Aug 9, 2019

Read Time 5 min

5 Common Mistakes Customer Success Managers Make When Managing Their Day


Think you could be getting more done? Don’t we all, but the saving time is money is especially true when you are in charge of managing your customer’s success, which ultimately drives renewal revenue. 

Productivity and time management skills don’t come natural to everyone and that’s okay. The key is to identify the mistakes you’re making so you can be more efficient and better delegate your energy.

Here are five common time management mistakes you should avoid as a Customer Success Manager.

Mistake #1: Not Planning Out Your Day

What this mistake looks like:

You come in on Monday morning and you let your email inbox take you where it will.

Why it’s important to avoid this mistake:

  • If you do not plan out your day it is very easy to get sidetracked.
  • As a Customer Success Manager, your days can be very different. It is imperative that you have a guideline that you can use to stay on track throughout the day.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Organize and prioritize your day/week. Looking at a to-do-list of 30+ action items can be overwhelming and can often waste precious time evaluating what to do, rather than just doing it.
  • Block out your time on your calendar. For example:
    • two 30-minute blocks for emails
    • four 1.25-hour blocks for customer calls
    • two 30-minute blocks for struggling or disengaged customers
    • two 30-minute block for “me” time (admin and internal tasks)


Mistake #2: Going About Your Day Without Any Objectives and Goals

What this mistake looks like:

You have no set key performance indicators (KPIs) or objectives in the short or long term, so you are aimless in your planning on any given day.

Why it’s important to avoid this mistake:

Without goals, you have no final outcome to work towards. When you know what you want to achieve, you can plan out your day, priorities, and resources in the right way to help support your outcome.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Identify what is both important and necessary, as opposed to focusing on something that can wait.
  • Set SMART goals so each objective is clearly defined, and achievable.

SMART Goals for Customer Success Managers

Mistake #3: Focusing on Doing the Wrong Thing

What this mistake looks like:

Planning and following your day’s plan to a ‘T’ timewise, but only accomplishing low priority things that have little to no impact for you or your customers (hand in hand with mistake #2). You might also choose to do tasks/activities because they are the easiest to tackle (i.e. low-hanging fruit). 

Why it’s important to avoid this mistake:

You can perfectly plan out your day, but if you are focusing on the wrong things, managing only the time and not the correct tasks/activities, then you have very little productive output to show at the end of the day.

How to avoid this mistake:

You can learn to better prioritize the day’s activities by determining any activity’s priority level and focusing on those that have a high value for you/your customers.


Mistake #4: Being Reactive and Not Proactive

Reactive Customer Success Manager
What this mistake looks like:

Most things you do over the course of the day are in response to something being brought to your attention (i.e. Support tickets, emails, customers calling to complaint, etc.).

Why it’s important to avoid this mistake:

All of the above examples are distractions that take you away from the flow of your set plan. It’s important to be able to identify those tasks and activities that enhance and support your objectives and goals for the day and prioritize them above interruptions.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Watch this video for more insight about being reactive versus proactive.
  • Ask yourself:
    • What is likely to happen? (And react to it before it happens.)
    • Where is there room for improvement for my customers?
    • What is the value that this action provides?


Mistake #5: Not Leveraging the Tools You Have

Customer Success Manager Tools icon
What this mistake looks like:

You have tools at your disposal but you are not effectively utilizing any tools or technology you have available to you.

Why it’s important to avoid this mistake:

Technology is meant to make it easier to go about your day. If you are doing things manually that technology is available to help manage, you are making more work for yourself.

How to avoid this mistake:

  • Utilizing applications meant to help with task management or notification blocking can be useful in helping to curb distractions.
  • Automation of emails or booking meetings can also help you to “outsource” basic, everyday tasks and create time for you to focus on the right things.
  • Seek the help of a tool to do the heavy lifting with customer health scoring and data analytics to give you the intelligence you need to act on, instead of wasting time manually digging into customer data and insights. (Hint: ChurnZero).


If you want to learn more on the topic of planning out your day as a CSM, take a listen to our on-demand webinar – A Day in the Life of a Customer Success Manager Using ChurnZero. This webinar focuses on helping you to guide your Customer Success team to more easily lead, prioritize, and manage their book of business in a standardized, scalable manner.

View On-Demand

Customer Success Around the Web



Subscribe to the newsletter   

Empowering your customer success team through community

Has your customer community lost its spark? Teams are often eager to launch this new initiative, however, sustaining that same enthusiasm in the months ahead can be a challenge. “It's one thing to create excitement and another to keep people’s attention,” says Shauna...