What I wish I knew when I just started as CSM: Exploring Strategies, Tools & Mindsets

What I wish I knew when I just started as CSM: Exploring Strategies, Tools & Mindsets

Customer Success is important. Investing in new customers is 25x more expensive than retaining existing ones, and 86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience (Forbes). It makes sense why Saas companies are investing greater efforts into nurturing their existing customers! 

Just a few weeks ago (March 2022), EverAfter hosted its first webinar and panel discussion for the Customer Success community. This was a discussion with CS experts from a variety of backgrounds and companies: Jonathan Riftin (Director of Customer Success at Optimove), Mariah Urueta (Scale Customer Success Manager at Gong), Omri Negri (Technical CS team lead at Snyk), & Rachel Jugai (CSM at Mitek).

CSMs are tech-savvy people persons

“I don't think a lot of people 10+ years ago knew what customer success managers did.” | Rachel Jugai, Mitek Systems

Being a CSM requires soft and hard skills. Hard skills are what we learn at university, college, or in other training courses. But, soft skills like empathy, listening, and communication present more challenges. So, companies search and recruit CSMs from all kinds of interesting and different positions and backgrounds. Your soft skills are valued more than what’s on your CV. You’ll learn hard skills on the job, but motivation and character speak for themselves.

Points from the panelists

Mariah had the (seemingly) impossible task of managing over 800 accounts. How is that even manageable!? “I noticed such a huge opportunity… to create a self-serve experience and the importance of a Help Center.” Mariah looked at her company’s practices and did her utmost to optimize their CS practices - assisted by EverAfter’s platform.

“It’s okay to be vulnerable.” | Rachel Jugai, Mitek Systems. Don’t oversell. Don’t overpromise. And if you don’t know the answer, that’s okay! If your customer trusts you when you say “I don’t know,” they’ll trust you when you offer value, advice, and solutions.

“Be humble… Be vulnerable, but don’t lose trust in front of your stakeholders.” Omri Negri | Snyk.  So, what do you say when you don’t know? “Great question. Let me circle back, check it, and get back to you.”

Transparency is important for a reason. The idea of a customer-facing portal that bridges the CSM and the client stood out to Jonathan. Jonathan uses EverAfter which enables him and his team to “create an easy, drag and drop kind of hub and have everything all in one place... That's quite amazing.” He and his team will place all their shared documents, tutorials, educational resources, and recordings there too, making the customer experience seamless.

What now? Attempting a wrap-up

“Be the CEO of your portfolio... And if you have that mindset, then you will care and you will deeply understand every different angle and every aspect of your client's business and their issues.”

Trust. Vulnerability. Empathy. A cool head. These are the qualities of a good CSM.

Every panelist had so much to offer and a wealth of experience to glean from and I highly recommend watching the full recording! Looking forward to seeing you in future sessions!

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