In the current market, customers are in charge and generally wish work with companies that they respect and believe have their best interests in mind. This means managing and maintaining customer relations is more vital than ever. With many businesses now resorting to automations and tech for many aspects of communication to streamline the process, personal elements and relationships that make customers feel more valued are becoming harder to come by. But in reality, customers like to have someone they can trust on their side to solve problems and make them feel valued; they want to talk to people. Especially in tech, where solutions can be complex and detailed, customers may benefit from human conversation.
For scaling businesses, attracting new customers is one challenge, but the secret to real growth is retaining customers, becoming a trusted name and getting repeat sales. However, if you want to free up your teams to focus more on growing other aspects of your business, like your tech product or services, then you cannot expect them to be constantly on hand to customers. Therefore, hiring someone to manage customer relations is a hugely important aspect of business growth.
Here’s all you need to know about the role of Customer Success Specialist and why it could be a vital hire for your scaling tech business:
What is a Customer Success Specialist?
A customer success specialist is an individual responsible for developing customer relationships to build loyalty and retention. They are the centre of communication efforts and help solve client problems by streamlining conversations and acting as the main point of contact. A customer success specialist keeps in regular contact with customers and gives your business a more personable feel as they know who to reach out to when they need it. These professionals work with customers to ensure the product or service is performing well and encourage them to renew, upgrade or uptake more services, creating more revenue for your business. A good client success team could handle as much as 75% of revenue.
What does a Customer Success Specialist do?
A Customer Success Specialist owns the relationship with clients, from onboarding and implementation to ensuring retention. It’s their job to maintain the relationship, ensure that expectations are met and that a customer’s needs and problems are dealt with efficiently. They must understand customer needs whilst prioritising the retention and growth of your business. Sometimes they’ll have multiple clients to manage simultaneously and must ensure communication is frequent and consistent.
Ultimately, they act as a middleman between customers and your business areas. Communicating client needs to the different teams within your business to ensure projects are completed well.
As well as creating a great relationship they must also act as a trusted advisor to ensure that clients and customers receive the best value and result from your product. They may suggest new solutions and strategies that will help the client.
Daily responsibilities include:
- Acting as a day-to-day contact for assigned accounts, building trust while recognising areas of opportunity and highlighting best practices.
- Reviewing the customer journey and adopting a consultative approach in helping clients overcome issues to achieve goals
- Manage workflow of project team members, including third-party service providers, to ensure projects are completed are on time
- Collaborate, problem solve and plan with team members across the business to create the best strategies
- Prepare necessary documentation or visuals for a client to report on the performance of campaigns and areas of improvement
- Provide customer references and develop case studies with sales and marketing teams
When should I hire a Customer Success Specialist?
There is no set time or milestone that you must reach before you hire a customer success manager. It’s not about how much you earn but rather when you can. Customer success specialists maintain healthy relationships and focus on building client retention, so for many businesses, it’s vital to hire whenever you can afford it. As a general rule of thumb, you should consider hiring a Customer Success Specialist or Manager when you have a large customer or a few medium-sized customers.
Why is hiring a Customer Success Specialist important?
For startups and scaleups, a customer success team probably isn’t the highest priority. Hires on the client success side doesn’t provide immediate or apparent returns like expanding your sales teams or improve your product offering like recruiting tech talent. However, for a business thinking of long term growth strategies, customer success should be high on your list of priorities. They help to delight and expand your existing customer base, supporting retention and repeat sales which are vital if you want to grow your business. New customers only get you so far, but returning customers will ensure your scaling business succeed. Plus, having a designated employee or team to own customer success will free up time for the rest of your team. You have a point of contact which means people from other areas of your business aren’t spending their time to answer customer questions and queries.
How Is Customer Success Different from Customer Support?
There’s a misconception that customer success is just another name for customer support or account management; however, the two are very different. Firstly, Customer Success is proactive, whereas support is reactive, responding to a problem. Customer Success teams will catch up with clients regularly to maintain the relationship and to ensure success. At the same time, support will wait for the customers to get in touch and report an issue. This means that you could speak to a different representative with the customer or technical support every time, which customer success teams try to avoid.
What industries do Customer Success Specialists work in?
Businesses that offer a technology-based product or service in all industries could benefit from a customer success team. They can help to explain the services and product offerings as well as to provide solutions to customers.
SaaS companies: The SaaS business model requires continued customer satisfaction for profit. In the past, software companies (like many non-tech companies) could sell a product for a profit then have no contact with the customer unless a problem occurred. However, now they need to keep these customers and subscriptions to make a profit. Customer Success teams are there to ensure that customers get value from a product over time, monitor the products’ usage and ensure that customers are using it in the most efficient way possible.
However, in some non-tech companies where a subscription or client retention is key to success, like recruitment, customer success teams work hard to manage relationships and build communication.
In an RPO agency like ours, we use a client success team to ensure that our clients’ projects are managed efficiently. They act as the point of contact for our customers and brief in projects to wider teams, whether direct sourcing, creative briefs, or a digital campaign and strategy.
What qualities should you look for when hiring a Customer Success Specialist?
Of course, the leading quality you should be looking for when hiring a customer success specialist is that they’re a people person. They should be able to make your customers feel at ease and be personable enough to manage relationships.
The best customer success specialists aren’t afraid to ask questions on behalf of their customers and desire to know the cause of problems. They should also have enough understanding of your business, services or products so that they can make clear and informed recommendations.
Communication, time management and organisation are essential as it’s likely they’ll be handling multiple problems, projects and clients at any one time.
Talent Works specialise in providing innovative tech recruitment solutions to help companies grow and innovate, including their content production. Our subscription-based approach to RPO provides less risk making it perfect for scaling businesses that may need to grow quickly or hire specific talent to take them to the next level.
Through direct sourcing, digital recruitment marketing and attraction strategies, and building employer brands that cut through the noise and resonate with the best tech talent. To find out how we could help your business build a customer success team or hire a designated customer success professional, contact us.