Aleksandr Bedrin - Fotolia

What is the role of a customer success manager?

The customer success manager is an essential CX role that takes a proactive approach to ensuring customer loyalty and retention, balancing out automated CRM functions.

Sales and marketing have evolved rapidly in recent years due to CRM, and that evolution has created a number of new roles within the enterprise, each designed to strengthen the new paradigm of the customer journey.

One of these is the role of customer success manager.

A top-down description of the role begins by pointing out that it balances out CRM -- which is now a highly automated domain -- with a human factor. With business intelligence, machine learning and predictive analytics now driving the CRM bus, it's important to keep that human factor in the mix, and that's the role of a customer success manager.

The customer success manager's job is to establish a direct relationship with customers, with several purposes at the forefront. First, the person in this role seeks assurance that the customer's needs are being met; second, that meeting those needs is as hassle-free as possible; and, finally, identifying new opportunities to achieve customer satisfaction, based on these contacts.

It's important to note that this isn't the same as customer support, which is reactive and more limited in scope. A customer success manager is proactive, taking initiative to cultivate customer relationships and enhance the customer journey, and the position is essential to providing exceptional CX.

The role of a customer success manager is to ensure the end results include a more satisfied and loyal customer, a better understanding of the customer within the enterprise and perpetual process improvement.

Lastly, the person in this role is ideally positioned to understand the customer base as a community, tracking not only the success of customer journeys, but developing a sense of long-term customer needs -- information that makes the customer success manager's results essential to the C-suite.

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