A Great Customer Success Manager Has These 5 Qualities

A good customer success manager is more than just an expert on customer engagement. He or she is also a good leader, a good marketer, a good strategist and a good organizer. Customer success requires all these things and more, because keeping your organization’s customers happy and contented with your services is a full-time job. So if you want to train your managers to become good customer success leaders then here are 5 tips that will help you do it.

A Great Customer Success Manager Has These 5 Qualities:

1. They Understand The Pareto Principle

Successful customer success executives understand the importance of the Pareto Principle, which basically states that around 80% of all sales, production or activity comes from 20% of the population/market. Developed by an Italian engineer, economist and philosopher, Vilfredo Pareto, the Pareto Principle is a good tool for sales optimization because it allows managers to more easily determine their organization’s target market, or which products are most likely to generate sales.

By identifying the 20% of the market that is most responsive to their organization’s products and services, customer success leaders will be able to optimize their marketing efforts, thus leading to higher levels of customer engagement and better sales. Furthermore, by employing the Pareto Principle, customer success leaders will have fewer problems with regards to customer acquisition and retention, since they already have a good idea who their best customers are. So when you train your customer success executives, make sure that they learn about the Pareto Principle.

2. They Know How to Create Strategies for Customer Engagement

There are many forms of customer engagement. Customer service operations is one good example and social media campaigns are another. However, despite the popularity of these methods, they aren’t particularly unique or special, since most other companies use them to engage their own clients and customers.

The real characteristic which separates great customer success leaders from the mediocre ones is the ability to conceptualize new customer engagement strategies. These strategies don’t always have to be original, but they must always be executed in a way that makes it easier for the customers.

A good example of this, is Netflix. Netflix’s services are unique because they are revolutionized how people watched movies online. Furthermore, Netflix also incorporated dynamic billing and payment schemes, which allowed their customers to get their services more easily. In short, Netflix’s unique approach to selling its services is what allowed it to grow and take control of the online video market.

Now, your own organization doesn’t necessarily need to copy Netflix’s customer success strategy, but it will need to establish a system that is geared towards increased customer engagement. Naturally, your company’s customer success leaders will be at the forefront of such a system, which is why they must understand that the ultimate goal of their work is increased customer engagement.


3. They Understand How Customers Think

Customer success leaders usually need to have a lot of empathy in order to be good at their job, and this is because it helps them to anticipate how their clients think and behave. Furthermore, empathy allows managers to understand the factors which define the buying patterns of most of their clients. For example, young people, particularly teens, generally have lower time preference than most adults, which means that they’re more likely to buy things on impulse rather than save their money for future consumption.

A good customer success leader understands how behavioral differences like these apply to different types of customers, and this is important because managers who understand their target demographic have little trouble promoting their organization’s services. Understanding how customers think is also vital for keeping them happy, while at the same time, keeping them interested in new services. So a good customer success leader should always understand the importance of demographics, as it helps them to engage their customers in the most optimum ways possible.

4. They Understand Market Trends

Customer success is not just about advertising, marketing or keeping customers happy. In certain cases, it also involves factors which may not even be directly related to the customers themselves. Take for example your organization’s operations costs. Sometimes, a sudden increase in operating cost may lead to lower profit margins, which then often leads to sudden markups in prices. Of course, when you increase the price for your products, it’s only a matter of time before sales start to slow down.

A good customer success manager can look at such factors, like these, and know exactly how they will affect customer sentiment in the long run. This is why aside from knowing how to engage their customers, customer success leaders must also be sensitive to those factors which influence their customers indirectly. This way, they will be able to give their organization advice on how certain decisions and policies will affect their customers, which in turn will lead to more customer success.

5. They Know How to Lead Their Customer Success Team

Finally, a good customer success manager should be a good leader. After all, it’s their job to lead the entire team, and this requires quite a bit of skill and experience. Customer success teams need to be motivated, well organized and well-led. Individual customer success personnel may be very good at their individual tasks, such as customer engagement, customer retention, customer acquisition or marketing research, but their work will not be very effective if they don’t have a good leader to coordinate everything.

A customer success manager, therefore, is someone who keeps the entire team working, and helps each member to focus on the larger picture. Not only does this approach lead to more productivity, it also allows the entire team to grow and become more competent at their jobs.


A customer success leader needs to be a lot of things. It’s just part of the job. However, it is this broad spectrum approach which makes their work so important. Their work and the work of the entire customer success team is what makes the whole thing important. By understanding the motives and behavior of the customers, customer success managers become full-time researchers and analysts who provide their organizations the necessary leverage in order to secure their market.

Mark Silver is the Lead Author and Editor of SuccessFULL. SuccessFULL was created in order to be a spurce of news on the fascinating developing world of customer success. On SuccessFull, Mark shares his thoughts on customer success issues, with the hopes to foster a discussion and interaction with anyone interested. The goal of the blog is not to one-directionally publish information, but to create a full engagement between many voices, so that we can all learn from each other.