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The True Role of Customer Success: Beyond Support and Service

Customer success isn’t merely about support, nor is it a traditional service. This notion seems to be a consistent topic of discussion in the world of Software as a Service (SaaS) and B2B Organizations. It raises a crucial question – should customer success teams own revenue targets? While this discussion often takes center stage, the truth is that whether or not customer success owns revenue targets should depend on the specific go-to-market model of each company.

Customer Success Metaverse

But here’s the core message: customer success is, at its essence, a commercial function. It’s a revenue center, not a cost center.

The Rise of Customer Success: A New Era for Strategic Growth

As we delve deeper into the transformative world of customer success, it’s clear that this field is no longer just about managing relationships—it’s about driving strategic growth and using innovative technologies to elevate the customer experience.

Evolving Role of CSMs

The role of Customer Success Managers (CSMs) has shifted significantly. No longer confined to basic support, CSMs are now crucial strategic partners in the business landscape. They are at the forefront, leveraging data analytics and AI to provide personalized experiences and proactively address customer needs. This shift is powered by an increased emphasis on using technological tools to enhance customer interaction and satisfaction​ (HubSpot Blog)​​ (UserGuiding)​.

Integration of AI and Automation

Generative AI representation

AI and automation are becoming staples in the customer success toolkit. These technologies allow CSMs to automate routine tasks, analyze customer data more efficiently, and provide personalized service at scale. By freeing up human resources from repetitive tasks, AI enables CS Managers to focus on more complex and strategic activities that directly influence customer loyalty and revenue growth​ (UserGuiding)​​ (SuccessBlog)​.

Focus on Customer Retention and Expansion

In today’s competitive environment, retaining existing customers and expanding their engagement is becoming more critical than acquiring new ones. Businesses are recognizing the value of investing in customer success as a means to increase customer lifetime value and drive sustainable growth. This trend highlights the shifting focus from customer acquisition to customer retention and expansion as key drivers of business success​ (SuccessBlog)​.

Adoption of Customer-Centric Strategies

The most successful companies are those that put the customer at the center of their business strategies. This involves not only understanding the customer’s needs but also anticipating them and delivering personalized, seamless experiences that exceed expectations. Companies are increasingly relying on customer success teams to lead this charge, making customer success a fundamental part of their strategic planning​ (IBM – United States)​​ (HubSpot Blog)​.

In essence

The rise of customer success marks a significant evolution in how businesses approach growth and customer engagement. By embracing new technologies and shifting their focus from mere service to strategic growth, companies are setting a new standard for what it means to be customer-centric in the digital age.

This transformation in customer success is not just about adapting to new trends; it’s about leading the charge in creating more meaningful and enduring relationships with customers. As we move forward, the role of CSMs will continue to grow in importance, driving innovations that ensure customer loyalty and substantial business growth.

For businesses looking to thrive, the message is clear: invest in customer success to drive your growth strategy forward.

True Role of Customer Success Manager

Customer Success Management’s business outcome is to retain and grow revenue from existing customers

Focus Areas for Customer Success Managers

Therefore, Customer Success Managers (CSMs) must don multiple hats:

  1. Create Value: CSMs should be adept at creating and demonstrating the value their product or service brings to customers.
  2. Challenge Objections: In the face of objections or doubts, CSMs need to be skilled in addressing them effectively and turning them into opportunities.
  3. Manage Stakeholders: Successful customer relationships often involve various stakeholders. CSMs need to manage these relationships and align customer objectives with business goals.
  4. Coach Customers to Change: Sometimes, customers need guidance to make changes that will benefit their business. CSMs play a pivotal role in coaching them through this transformation.
  5. Position Against Competition: In a competitive market, it’s essential to position your product or service effectively against competitors. CSMs should be equipped to do this.
  6. Provide Guidance on the Product: Customers may require help in making the most of your product. CSMs should provide insights and solutions to maximize product potential.
  7. Provide Guidance on Common Practices: Sharing best practices within the industry or across similar customer profiles can add substantial value.

Customer Success to Drive Revenue

This doesn’t mean there’s no service involved. Just like sales should aim to serve customers while working with them, service is an integral part of the customer success journey. However, the core purpose of customer success is to align with the customer’s business while balancing their own.

Customer Success 101

Building Customer Success

Hiring : Writing An Effective CSM Job Description

Enabling Customer Success Managers

Tools and Process – Customer Success

MVP to kickstart Customer Success

Tools for Customer Success Teams

In these challenging economic times, the role of customer success is evolving. It’s more crucial than ever for CSMs to understand that their function is intertwined with revenue generation. Many customer success leaders have begun embracing the responsibility of revenue in 2023 and 2024, with several CS teams moving under Chief Revenue Officers (CROs). This shift signifies a change in the way we perceive and harness the power of customer success. 

Focus Areas and Skills for Customer Success Managers

Create Continuous Customer Value and Great Experience

So, has this year brought changes to your approach to customer success? If so, what are the pros and cons you’ve encountered? The evolution of this field is an ongoing discussion, one that’s fundamental to understanding the changing dynamics of the business landscape.

Hiring the first CSM and setting KPI? Read this article

Table of Contents

Picture of Archana Prajapati

Archana Prajapati

Turning Insights into Revenue with Customer Success Teams 🚀 Founding Member

What is AppEQ? 


AppEQ is a lightweight customer data activation plugin that brings customer data like product usage data/trends right at CSM’s fingertips , on their existing applications like Inbox/CRM /CSP /HelpDesk. We integrate data directly from product analytics like Pendo, Mixpanel, Amplitude and CRM like Salesforce, Hubspot etc. 

Our capability to bring this within your existing applications through our in-app widgets  leads to much higher adoption  and implementation time of 1 week or less

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Customer Data Insights Activation In-the-Moment

Customer Data & Insights Activation

One-click Integration  
In-app Customer 360 
Account Task Management 
Notification & Playbook Automation 
In-the-Moment Insights
Early Warning Signals
Customizable Dashboard 
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Built for Customer Success and Account Management teams to drive retention revenue and growth without the complexities of traditional Customer Success Platforms. No more back and forth between teams and systems.

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