You may have been able to do well and survive with one person handling customer success - the Customer Success Manager. When you start out, you may only need this one role, the CSM “generalist”. But as your company starts to grow along with the complexity of your deliverables and customer success needs, your customer success department will need to grow with it.
There are several roles in a customer success division that you can include in your customer success division.
The Customer Success Director (or VP of Customer Success) is the person responsible for all post-sale functions of a business. This is the person that designs the programs, processes, and tools to fit the business. This role has all the other roles/functions outlined below reporting into him/her.
The CSM is overseeing customer retention and proactively works to prevent churn. In smaller customer success organizations, this one person oversees all post-sale activities in the business. From driving up-sales to drive product adoption, delivering product value, answering support questions and overseeing all renewals. Basically a one man show for everything that is customer success.
The onboarder is a product expert. This is the first person to touch the client after they have signed on, and they are responsible for implementing and enabling the customer. This role oversees training, provisioning and configuration of the software for the customer. It is a particularly important role to have if you have a product with a complex and very involved on-boarding process.
In enterprise organizations, there is a consultant that is involved in the roll out and onboarding phases. Similar to the onboarder, the consultant's job is implementation, roll out and enablement. Most enterprise organizations charge a hefty fee for this service.
The Growth Executive sits in larger customer success organizations and is responsible for driving up-sales and cross sales. The Growth Executive is often seen as the “product specialist” that is introduced to clients that may be interested in new and other features/products. Smaller companies typically have their sales reps involved for up-selling.
The Renewal Manager is overseeing and managing the renewals - also sometimes referred to as the “contract manager”. This role often exist in SaaS companies that have a high volume of renewals that have to be manually processed.
The support agent is the good old customer support representative who’s managing the tickets and incoming requests/questions from clients. The support agents that report into the customer success organization are typically more technical than your normal support agent.
They design programs to increase user engagement and find upsell opportunities through proactive outreach starting in onboarding and throughout the client lifecycle. They can use programs through channels such as Intercom chat and Intercom email, and align all systematic outreach communications across departments (Product, Marketing, CX, UX, CS). Overarching goal is to drive client engagement.
Every company is a bit different - sometimes you need more support agents than Customer Success Managers (Jeff Gardner from Intercom talks about this as their structure), and sometimes you may need to have all of your people focusing on-boarding (Michael Redbord from Hubspot talks about how they focused all on on-boarding in the beginning).
Think about how your company is structured, what you need in the more immediate future and create a division based on that. You can always adjust and add these roles as you find them useful.
Planhat and inSided are pleased to present another great webinar this month. We will discuss post-onboarding customer engagement, with our very own Gurprem Sagoo, Customer Success Manager at Planhat and Remco de Vries, Head of Marketing at inSided, the only customer success community platform built for B2B SaaS.
Our host Anika Zubair chats with George C. Huang, Director of Customer Experience & Success at Remo on the huge success they achieved in the last 3 months and how focusing on Customer Success from the beginning can lead to astronomical growth.
As SaaS businesses boom, the growth and expansion phase is an exciting time, but it's important to know how to manage this growth to achieve ROI.
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