A customer success manager can earn up to $100,000 annually, with the potential for more in an advanced role of customer success. This career track, however, may not be an obvious one for business professionals. Customer success is not yet a “household” term.
Customer success focuses on how businesses can keep customers longer and how to expand this relationship, according to expert Lincoln Murphy in Forbes. The customer success manager or professional is aware of the fact that the majority of revenue from a company’s relationship with a customer happens post-sale.
“It doesn’t matter what that sale looks like,” Murphy told Forbes. “It doesn’t matter what type of business model you have. For example, if somebody is paying you $10 a month for your product, that’s great. You want them to pay $10 a month for as long as possible. But wouldn’t it be even better if they paid you $10, then $12, then $15, then $20 a month? That’s what we are working towards in customer success.”
The customer success field has created new opportunities for business professionals. Customer success managers play a major role in how a company appeals to and interacts with customers.
What Does a Customer Success Manager Do?
A customer success manager is responsible for maximizing the value that customers receive from the business. This results in customer engagement and long-term profitability for the company.
Specific responsibilities can include the following tasks.
- Increase adoption, retention and satisfaction with assigned clients.
- Establish goals and other performance indicators with assigned clients.
- Identify and develop upsell opportunities.
- Define and optimize customer lifecycle.
- Manage customer success activities such as onboarding, training and customer support.
- Measure effectiveness of customer success.
- Oversee team of customer success professionals.
- Advocate for customers cross-departmentally.
Customer success managers earn between $75,000 and $100,000 a year, according to the 2015 Customer Success Salary Survey & State of the Profession Report from Totango, a customer success management software platform. Those employed as a director of customer success earn between $125,000 and $150,000, and those employed as a vice president of customer success or chief customer officer earn between $150,000 and $175,000.
Organizations seeking a customer success manager will search for a candidate with certain experience and skills, such as the following examples.
- Three years of experience leading customer-facing organizations.
- An understanding of how to drive value in recurring revenue business models.
- Experience with Salesforce or similar platforms.
- Deep passion for customers.
- Familiarity with analytics.
- Excellent communication and presentation skills.
Education requirements will vary. Customer success is a newer term in business, and organizations will approach hiring customer success managers differently. However, organizations typically require at least a bachelor’s degree for management-level positions, and many companies prefer or require a master’s degree. In this emerging field, a master’s degree may be ideal.
Campbellsville University’s online Master in Management and Leadership prepares graduates for managerial roles and can be a strong choice for professionals interested in customer success. It provides students with an advanced understanding of business concepts and management. The program takes place in a fully online learning environment, allowing students to maintain their current work and personal schedules.