Customer success manager (CSM) job descriptions vary greatly across companies, depending on size and philosophy. Some are account managers re-labelled as customer success managers, others are all in with the philosophy and many partly implement it. Below are several job descriptions which cover this range.
Great read: User Onboarding Proven to Work and Reduce Churn? Think Netflix
Why does the CSM job description vary so much across different organisations?
Customer success is a relatively new concept. Some companies grow with it in their DNA and others are looking to incorporate it after.
What does this result in?
On the one hand you have companies dedicated to customer success at a deep core strategic level and this impacts every part of their business.
On the other hand there are companies trying to introduce customer success as a new concept to their existing account management departments. You'll find that sometimes it's account management re-labelled and slightly adjusted. That said, some companies have been practising customer success without the label for a while.
In between are smaller startups applying customer success as best they can but naturally the CSM ends up wearing many hats more often associated with support, sales and UX.
1. Gainsight description for National Accounts CSM
Who can use this CSM description?
Gainsight is a large (500+ employees) and growing SaaS company.
It builds customer success managment software.
Their CEO is a thought leader in the industry.
This job is for a CSM for national accounts but it's not a re-labelled account manager, there is some overlap but the wording and order of the sentences tells you that customer success is core to everything they do (naturally!).
This is a very good description to use for a company that prioritises customer success and is hiring for large accounts.
GainSight CSM for national accounts job description
As a Customer Success Manager for National Accounts, you’ll be managing a few of our Enterprise/Named clients - driving adoption and outcomes leading to renewals, expansion, and advocacy across your portfolio.
What You'll Do
Partner with our clients to deliver predictable outcomes and experiences for their clients and predictable growth for their business by:
- Delivering and communicating ROI for our clients, throughout the customer lifecycle
- Being the trusted partner for the customer on use-case and product functionality
- Quarterbacking experiences by various cross-functional teams at Gainsight, on behalf of the customer
What We're Looking For
- BA/BS (MBA/Master preferred)
- Ideally 4+ years of experience in Management Consulting, Customer Success, Account Management, Business Development, or another client-facing role
- Experience in working with complex, multi-divisional, multi-geographical customers
- Strong leadership skills
- Impressive executive presence and communication abilities
- Ability to create structure in ambiguous situations and design effective processes
- Bias for action
- Passion for technology and for being a part of a fast-growing SaaS company
- Experience working with cross-functional teams (e.g. Sales, Product, Marketing, Services)
2. Upscope small SaaS CSM description.
Who can use this description?
Smaller SaaS companies look for customer success managers that are willing to wear several other hats including more general support and onboarding work.
Upscope is screen sharing without downloads for guiding even the least technical customers to understand how to use the app.
The core philosophy of Upscope is around customer success, so there's a commitment within all tasks to that strategy.
Note: As it's still developing, the CSM has more input into the road map than might be expected at a larger organisation.
This is a good description to use for smaller startups with a dedication to customer success but who need employees to work across other areas.
Upscope CSM job description
Upscope is a SaaS company that has developed a new form of 'no-download', instant and interactive screen sharing for customer success managers to educate and retain their customers.
What You'll Do
At Upscope, customer success is the core company strategy. The customer success manager will understand customer outcomes through ongoing collection and analysis of data and feedback and turn this into onboarding and retention strategies and feed into the product road map. They'll be involved in all aspects of support, account management, demonstrating the product, educating customers and more. All team members look to customer success for input across all key decisions.
- Understand customer outcomes by communicating with customers, analyse customer health metrics, run NPS and gather other feedback via Intercom and Survicate.
- Represent the voice of the customer to provide input into every core product, marketing and sales process
- Collaborate closely with team members support renewals and expansion opportunities
- Serve as the primary contact for the onboarding of new customers, the training of platform end users, as well as post go-live support
- Collaborate with the engineering and development team to set up or configure our software platform as per customers’ requirements and troubleshoot technical issues raised by customers
- Gauge customers’ levels of engagement with the company and provide feedback to the other teams regarding product and service improvements
- Provide insights to customers to ensure that they get the most out of the platform with the aim of helping grow our customer base
- Being the main point of contact between the company and a number of named enterprise accounts
What we're looking For
- 2+ years customer success or account management experience in a SaaS or software company.
- Proven track record of working in a customer facing role
- Experience of working with Intercom or similar live chat platform useful but not essential
Skills and Qualifications
- Educated to degree level preferred but not essential
- Willing to make mistakes fast enough to learn
- Experience working with, and managing, stakeholders and customers
- A high level of accuracy and attention to detail is required
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills
- Flexible approach and an ability to operate effectively with uncertainty and change
- Driven, self-motivated, enthusiastic and with a "can do" attitude
- Extremely well organised with an ability to handle and digest large amounts of information from a variety of sources.
- Ability to work well under pressure and meet tight deadlines
3. Headspace rapidly growing SaaS CSM job description
Who can use this description?
Compare this description to Gainsight and notice how Gainsight prioritises certain terms.
Headspace has 200+ employees and is rapidly growing.
While above, Gainsight straight off talks about customer outcomes and ROI, Headspace has more of an account manager description but one which clearly shows a passion for customers.
This is a good CSM description to use for companies where the account manager title has changed to customer success but where the company naturally understands the philosophy of focusing on customer outcomes.
Headpspace CSM job description
Headspaces Customer Success team engages our corporate customers to drive Headspace adoption and demonstrate ongoing value. This critical function is responsible for onboarding new customers by engaging executive teams in the launch, driving ongoing adoption, and managing renewals. It works with the rest of the Headspace organization to uncover new ways to make Headspace a part of everyday life and to improve our product.
What You'll Do
- Drive retention and growth among our most valuable customers by understanding their business needs and helping them succeed
- Enable successful roll-out of Headspace to customer employees, including sharing and developing relevant creative assets, brainstorming ideas, and attending launches virtually or in person
- Maintain a cadence of communicating with customers about their adoption trends, sentiment, and mining opportunities for deeper engagement
- Identify opportunities for customers to act as Headspace advocates (e.g. testimonials, case studies)
- Collaborate closely with Sales to support pilot customers, renewals, and expansion opportunities
- Marshall resources across the Headspace org as needed to support customers needs
- Represent the voice of the customer to inform our sales process and product roadmap
What We're Looking For
- 3+ years in a Customer Success, Relationship Management, Account Management, or similar role
- Experience working with large enterprise customers
- Exceptional communication skills, highly organized, collaborative and detail oriented
- Experience building and maintaining relationships, while working to mitigate churn and drive engagement and renewals
- Empathetic, positive attitude with a desire to help our customers reach their goals
- Results-driven mentality, with a bias for speed and action
- Strong analytical skills, with the ability to translate data into insights. Experience with Excel preferred
- Strong PowerPoint/Keynote skills. Experience with Adobe InDesign or Illustrator preferred but not required
- Comfort in a startup environment we move quickly and wear many hats in a dynamic environment