Jul 26, 2019

Read Time 5 min

[Q&A] A Day in the Life of a Customer Success Manager


Moving away from Customer Support and into Customer Success often brings up a number of different questions. How is Customer Support different than Customer Success? How do your Customer Success Manager’s prioritize their day? How can you most effectively manage the day-to-day without getting off track?

To help answer these questions we hosted a well-attended webinar last week to focus 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.

As part of the webinar you also got to see a brief demonstration of how ChurnZero’s Customer Success platform allows you to gain real-time visibility of your team and customers to effectively manage your day-to-day. No worries if you missed it, you can view the webcast on-demand here.

Some of the key takeaways from the webinar included:

  • How to prioritize your day to maximize account coverage: high risk or low engagement customers
  • How to prep for internal and customer meetings quickly
  • How to identify key internal and external dashboards and metrics to share with various stakeholders

During the webinar we served up two poll questions to the audience around how structured their days are and what common pitfalls they encounter with trying to have an organized day. Where do you fall? Do you relate to others in these regards?

Poll Question #1

how structured is your day as a customer success manager

Poll Question #2

We also engaged in a great Q&A session with the presenter, one of our very own CSMs – Bora Lee, that we wanted to share with you here.


Q&A Recap

Bora Lee, Customer Success Manager, ChurnZero 


Q: With your suggestion to block out your time to help plan your day, how do you do that?

A: One method is to actually block out time on your calendar. For example, two 30 minute blocks for email, four 1.25 hour blocks for customer calls, two 30 minute blocks for struggling or disengaging customers, two 30 minute blocks for “me” time to handle other internal tasks.  

It really depends on your personality, but for me, what I look to do is, I block out just general time. For example, email. I’m not designating it to a specific customer or specific activity necessarily.

I might also have blocks of admin time where on Mondays and Thursdays I focus on very specific things maybe more proactive activities. So, while I have the same time blocked off or different times set across the course of the week, I might have different focuses depending on what my goals and objective are for that shorter-term period.

Q: Reactive needs are inevitable to pop up from a customer. How do you suggest handling those, as they can’t be ignored?

A: Yea, that’s a good question. And I think I’ve mentioned it kind of throughout the webinar, because we do know our customers sometimes have fires big or small. The number one step is to prioritize that information.

So, if we look back at that matrix that we were talking about, we might see that the priorities of our customer and our own priorities might be quite different. But if we think about that matrix where we have high value and low value, we have to think about being in alignment with our customer base. So, if my customer’s objective and goal is X and their need right now is to find out why something is happening and it has nothing to do with X, maybe it’s a little bit of a lower priority. Still on your radar, but not something you go jump on instantly.  

Now if your whole database is down, if a customer’s system is not working, these are things that we want to react to right now and you build the time in for.

Q: I’ve found that customers show up late to meetings, which messes up the scheduling of my day. Any ideas on how to help minimize this impact?

A: I think this is also one of those inevitable things where people run late. I run late sometimes, I’m sure your customers run late. Some things that you can do to hopefully minimize running over your allotted time, would be #1- to record each session. So, if there are late comers to the meeting, they have the information, the same information that you’ve imparted to customer that were present, so you don’t need to stop and review that, eating up your meeting time.

You can also say that you have set times, like – we have a hard stop at the bottom of the hour because everybody’s time is valuable. My customer’s time is valuable, our time is valuable. So, we want to make sure that everyone is aware of that.

The last thing I might do, is book a little bit of buffer time between meetings because of the fact that it’s inevitable that somebody will run late, and I want to make sure I give the same level of service every single time.

Q: Do you have any examples of SMART goals when it comes to managing you daily activities?

A: Yeah, SMART goals or interesting. A lot of times we have very big goals. I want to do X, I want to do Y, without having the “SMART” part of it, a lot of times it can be hard to achieve or input steps that actually get you to that goal.

So, for me, I have small ones over the course of my day. I’m looking to hit X level of engagement. So, I might want to target five customers on any given day, where I am doing something proactive. It doesn’t have to be something big, but it might be something as small as- I noticed that you’re not using this in your system, and it can provide value.

Or, like I mentioned earlier the zero dashboard. For me it’s really important to zero out my inbox each day. I don’t always achieve it, but by the end of the week my goal is always to have that information completed and zeroed out so that I know my customers have gotten the information they need to make important decisions.

To hear more on what are common mistakes we make in managing our day-to-day and to see how you can utilize ChurnZero to help, check out the webinar recording. 

View On-Demand

Thanks to Bora for the excellent presentation on how to manage your day-to-day as a CSM. And we hope you will be able to join us for our next webinar!

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