I imagine that when you read or hear ‘Customer Success Manager’ for the first time you probably draw a blank, assume it is a different way of saying customer service, or, if you can, Google it.
I’ll admit that even I Googled ‘what is customer success?’ in true Ask Jeeves fashion at the beginning of the interview process. It was not a phrase I had heard of before and even after researching it a bit, I still did not fully comprehend customer success – as a role, team, or concept.
It wasn’t until the end of my first 3-month training that I felt like I finally understood what a Customer Success Manager really meant – and that understanding grew, and continues to grow every day in my role as Senior Customer Success Manager at IAM Cloud.
Customer Success is a new team at IAM Cloud. Myself and Victoria, the Head of Customer Success, have spent the last 6 months building new processes and brainstorming hundreds of ideas on how to give our customers the best service possible. While you can expect more improvements to roll out in the future, the first big change is, in addition to having 24/7 technical support, every customer will have an assigned Customer Success Manager.
Since this may be the first time some our customers have heard of the term, or ever had a Customer Success Manager, I want to help further the understanding in the same way I learned: by experiencing the job itself.
That being said, my friend who is a Senior Customer Success Manager at a leading SaaS company in Washington D.C., told me repeatedly through my training that there is no typical day for a CSM. This was a sentiment that I echoed when I answered questions from prospective colleagues, and from curious friends and family. It is also what I echo to you now – I don’t have a typical day. The only thing that stays the same day-to-day is that every item on my to-do list is prioritised with the customer needs coming first. Does that directly affect a customer? No – okay bump that down. Will doing that improve the customer’s experience immediately? Yes – okay move that to top.
I am constantly shuffling tasks and calls to make sure every one of my customers has the best experience possible. I hope a glimpse into just one of my ‘non-typical days’, helps you, and our IAM Cloud customers, have a better understanding of what it’s like to be a CSM.
07:51 – During my 30-minute train ride, I check emails on my phone to scan for urgent issues before getting to office. If there is an urgent or high priority issue, I start pinging the appropriate team members so it’s the first thing they see when they get in to the office. If it’s a slow email morning, I’m usually on Twitter, where I follow a number of customer success thought leaders and tools.
08:45 – Arrival at IAM HQ laden with a Tesco bag full of lunch and probably crumpets, Diet Coke in hand. I quickly cobble together breakfast (full disclosure: sometimes it’s a sausage and egg McMuffin) and continue working through emails. I like to make sure I respond to customer emails within 24 hours, meaning USA customers get the priority first thing in the morning to ensure they have a response in their inbox when they come in around my lunchtime.
09:30 – Follow up on support tickets that were being worked on for my customers the day before, and escalate where needed. While my job is not technical support, my goal is to make sure customers are receiving the best service possible from IAM Cloud.
10:30 – Review progress for my customers currently in the onboarding stage. I meet with the onboarding engineers, Justin and Danny, to get their status on the offline configuration work, and reach out to customers when needed.
11:30 – Initial onboarding call with a new customer. My favourite bit. I love the energy of these calls are there so many possibilities and avenues to explore.
12:30 - Lunch at my desk catching up on emails or working on new CSM processes. On the rare occasion it is sunny, I like to stretch my legs and let the creative juices flow with a trip to the shops.
13:00 – Service review with existing customer. Now I know my customers we can really focus on what is important to them and as I’ve found every customer wants something slightly different.
14:00 – Customer Experience Team meeting to review progress of onboardings, critical issues that need escalating, and any other urgent or high priority issues.
15:00 – Weekly ticket review with one of my American customers. Regular ticket reviews are an option available on one of the premium support offerings. I find weekly meetings helpful for my large customers, or customers who have on-going projects or new implementations with IAM Cloud, because it allows us to touch base on a regular basis to ensure continued success.
15:30 – Project review call with another one of my American customers. This gives me chance to find out what’s going on in my home country…as well as check on the progress of an IAM Cloud deployment.
16:00 – Research and development of new procedures and processes for Customer Experience and Customer Success teams. Right now, a lot of time is spent on making sure we leverage our new CRM system in the best way, and that we have all the resources we need to continue to grow and serve our customers better.
17:00 – Follow up on daily progress of support tickets and update customers where necessary.
18:02 – Train home (unless I’m off to the gym). A great time to reflect on the day and kick back with some deep house beats (or my guilty pleasure, Taylor Swift).