5 Relatable Struggles Your Customer Success Manager Has and How to Tackle Them

by Chris Arringdale Customer Success

Customer success is considered a fairly new concept to both employees and customers alike. Because it’s still such a fresh idea, as a customer success manager, you’re likely still working to fully understand how to develop an effective customer success strategy and iron out the kinks of the challenges you face. With 76% of customers saying they expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, it’s essential that you address your customer success challenges sooner rather than later.

It’s no question that all customer success managers have faced many struggles in their careers. To help you combat them, we’ve got a top-five rundown of how to handle the most common customer success struggles. By tackling your obstacles head-on, you’ll feel exceptionally confident and ready to take on new and exciting tasks as a customer success manager, transforming your relationships with clients — and, your business’s growth as a result.

  1. 1. Prioritization

Your Brand Advocates

As harsh as it may sound, some of your customers are more important than others. While every single one of your customers serves as a staple to your business’s development, it’s essential to make your top-engaged customers a priority. To determine who your most valuable customers are, make a list; take a look at their purchase history and whether or not they have referred anyone to your business. Those that frequently spend money on your product or service and have referred at least a couple of other customers have proven their dedication to your business. Because this group of customers is evidently satisfied with what you’ve done for them, you must ensure that you keep them smiling. To lose these ‘brand advocates’ can be detrimental to your company’s image.

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Hungry Leads

Another group that you must prioritize are those you consider leads. They aren’t customers yet, so you’re still in the process of proving to them that you’re a great investment. They’re starving for knowledge and proof that using your product or service is the right choice for them. The moment they reach out, you should jump on their inquiry and respond as quickly as possible. Focus on relationship-building throughout your conversation, rather than throwing an overwhelming amount of information at them.

The Not-So-Happy Ones

Regardless of how outstanding your customer success team is, there will always be angry customers — no matter how serious the issue at hand is. This may seem shocking, but this group of customers should also be prioritized. They require closer attention and a greater amount of time than many of your other customers. To find which ones should be categorized into this group, look at your call or chat history with customers; those who spent a great deal of time on the phone with you or a rep most likely require more attention. Update their info in your CRM so the rest of your team knows how to approach communications with them.

When these groups of customers have a problem or reach out with a question, go above and beyond by providing them with exceptional, timely customer service. Remember, as a customer success manager, you are responsible for building relationships with all of your clients/customers.

2. Listening

Listening is a two-way street when operating a business. As a customer success manager, you must learn how to carefully listen to your customer needs. And, they must learn how to listen to the advice you give them — which they’re able to do, so long as you earn their trust.

When speaking with your customers, you need to activate your communication toolbox. You’re not there to simply say sorry then give them a discount of some sort and move on. Rather, you’re there to evaluate the details of their issue and come up with a well-laid-out plan to solve the problem. By addressing the customer’s specific needs, providing a solution, and remaining calm and collected, your customer is highly likely to be satisfied. A happy customer means a happy business.

3. Managing Expectations

Customers can sometimes expect way more than a business is capable of giving them. Customers might ask for something completely over the top because they have no idea what to expect from you. So, it’s crucial to lay down the foundation from the very first day of their customer journey. Unsure how to do this without coming off as sour? Here are a few effective, yet reasonable things you can give your customers:

  • A few well-thought-out options: Explaining that you understand their issue is step one. Following this, provide them with a few detailed solutions — making it clear that they have to choose one of those. The customer will then understand that there are only a select number of options and not expect anything out of the ordinary.
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  • Transparency and Timeliness: Always remain transparent. This should be clear on your company values webpage and within all of your customer communications. When working on a customer issue that will take time, be honest with them. Give them a realistic, detailed timeline.
  • Follow-up: Check up on them frequently. This is a key way of proving that you haven’t forgotten about them and truly care about their needs. Make sure they’re satisfied with how things were resolved.

4. Feedback and Customer Pain Points

Way back at the beginning of your customer’s buyer journey, they had pain points that they were trying to rid, which is when they found and decided to do business with you. In order for your business to continue thriving, customer success managers have to keep meeting the demands of your customer base. Without them, your company would be doomed. Every so often, take the time to sit down with your team and reevaluate what your customer’s pain points are. Talk to your customers and do some research; look at online reviews, send out some surveys, and make some phone calls. Are their needs still being met by your product or service, or do you need to adjust some aspects of it? So long as you stay up-to-date on what your customers are craving, your customer success strategy will bring in your desired results.

5. Consistency

Consistency is more than a set of rules and procedures that management enforces. Keeping your approach to customer success consistent over time is what will keep your customer relationships alive. Continually achieve each of your customer’s needs; understand which methodologies work, and use them every time. While conversing with customers, nothing truly changes other than the solutions you provide. Using this framework is sure to boost customer success.

By addressing these key pain points that you as a customer success manager face, you will be able to restructure the way your team handles customer success — and, as a result, reach your overall business goals.

Need more help getting things back on ‘kilter’ for your business? Kilterly offers customer success software to help Customer Success managers and teams reshape the way they handle their strategy and grow their customer base. Schedule a demo today.

worker taking notes on different customer metrics

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