As I was randomly Googling things the other day, I saw it autosuggest something: is customer success manager a good job?
It felt like a perfect blog topic, especially for this blog, but at the same time, I have to acknowledge that I probably have a touch of bias. Having said that, I’m going to do my best to examine both sides of the conversation.
- you will find a lot of tech companies need to hire CSMs, particularly if they are solving complex problems. So if you’ve ever wanted to go into tech, being a Customer Success Manager is a great entry point.
- You don’t need any hard skills. It’s a job that relies a lot on soft skills. So if you’ve got any experience working in a people facing role, you’ve got a chance to get into Customer Success.
- Every day is varied. Yes, you have standard workflows, playbooks and processes to streamline the customer experience, but you will have no shortage of opportunities to work with a range of different customers and across your organization.
- It’s a critical function in the organization. Companies cannot do without CSMs. In a sense, you will never be without a job. So if you want a recession-proof job, being a CSM is a relatively safe bet.
- It’s a great springboard into moving into different areas within an organization. Fundamentally, it’s exposed to many departments and if you find yourself drawn to an area, there are always opportunities to dabble and learn more about how they work. If the stars align, you might even be able to transition into a new department.
- The definition of a CSM is quite different from company to company. You might find that you’ll be put into a role that deals with a lot of sales (CS is not a sales role), which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.
- You can get overworked. While this is true for any role, it’s particularly prominent in CS. If your company isn’t able to hire more CSMs, you might find yourself working overtime. This might happen quite a bit as well in the early days of many tech companies as they go through growing pains.
- Hard to know what’s actually happening. Customer Success and Customer Success Operations are two separate things. If your role asks you to keep track of customer health, but they don’t provide any backend analytics to you, there might be data you’re not privy to that would have shown the customer was heading towards churning a long time ago.
- It might be hard to get other departments to work on your priorities. This isn’t always the case and points to a larger issue of the company not having the resources to hire more developers, etc. This means you end up solving the same problem over and over, seeing the customer get more and more frustrated… and you feel helpless to do anything about it.
- It might be hard to advance in your role if the company you work for doesn’t have a career growth plan. You know you’re killing it, going above and beyond, but your polite requests for review fall on deaf ears as your manager/the boss focuses on other metrics.
So I certainly didn’t plan on writing such long responses under “The Bad”, but all those responses are legitimate (I’ve experienced a number of them myself!). Anyway, overall, IMO, I think that being a customer success manager is a good job. I hope that when you become one, you think so as well! 😊