In this edition of our Ask a CSM series, we're chatting with James Kaiser, Customer Success Manager at Moz.
What was your background prior to becoming a CSM? What attracted you to customer success?
Prior to finding my way into customer success, I’ve dabbled in everything from planning international events in cities like Singapore and Dublin, to starting my own company and securing a round of funding. I came to realize that I enjoy doing a bit of everything, so I began to seek out roles that would allow me to do just that.
Customers have been and always will be the lifeblood of any organization. If customers don’t love your product or receive top notch support from your team, you will lose them. This is what attracted me to customer success; it goes beyond just technical support and into strategy for your customers.
What does your typical day look like?
Who said there is a typical day in customer success? While parts of my day do involve routine tasks like responding to emails from stakeholders, consolidating customer feedback, and troubleshooting bugs, each day comes with a new problem to solve. It’s definitely a job that requires more than one set of skills.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Juggling 10-15 activities when all of them seemingly have the same impact. In any company, you deal with time restraints and potentially limited resources, so you have to pick your battles, bug-fixes, and feature requests on behalf of your clients (who trust you to do so). Sometimes this requires you to advocate for one fix over another; in either case, you may wind up making one person happy while possibly upsetting or creating a roadblock for another. A lot of this can be mitigated by setting proper expectations.
Which team (outside of your own) do you work with most closely, and why?
My team works most closely with our product team. Part of my role as a Customer Success Manager is to delight customers with both enhancements to existing tools as well as the development of new ones. My team didn’t always work this closely with the product team, but after working hard to build this relationship, we are finally starting to see the benefits in terms of retaining customers and expanding our accounts.
What advice would you give someone who is just starting his/her career in customer success?
Customer success is an intersection of sales, customer support, project management, and strategy. To those just getting started, always keep the focus on your customer. Do the right thing for your customers and growth will follow.
In our Ask a CSM series, we're talking with some of the industry's leading Customer Success, Education and Training professionals about the ins and outs of their day-to-day. Stay tuned for new Q&As each month!
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