So I thought I’d change up articles today and answer other questions about not what a Customer Success Manager does, but more so how it is being one. Looking in Google and starting the search with, “is Customer Success Manager…” and looking and what gets autofilled, “stressful” is one of the first few. So I thought I’d tackle this one.
My answer is No. Here’s why.
Obviously what I say isn’t gospel, but I’d love to talk more about why it is no. Also, these are my own experiences and I can’t definitely say that it’ll be the same for you. Every company is different, after all. I wanted to dispel some non-truths about being a customer success manager that might make it seem that it’s a stressful job.
It’s a sales job
I’m going to make it super clear: a customer success manager is not a sales person. Not in the traditional sense, anyway. There is no cold calling, there is no pressure selling. Yes, there might be KPIs to meet in relation to expanding/retaining your accounts, as well as preventing churn, but these aren’t the same as the targets salespeople need to meet as part of their jobs.
If you get an interview and they start talking about sales targets, run for the hills! The company is probably trying to do a switcheroo and sell you something that it’s not.
You deal with angry people all day
This is also not true. I mean, you would deal with some people who might not like your company or product because they’re being made to use it, but it certainly shouldn’t be the norm. If it is, there’s probably far deeper problems to do with the UX of the product or the way that the users become customers in the first place.
You focus more on being a supporter and partner for your customer as a customer success manager. You’re there to help them become proficient and confident at using your product. They should be happy and excited at finding a way to solve their problems using your product as a solution. So no, you shouldn’t be dealing with angry people all day.
It’s a chaotic role
This one may or may not be true. Depends on your definition of chaos. Can it be quite unstructured? Absolutely. Particularly in younger tech organizations. You might end up wearing many hats, dabbling in a bit of product management, being tech support and assisting sales with demos.
For me personally, that’s part of the charm. I like being kept on my toes and having variety in my day. When many departments need me to pitch in, I feel valued. But if your company does gain traction, you should eventually see that chaos starting to subside. Your day-to-day work should be more manageable. However, it doesn’t mean that your value within the organization diminishes. Your expertise should be called upon regularly.
So overall, no, I don’t think customer success management is stressful for the above three reasons. Maybe you’ve heard otherwise. I’d be curious to hear your stories. Have other people said that their experience has been a nightmare?