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Customer Success Management (CSM): What you need to know

In this blog post, we’ll explore what is CSM, what are the 5 fundamental principles of CSM, the role of a Customer Success Manager, and how to measure the success of the CSM program.

First introduced by tech companies, Customer Success Management (CSM) finds its way (and rightly so) into every customer-centered business. Businesses of all sizes have embraced CSM in an attempt to increase retention, revenue, and Customer Lifetime Value.

Let’s start from the top.

What is CSM, exactly?

Customer Success Management (CSM) is the practice of managing customer relationships to maximize customer satisfaction and the value they get from a product or service.

The goal of CSM is to take proactive actions to reduce problems customers may experience with a brand – which helps increase customer loyalty and improve a company’s bottom line. It involves a variety of activities and processes, including onboarding, training, guidance, customer support, and customer feedback.

The 5 fundamental principles of CSM

Below are the five pillars of customer success management that you should know:

  1. Focus on the customer: Creating a customer-focused culture and ensuring that you tailor each interaction with customers to meet their individual needs.
  2. Proactive engagement: CSM involves proactively reaching out to customers to understand their needs and help them achieve their goals.
  3. Collaboration: Customer success management involves collaboration between the customer, Customer Success Managers, and other teams within the company, such as product development and sales.
  4. Monitoring and measuring success: Measuring success through regularly monitoring key metrics will help identify areas where customers may be struggling.
  5. Continuous improvement: CSM should be seen as an ongoing process rather than a one-time project. This includes continuously measuring performance indicators such as retention rates and satisfaction scores.
A woman presenting and writing on a whiteboard with four attentive female colleagues listening in an office environment.

How does a Customer Success Manager (CSM) role fit in?

The role of a Customer Success Manager is to ensure the implementation of  CSM practices. They act as the customers’ voice, cultivating strong customer relationships, and demonstrating that they have their best interests at heart.

Aside from good soft skills, Customer Success Managers must have a strong understanding of the product or service they are selling in order to provide knowledgeable support when needed.

    Think of CS Managers as a combination of white-glove support and sales experts. 

    Customer Success Manager roles and responsibilities:

    • Onboarding of new customers, which includes educating the customer about the product’s features and functionality, defining specific goals, and providing customers with everything they need to be successful and complete those goals.
    • Providing support and guidance to customers to help them get the most value out of the company’s products or services.
    • Responding to customer inquiries and concerns in a timely and professional manner.
    • Identifying and addressing potential issues that may impact customer satisfaction.
    • Upselling and cross-selling the product.
    • Collaborating with other teams within the company to resolve customer issues and identify opportunities for improvement.
    • Analyzing customer data to identify trends and opportunities for improvement.
    • Developing and implementing customer success plans and programs.
    • Acting as the Voice of the Customer and fostering solid relationships with customers.
    • Collecting feedback and reporting on the effectiveness of customer success initiatives.
    • Building and maintaining solid relationships with customers to encourage loyalty and retention.

    Customer Success Manager traits:

    • Can sympathize with customers and prioritize their needs while establishing long-term ties that go beyond simple rapport.
    • Is adaptable to changing customer needs and expectations, and able to identify and implement solutions quickly.
    • Possesses customer-facing experience, especially in support or sales.
    • Has a thorough understanding of the product, its value, and the results it produces.
    • A proactive and strategic thinker that anticipates future trends.
    • Great leadership, analytical acumen, and problem-solving skills.
    • Strong communication, organizational analysis, and solution focus.
    • Ability to handle stress.

    Measuring the success of your CSM Program

    One way to measure the effectiveness of the CSM program is to track key metrics such as:

    • Customer Effort Score (CES) measures how much effort is put in by customers to interact with the business.
    • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) calculates a customer’s total worth to your organization over the course of their relationship with you.
    • Engagement Rate measures the level of interaction and engagement of a group of people with a particular product, service, or organization.
    • Retention Rate measures how many customers continue to use a product, service, or organization over a certain period of time.
    • Net Renewal Rate measures how many customers renew their use of a product, service, or organization over a certain period of time.
    • Customer Health Score reflects the overall well-being of a company’s customer base. It is often used to identify customers who may be at risk of churning or stopping their use of a company’s products or services.
    • Customer Satisfaction Score measures how satisfied customers are with a company’s products or services. It is typically calculated using customer feedback, which can be gathered through surveys, interviews, or other forms of customer research.
    • Expansion Revenue is the additional revenue generated by existing customers as they increase their use of a company’s products or services.
    • Onboarding Engagement Rate measures the level of interaction and engagement of new customers or users with a product, service, or organization during the onboarding process.
    • Daily Active Users (DAU) and Monthly Active Users (MAU) measure the percentage of a company’s user base that is active daily and monthly.

    Depending on the goals of the customer success program and the specific needs of the organization, there might be other, more relevant metrics to be tracked. To evaluate the effectiveness of the program, carefully choose the essential metrics and track them over time.

    How FrontLogix can help

    Do you require the services of an experienced Customer Success Manager?

    FrontLogix is a BPO specializing in customer experience (CX) and can assist you with skilled Customer Success Managers to track specific customer KPIs. Above all, we sincerely care about keeping your current subscriber base, exceeding their expectations, and adding additional delighted consumers.

    Omnichannel vs. Multichannel Customer Interactions

    Probably the most truthful adage today is that just about anything is only a few clicks away. A new pair of Air Maxes? Click. Feeling like Thai food tonight? Click. That customer support agent wasn’t helpful? Click and unsubscribe. After all, why should they stay loyal to a business when there are tons of others that can provide them with the products and experiences they seek?

    Today’s society has evolved into a digitally omnipresent system, with tons of information and options available at our fingertips. Convenience and instant gratification have become the cornerstones of customer expectations.

    No matter whether your business is looking for a purchase, sign-up, or booking, 80% of customers say the experience a company provides is just as necessary as its products or services (source). In order to improve user experience and foster long-term relationships, understanding customer communication touchpoints is crucial.

    What is a Multichannel Interaction?

    Multichannel interaction means customers interact with a business through multiple direct and indirect communication channels – websites, applications, email, social media, etc., as opposed to a single-channel interaction.

    Why should you adopt (at least) a Multichannel Approach?

    As today’s customers spend more time on product/service research and have more options to choose from, they have much more control over the buying process than marketers do. Thanks to the rapid increase of available channels, customers are now everywhere. And so are your competitors. If that is not a good enough reason, consider this: customers who use multiple channels spend three to four times more than single-channel customers.

    call center agents working multichannel

    What is Omnichannel and why is it better than a Multichannel Approach?

    As discussed in the Next-Generation CX & Omnichannel Support blog post,  the omnichannel approach, just like its multichannel counterpart, involves a variety of channels. The key difference between the two is the focal point of the marketing strategy. Omnichannel revolves around the customer and their experience, while multichannel is centered around placing the product or service in front of as many customers as possible. With a multichannel approach, although the customer interacts with a brand on several channels, those interactions are siloed – every channel operates independently, without interconnectivity or data sharing with others.

    With the omnichannel experience, the interactions from various channels are integrated into a single experience – so when your customer abandons a cart on a shopping platform, they see an ad for that item on social media. And they can seamlessly continue the conversation with customer support from an app to email, from chat to phone call, without having to explain their issue from the start.

    With an omnichannel approach, the customer is truly king. Putting them in the driver’s seat can serve as a brand differentiator, resulting in increased customer trust and better user experience. The advantages of centralized data, cohesive brand strategy, improved inventory turnover, and increased agent productivity lead to increased revenue.

    6 simple yet powerful strategies to improve customer retention

    Can you remember the last time you re-engaged with your customers and tried to win them back?

    These strategies will do exactly that and more.

    Takeaway:

    To stay on top, your business should be everywhere your customers are. And since customer experience is extremely valuable to any business or organization, it should always be a priority. With this in mind, an omnichannel approach consistently outperforms a simple multichannel approach, giving customers more autonomy and making your operations more efficient and informed.

    What are Liquid Customer Service Expectations, and how to meet them?

    What are liquid customer service expectations?

    Long gone are the days when “Great Expectations” was just a Charles Dickens novel.

    In the past, competition in business was primarily defined by companies selling products or services directly comparable to yours. However, the landscape is changing. Now, it’s about how well businesses are meeting or exceeding customer expectations, shaped significantly by their interactions across various sectors.

    Today’s customer service expectations are influenced not just by direct competitors, but also by experiences with companies from entirely different industries. Tech giants like Apple, Airbnb, Uber, and others have redefined what an excellent customer experience looks like. They’ve set a new standard not just within their own industries but across all business sectors, introducing us to the concept of experiential competitors.

    Let’s delve into the liquid customer expectations definition: This concept implies that customers’ expectations are fluid and extend beyond industry boundaries.

    For example, a guest may expect the check-in process at a local hotel to be as seamless as their experience at a major airport like LAX. If a business fails to deliver an efficient, hassle-free experience, customers may associate that negative experience with the brand, impacting their perception and loyalty.

    In essence, businesses today are competing in a field where exceeding customer expectations is vital, irrespective of the industry.

    The definition of customer expectations has broadened, encompassing the best experiences customers have had anywhere. For any company looking to stay competitive, it’s crucial to understand this shift and strive to create customer experiences that are not just good for the industry—but are outstanding on a global standard.

    well-trained and knowledgeable call agents

    Mastering Liquid Expectations: A Guide to Exceeding Customer Expectations

    Self-service and AI-assisted support:

    Meeting and even exceeding customer expectations often starts with self-service and AI-assisted support. Customers generally believe that finding solutions themselves is quicker than contacting customer service. However, this can lead to frustration if self-service options are not up to par. According to a Nuance study, 58% of customers cannot resolve their issues through self-service.

    Investing in agent expertise:

    When it comes to customer expectations,, the competence of your agents is a key factor. If self-service tools don’t cut it, customers expect your agents to effectively step in. The ability of agents to resolve issues efficiently plays a huge role in exceeding customer expectations. Training your agents well is not just an operational expense; it’s an investment in meeting customer service expectations.

    Human-to-human connection:

    Despite the advancements in AI and automation, they can’t fully replicate the impact of a genuine human interaction. In many cases, customer expectations include the desire for empathy and understanding that only human agents can provide. This human-to-human connection is vital in building trust.

    Responsiveness:

    A Stella Connect survey shows that response time matters most when it comes to customer service. Consider investing in agent tools and training that resolve customer issues quickly and efficiently and keep customer effort scores low.

    Adopt an omnichannel customer experience:

    Omnichannel support provides a seamless journey and offers a unified experience to each customer. Every customer service channel is linked, data is centralized, responses are streamlined, and customer effort is reduced.

    6 simple yet powerful strategies to improve customer retention

    Can you remember the last time you re-engaged with your customers and tried to win them back?

    These strategies will do exactly that and more.

    Takeaway

    At the end of the day, your customer is comparing the experience you deliver with all other service organizations they interact with, not just your industry competitors. Investing in your agents and technology is your best step toward meeting customers’ liquid expectations. How do you compare with today’s tech pioneers?

    Frontlogix provides intelligent, trained, and equipped representatives alongside automation solutions to pick up the conversation at any point. We’ll also help provide an in-depth analysis of your customer’s decision-making process. Together,  we’ll understand their choices and suggest ways to optimize and improve to meet their needs better. Get in touch.

    Happy customer

    Next-Generation CX: Rethinking, Reshaping, and Putting the Customer at the Center

    The truth is – Millennials and Generation Z are constantly bombarded with marketing messages. They have more options than ever before, and slowly but steadily, traditional marketing methods are dying off.

    Brand loyalty, defined by how customers value their interactions and experience with a brand, trumps brand marketing.

    This calls for a shift in how the customer journey is perceived. The key here is to look at the digital strategy through the lens of customer experience. Customers expect businesses to understand their individual tastes and preferences and interact with them as individuals. A personalized customer experience delivers tailored offers, products, and messages to each individual. Companies should focus their efforts on end-to-end customer journeys that are powered digitally but driven personally.

    The reshaped future starts with a shift to digital-first, customer-centered engagement while reimagining the roles of customer care agents.

    Two males laughing at a co-working space

    When it comes to digitalization, AI has proven its worth throughout the customer journey, enabling proactive self-service in the form of chatbots, voice assistants, extended reality, etc. AI tools are also essential for gathering data, analyzing sentiment, and identifying patterns and trends in how customers interact with a company.

    But, don’t fully digitalize the customer service just yet.

    While AI-enhanced self-service can handle simple, repetitive tasks, human agents are still essential for more complex issues.  Human agents understand compassion and can show empathy in resolving problems and handling complaints. According to a PwC study, 59 % of all consumers believe businesses have lost touch with the human element of Customer Experience.

    In addition to modernizing tools, organizations can successfully humanize engagement by demonstrating flexibility and understanding. We are witnessing a reshaping of customer service practices in companies with high customer satisfaction rates. They are adopting a more adaptable approach in the way they assist their customers. According to Salesforce, 83% of agents at these high-performing companies have received training on how to be empathetic with customers, tossing aside the dated, unengaging, scripted approach. 88% say they have clear guidelines for changing their approach with customers, and 86% say management encourages them to be flexible  – numbers nearly double that of agents from underperforming companies.

    Although customer satisfaction is still THE most important KPI tracked by leading companies, a relatively new success metric — customer effort — is now climbing the list. It measures the amount of time and number of steps customers take to find an answer or solution.

    Reduced customer effort leads to higher customer satisfaction. According to statistics, measuring the ease of use of a business’s product or service is a better criterion for measuring customer loyalty than directly measuring the Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT).

    As discussed in the Next-Gen Customer Service blog post , modern contact centers support a variety of digital channels. Yet, most of them lack the ability to provide a non-siloed, seamless journey over multiple digital touchpoints. A unified omnichannel experience reduces customer effort, increasing customer satisfaction, and loyalty.

    6 simple yet powerful strategies to improve customer retention

    Can you remember the last time you re-engaged with your customers and tried to win them back?

    These strategies will do exactly that and more.


    Reshape next-gen CX by providing a truly omnichannel experience. Offer AI-enhanced self-service combined with human agents’ flexibility and empathy can reduce customer effort and lead to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. FrontLogix is committed to being a thought leader in this space and delivering relevant, personalized solutions so our clients can implement the next-gen customer experience they deserve. Get in touch.