What Does a Mature Customer Success Organization Look Like?
Introduction: Who's this Customer Success Guide For?
Chapter 1: What is Customer Success?
Chapter 2: Customer Success Everywhere: An Organizaitonal Philosophy
Chapter 3: What Are the Responsibilities of Customer Success?
Chapter 4: What’s the Difference Between Customer Success, Customer Support, Account Management, and Professional Services?
Chapter 5: Why Is Customer Success Important to SaaS?
Chapter 6: How Do You Build a Customer Success Strategy?
Chapter 7: What Does a Mature Customer Success Organization Look Like?
Chapter 8: Does Customer Success Need Its Own Tool?
Chapter 9: How To Get Started with Customer Success
What your Customer Success team looks like will largely depend on your organization’s size, solution complexity, and go-to-market strategy. If you’re standing up a Customer Success function for the first time, you may only have one or a handful of Customer Success Managers who do it all. Whereas, if you’re a fast- growing team, you’re likely ready to bring on more specialized roles such as operations and onboarding to drive greater productivity and efficiency.
Now, this section won’t delve into the specifics of workforce planning due to the many organizational nuances at play. What we will cover is the basic structure of a Customer Success team so you can understand the types of roles and skillsets needed to maintain high performance as your team grows.
The org chart below shows an overview of roles grouped by functional area within Customer Success. As mentioned above, depending on the maturity of your Customer Success organization, some of these functional areas, and the roles within them, may be combined or broken out even further. It’s also worth noting that the role titles within these functions can widely vary. For that reason, we’ve focused on the broader descriptions of these roles as opposed to their labeling.
CHIEF CUSTOMER OFFICER (CCO)
CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGEMENT
Renewal and expansion strategy
CUSTOMER SUCCESS OPERATIONS
Customer Success strategy and processes
Customer Success data and tech stack management
Technical implementation and configuration
IMPLEMENTATION / ONBOARDING
Product guidance and problem resolution
Troubleshooting and product bug identification
Learning program and resource development
Learning Management System (LMS) and Community management
System implementation and configuration
Customer Success Management often accounts for the largest share of the team. This function is comprised of Customer Success Managers who work alongside customers to ensure they realize value from your solution. In addition to acting as a trusted advisor, Customer Success Managers also set customer expectations and facilitate change management to drive product adoption and renewals. They’re responsible for the prioritization and time management of all customer goals, tasks, and objectives.
Customer Success Operations works closely with Customer Success Managers to build out repeatable processes and set performance metrics to measure their effectiveness. They also help advance strategy initiatives around the customer experience, as well as manage renewal forecasts, process implementation, and the team’s tech stack.
As the reactive arm of the team, Customer Support handles inbound customer queries by providing product guidance and resolving product problems. While Customer Success advises the customer on product matters related to strategy and use case, Customer Support focuses on the more technical side of usage, such as investigating product bugs and troubleshooting issues.
Depending on the complexity of your solution and the capacity of your Customer Success team, you may have a function dedicated to onboarding new customers. Implementation (also referred to as Onboarding), oversees the entire customer onboarding process. Implementation consults with customers on their goals and priorities and then assists in applying the ideal product configuration to achieve those goals.
But a customer’s learning shouldn’t end after onboarding. Training teams design and develop learning programs and supportive resources for your solution. If you have a Learning Management System (LMS), knowledge base, or community platform, this function is also often responsible for its administration.
When a customer’s training, consulting, or resource needs extend beyond your standard offering, they can use Professionals Services to fill these expertise and capacity gaps – typically at an additional cost. Professional Services handles a range of customer initiatives, such as project management, solutions consulting, configuration, and service enablement, in support of customer adoption and value attainment.
Now, you might be wondering what tools and technology Customer Success teams use to coordinate among one another, as well as the wider organization. In the next section, we look at the role technology plays in modern Customer Success teams.
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