Defining the Customer Success Role

Customer Success is more visible than ever on social. With Twitter/FB/News as content sources, the term “Customer Success” has increased every year since 2012, and 2015 is projected to surpass last year by 45%. So what does this mean for businesses everywhere? We decided it was crucial to understand how Customer Success is perceived and to define that success accurately across our teams.
Our first consideration with Customer Success is: how do clients view customer success?
We dug into social posts, investigating the language people use to explain their understanding. We found that many authors see Customer Success as synonymous with Customer Support — audiences are simply not differentiating between the two. Here is what users believe to be true about CSM teams:
Customer Success is fad

This emerging title doesn’t live up to my expectations 


There seems to be a fundamental break in the understanding between what a Customer Success team member can do, and the type of service a client expects from their CSM.
Users are expecting support from the CSM, which inhibits that representative from building out a successful relationship with the client. If clients perceive these two jobs to be the same, they will always be disappointed when they are not.
How do we bridge the disconnect in understanding the difference between customer service and customer success?
Simply put, we need to be united in the goals of what customer success is, and then share it as frequently as possible so it disseminates effectively.

Tweet it out, preach it out, and make sure the teams that have Customer Success Managers know what the definition of that is. Be confident in that definition, communicate that to the client, and make sure they understand that you are trying to help them be successful. Twitter Lois Martin


Here at Crimson Hexagon, this is how we view the CS role:
“The customer success model is built on proactive customer engagement. The goal is to provide our customers with the correct support at the right time and right level, to help them realize their desired outcomes with Crimson on a short-term, as well as long-term basis.”
By working together as a team to get the word out about the differentiators of these positions, and sharing the power of having a customer success team member on your side, we can overcome these problems that are pervasive in the client relations field.
For deeper analysis on how social currently perceives the Customer Success role, view our full presentation here.

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