I started in Customer Success by being recruited to a tech startup as an original employee. As we began to sell the product, the company recognized they needed a dedicated employee to drive engagement across the platform. This was both the start of my CSM career and the founding of the department for the startup.
Once the company began to specialize, and a CSM department was founded, I left CSM to focus on training and adoption of the platform as a specialty. I made my way back to CSM by taking a job as a CSM for a different technology company.
Customer success managers have the perfect balance of structure and unknown during the week. You will have recurring calls with your clients and work to drive value around the product you support. Also, any week can contain escalations, meetings with the product team, skill training, and new client implementations to break up the week. No day ever looks the same for a CSM.
Customer Success is a career that allows you to touch every segment of a company. We are the tip of the spear when working with customers enabling you to engage and dive deep into companies' business practices. If you enjoy problem-solving, having empathy for customers, and working with people, this is a great career path.
If conflict bothers you, this is not the role. Also, you need to be an effective communicator; this includes having clear lines with clients about what you can and can not do to support them.
Final advice, when interviewing for customer success, make sure you understand what the companies values are on the position. It can vary significantly from being sales-focused, support orientated, or a more traditional customer success role.
The earning potential will vary based on the company. Support orientated CSM's will have lower earning potential, where someone renewing multi-million-dollar contracts will be paid massive commissions that could easily put you in the hundreds of thousands. The best way to know is to understand companies' compensation plans and how they see the role.
The CSM also has the ability to shift into product, sales, or management by having a great understanding of the client and company functions.
Customer success is a growing field. Everyone from Fortune 50 to startups is making or adding customer success managers to the business.