Customer success managers support customers from prospects to active users with a focus on generating customer loyalty. Learn more about this key business career.
As a customer success manager, sometimes called a client success manager, customer service manager, or CSM for short, you’re tasked with building customer loyalty and fostering long-term customer relationships by ensuring that customers have a positive experience. You’ll address customer concerns and provide customer support.
While working in this managerial position, you may be responsible for ensuring a positive relationship with customers, managing customer satisfaction, and using customer service data to set and enforce customer service goals for the company. Important tasks might include:
Managing interactions between customers and the company
Acting as a sales guide for customer-facing employees
Guiding new and existing customers through the sales funnel
Fostering customer retention by ensuring a smooth customer journey
Training employees on how to provide customer assistance
Managing a sales or customer support team
Collecting and analyzing data to improve customer service health
Learn more about the everyday tasks of a CSM from industry leaders at Salesforce:
The most effective managers have the ability to employ certain technical and people skills every day. These critical skills can be helpful to anyone working in this role:
Product or service support
Customer service goal creation
Financial goal setting
A customer success manager's salary varies by location, company, and years of experience. The average salary for a customer success manager in the United States ranges is $86,634 a year, according to Glassdoor (March 2022) .
Because many customer success managers work on commission in addition to a base salary, the types of goods or services sold can greatly affect their income.
You don’t necessarily need a college degree to become a customer success manager, so experience in leadership and management can give you a competitive edge. Because traditional career paths for customer success managers involve managing people, moving into a leadership position will give you that experience.
Focus on what type of customer success manager job you’d like to have. Narrow down the industry and look for industry-specific requirements beyond customer service and management skills. Some companies prefer candidates who are proficient in their industry. For example, a tech company may seek out an individual with experience in product management or product training for a tech company similar to theirs.
Depending on the company, you may find yourself following a sales pathway, while in other companies you may follow a marketing pathway.
Becoming a customer success manager may involve these steps:
Hold an entry-level position as a customer service representative.
Transition into a team leadership role overseeing a small group of employees.
Move into a managerial role.
Work towards a specialization, such as product development or maximizing profit growth rate.
Seek out a customer success manager position within your company, or apply to similar companies if yours does not have openings in this position.
This position straddles several departments which allows for a good amount of mobility. It’s an evolving and relatively new position. As a customer success manager, you may choose to move into other management roles or change departments.
Most customer success managers follow the sales or marketing pathway within a company. This means that a customer success manager may step into the role of manager of other customer success managers, account executive/account manager, product sales/marketing manager, product management, or enterprise customer success manager.
You may find yourself on the pathway to positions like vice president of sales or chief customer officer (CCO) if you stay with a company for a while and gain success and experience in your roles.
Take the next step toward a career as a customer success manager by building your customer service and leadership skills now. Gain job-ready skills in sales operations with the Salesforce Sales Operations Professional Certificate, or develop your management skills with the Leading People and Teams Specialization from the University of Michigan.
1. Glassdoor. "Glassdoor Customer Success Manager Salaries, https://www.glassdoor.com/Salary/Glassdoor-Customer-Success-Manager-Salaries-E100431_D_KO10,34.htm." Accessed March 29, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.