How to Get a Customer Success Job

STEP 1: WHAT ARE Customer Success JOBS ALL ABOUT?

Customer Success dashboard

Customer Success dashboard

  • AKA: CS, Customer Service
  • Overview: Customer Success is sometimes maligned as the least sexy part of an organization. However, as churn rate has become a critical metric for judging tech firms both large and small, it’s now also one of the most essential parts. Because unless clients actually use, renew, and evangelize their technology purchases, the vendor has no chance of hitting the hyper-growth VCs demand.
  • Example project: Manage 40 accounts to ensure that 95% renew their subscriptions.
  • What you do all day: Create support content, respond to support requests, reach out to current customers
  • Roles: Customer Success Manager (responsible for the success of a portfolio of customers - from onboarding to upgrading), Customer Service Representative (providing front-line support to incoming customer requests)
  • What they look for: Candidates with deep empathy for customers and who are also good at juggling many tasks
  • Example job: Customer Success Executive, Zendesk

STEP 2: WOULD YOU BE A GOOD FIT FOR Customer Success?

Ask yourself if you'd love doing these kinds of things all day:

  • Understanding the needs of existing customers
  • Developing relationships with customers
  • Providing technical + programmatic support
  • Developing support content
  • Analyzing data to identify struggling customers

If your answer is "Yes" to the majority of activities, you'd likely be a good fit for Research jobs.


STEP 3: WHAT SKILLS DO YOU NEED FOR Customer Success JOBS?

For each major activity, I've listed the most common keywords from across dozens of job descriptions, as well as a sample resume bullet:

·      Understanding the needs of existing customers

o   Keywords: clients' needs, business objectives, define success criteria, goal mapping

o   Sample Bullet: Established success criteria with all 37 clients, allowing for real-time monitoring of customer health

·      Developing relationships with customers

o   Keywords: manage expectations, consultative approach, client relationship management, CRM, work with key stakeholders

o   Sample Bullet: Built relationships with VPs of sales at all client firms, ensuring open lines of communication for feedback and renewals/upsells

·      Providing technical + programmatic support

o   Keywords: orientation, onboarding, training, launch milestones, project plans troubleshooting, provide status updates

o   Sample Bullet: Designed onboarding process that led to 95% adoption within 30 days of contract closing

·      Developing support content

o   Keywords: best practice materials, help content, support resources, onboarding documents, training videos

o   Sample Bullet: Oversaw development of online help materials that reduced ticket volume by 36%

·      Analyzing data to identify struggling customers

o   Keywords: drive adoption, identify expansion opportunities, support through renewal, identify churn risk, track success criteria, monitor account health, forecast renewals provide feedback to product team on roadmap priorities

o   Sample Bullet: Managed customer dashboard to quickly troubelshoot issues, producing a 23% decrease in churn and 54% uptick in upsell


STEP 4: WHAT Customer Success TRAINING DO YOU RECOMMEND?

If you want to brush up on any of these skills, check out Stefan Michel's Service Innovation course on Lynda. I like two things about this course in particular:

  1. Even though it's not about customer success specifically, it talks about how you create a winning mindset in this space. From understanding the customer's jobs to be done all the way to delivering incredible service to value, this is how you master customer success.
     
  2. And it also demonstrates how great customer success leaders feed their innovations back into the product itself - which is the ultimate path to delivering amazing customer experiences across the board.