Customer Success – The Department/The Team

A fairly new department, now a more permanent fixture in SaaS businesses across the globe. Usually spearheaded by a leader who reports to the CEO, COO or CRO. Customer Success originated from the separation of sales and relationship management in the Account Management role and the need in a SaaS world to keep customers long past their original contract length and grow the recurring revenue through the expansion of their accounts.

The leader manages a team of Customer Success Managers (CSM’s) and depending on size of company and type of customers, a CSM will manage a territory of customers. For example, if customers are regarded as Enterprise, a CSM may only manage a handful of accounts due to the complexity of working with them and the needs required to maintain their business from you as a provider/partner.

The leader is responsible for ensuring that customers renew at the end of their contract period. They may also be responsible for the Customer Journey and all that that entails. Improving the Customer Journey will require analysis of where the best experience is not being provided and collaborate with other teams to find solutions to bring improvements. 

Each Customer Success Manager manages their territory or book of business, with the aim to make customers sticky to the product, so a successful onboarding experience is vital. After that, it’s about ensuring customers are adopting the functionality to get the outcomes that a customer desires.

The Customer Success Team may also include team members who run the operations (content creation or technology admin) or specific parts of the customer journey (i.e onboarding). They support the CSM’s to form the larger Customer Success Department.

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