of tech companies, from start-ups to well established and larger brands. LinkedIn has plenty of job roles advertised, as does Indeed. A quick google search will give you plenty of options for different roles you can apply for.

Whether you have background experience or not, it’s recommended to continuously brush up on your skills, especially if you’re just starting your career. There are a wide range of courses and training available, no matter your budget. Free online webinars, training with the open university and courses related to the topic are all great options to help you develop the skills you need.

If you want to get a head start in your career success career, find a mentor to help you progress, develop and grow. A mentor is there to offer you guidance, helping you overcome any challenges you face and helping you develop the skills you need to get started in your career success role. When it comes to mentoring, there are a number of ways you can find a mentor, from using LinkedIn to asking friends and family. You can also sign up to PushFar’s platform, where there are currently over 100,000 professionals looking to mentor, be a mentee, or do both.

This article was guest written by Holly Baker, Head of Customer Success at PushFar.

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