How to Become a Customer Success Manager even with No Tech Experience

How to become a customer success manager even with no experience

Customer Success Management has been around as long as technology has been around. If there are complex workflows, then there is likely also to be software to try to improve these workflows. However, often the software’s user experience leaves little to be desired. That’s where Customer Success Managers come in. They help new users navigate this software so that users can save time and achieve time to value a lot quicker than if they were to learn to use it themselves.

If you’re considering starting a career in tech, becoming a customer success manager is a great way to get in. Big reason for this is because there is no specific degree requirement. While there are more and more certifications popping up, they usually aren’t prerequisites for customer success management jobs. This blog’s all giving you a leg-up so you can get into tech through this job, even if you have no tech experience. Here are some things to consider.

Are you good at simplifying complex things?

As I mentioned at the start, you’ll find customer success management roles wherever you find complex workflows. Good tech companies will hire User Experience Designers (shortened to UX Designers) whose job is to make these workflows more user-friendly. As much as they’ll try to make the software as easy to use as possible, there will be components that require a human to onboard.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • do you deal with archaic, crappy software in your current job that you are forced to use?
  • Do you help other people within your organisation with using said crappy software?
  • Have you written up documentation (even a basic how-to list) that people rely on to use the software?
  • Do you speak with IT people who have to fix bugs/improve features in this software and explain what’s actually going on?

The more of these things you do, the better your chance of qualifying for a customer success manager job.

Are you good at de-escalating situations?

One of the things that customer success managers need to be good at is having difficult conversations. What comes to mind straight away are people who work in retail or hospitality. The videos you see online where they face very fiery customers… I applaud their professionalism and calmness in the face of real danger.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • if you’re on the phone a lot, are you responsible for making outbound calls? What’s your approach at calming a customer down?
  • do you have any good stories of customers that no one else wants to deal with, who you’ll gladly take because you aren’t scared of them?
  • what is an example of a time that you have lost control? How did you recover and turn a bad situation into a good one?

De-escalating is a key skill that you can only learn on the job. Any job that gives you this skill gives you an advantage when applying to be a customer success manager.

Are you good at working with a wide variety of people?

It’s no secret that customer success managers are people people. You don’t have to be an extrovert per se, but you do need to be open, curious and empathetic. This isn’t just for the wide array of customers that you’ll meet, but the internal stakeholders that you’ll talk to who have conflicting priorities that you’re expected to at least listen to.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you speak with people who are more senior (even as high as C-suite/CEO) as well as your peers (on your level) or people below you regularly?
  • Do you get along with people who come from white- and blue-collar backgrounds?
  • Are you that person that people go to to ask a question about something that isn’t in their realm because you’re able to explain it in a way that they understand (related to simplifying complex things)?

Then I have news for you: you have a great, natural skillset to become a CSM. In future blog posts, we’ll look at how you can actually translate these into your CV so that it gets the attention of recruiters looking for skills like yours.

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