Check the latest job boards and you’ll see that the need for customer success professionals is rapidly increasing. That’s where Betts Recruiting comes in.
Betts is a global recruitment firm specializing in recruiting revenue-generating talent such as Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success for innovative companies in tech, consulting, biotech, logistics, media agencies, and more.
Satrix Solutions’ founder and president, Evan Klein recently sat down with Leslie Schmidt, senior recruiter at Betts Recruiting to discuss their take on the customer success industry:
Customer intimacy is crucial – it drives revenue.
Evan Klein: Over the last few years, there has been a steady rise in the number of companies seeking Customer Success professionals. Why do you think there is such a demand?
Leslie Schmidt: Customers are being bombarded with information in today’s market. The increased competition for software solutions makes it hard for companies to retain their customer base. With constant updates, new products, and opinions broadcasted, organizations need someone to work with existing customers to keep their business.
Retention is essential for a company’s success. Without customer success, client retention will suffer. A customer success manager’s (CSM) job is to ensure that all of a company’s clients are satisfied with the product and know of new options available for advancement. It’s become increasingly easy for a customer to search for an alternative instead of sticking with one brand or product.
The CSM role counters this change by dedicating resources to customers after they’ve bought the product. Recurring revenue has become a much larger focus for companies, even becoming a larger revenue-generating role than new business.
A customer-first mentality makes for a great Customer Success Manager.
What are the specific skills and attributes your clients are looking for in Customer Success professionals?
Customer success is a relatively new role. The position spans onboarding, implementation, training, support, and renewals. A great Customer Success Manager needs the right combination of technical abilities and customer-facing experience.
The key is to look for “soft skills” in your interviews. This position requires someone who is collaborative, creative, personable, consultative, and entrepreneurial.
The ideal CSM has strong communication and relationship building skills, as well as product knowledge. When looking to hire, our clients typically look for someone who is a great teacher and able to successfully handle client feedback. Customer success is all about ensuring customer retention and growth.
Growing demand for Customer Success Managers means lots of competition.
On the other hand, what are your candidates looking for most out the companies they work for?
Customer Success Managers are integral to your business’s success. They are advocates for your product to all of your customers. When it comes to attracting top talent, presenting CSM candidates with a product they can be passionate about is the first step. Your customer success team should be firm believers in what you are offering to clients. They need to be able to see the value of your product so they can be an advocate for both the product and client.
Additionally, beyond just competitive pay and benefits, CSMs are looking for strong leaders, an opportunity for growth, and the right culture.
CSMs are in high-demand so make sure your interview process is as much about showing off your culture as it is learning theirs. They are looking to be set up for career success. Candidates are looking for a workplace where they enjoy the product they are advocates for, the people they work with and report to, and the outcome they see for their career.
Employee engagement is critical.
How are companies retaining talent and developing next-generation leaders?
The best way to not only retain talent, but to develop leaders is to lead by example. Find out what your candidates and current employees are looking for in their careers.
Whether its mentorship, growth opportunities, or something else, take the time to outline how you ca n help your employees achieve these. Setting a clear career path is enticing.
To hold on to quality professionals, you should give your employees plenty of opportunities to expand their knowledge and professional experience. Allow your CSMs to be autonomous and run their own projects. This gives them a voice in the company. Your CSM is the best way to learn how to continually better your product or service. Make sure they have the opportunity to share what they learn from your customers.
CSMs need to have innate knowledge of customer, employee and marketplace perceptions.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer to candidates looking to break into the Customer Success industry?
For anyone looking to break into Customer Success, your first step should be to choose an industry where you are passionate about the products or services.
Customer Success Managers and employees are driven by the value they provide. When interviewing for a CSM position, highlight your customer-facing skills, like leading client meetings, conducting demos, and writing eBooks or white papers.
Customer success also deals with problem solving and technical skills so make sure to discuss any experience you have in data analytics, sales metrics, and product specifications. Customer success includes tech support and problem solving with existing clients, so you need to position yourself as a good advocate for both the product’s benefits and customer’s questions or concerns.
When it comes to customer success, the most important skill you can bring to a company is the ability to build genuine relationships. Find the best way to demonstrate this to a hiring manager and breaking into the industry will be easy!
For more best practices on growing your customer success team, download Betts Recruiting’s ebook:
More about Betts:
Betts brings a customized approach to each search, ensuring hiring managers find the best person for each position they are looking to fill and job seekers find the best company for their background, skills, and interests. Betts Recruiting works with all individual candidates to understand their goals, career growth, and experience. This method ensures companies only see top quality candidates and are able to quickly move forward in their hiring process. Betts Recruiting’s four offices in the US include San Francisco, Palo Alto, Austin, and New York. These headquarters also cover areas such as Denver, CO, Boulder, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, Provo, UT, Dallas, TX, Phoenix, AZ, Chicago, IL, Los Angeles, CA, Seattle, WA, and Atlanta, GA. Abroad, Betts Recruiting’s London-based office services Amsterdam, Dublin, Berlin, Munich, and Hamburg as well.