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What is a Customer Success Manager? Roles & Responsibilities Explained

What is a Customer Success Manager? Roles & Responsibilities Explained

Below, I’ve compiled the qualifications and skills customer success managers must have to be effective.

Build and Foster Customer Relationships

Customer success managers work with potential and existing clients every day.

These employees must create excellent relationships to ensure customers trust your brand wholeheartedly.

Proactive Problem Solving

A customer’s business can experience a problem at any point.

And who will they turn to when they need help? Your CSM!

These managers must be quick on their feet and able to provide solutions immediately!

Brand Promotion

A customer success manager must also be able to promote your brand.

There are numerous ways CSMs can promote your brand, including the following techniques:

  • Customer referrals
  • Surveys
  • Campaigns
  • Social media platforms

Whatever strategy they choose, these employees should know how to get the word out about your company’s offerings!

Leadership Skills

CSMs must be able to identify and solve problems and lead others in the same direction.

When necessary, these managers must motivate other departments, like sales or customer support!

Also, potential and existing customers rely on CSMs for direction, meaning they must be confident and ready to lead.

Customer Empathy

All members of customer service teams must be empathetic.

Even if they have little to no experience in the client’s industry, your customer service manager must be able to relate to what the client is going through.

Empathy allows CSMs to gain a deep understanding of their clients.

Product Knowledge

Your customer success manager must know your product or service inside and out.

Knowing your product includes:

  • Understanding how it works
  • What features it offers
  • Each product’s pricing structure

Additionally, CSMs must stay current on any changes or updates you make to your product.

Communication Skills

I’ve already said it numerous times throughout this guide, but your CSM MUST be excellent at communicating.

Your CSM is a trusted advisor for both the client and your employees in each department.

Therefore, a successful CSM must understand how to talk with everyone clearly.

Time Management Skills

CSMs must be excellent with time management.

Most businesses have these employees work on multiple tasks and projects at once.

Therefore, a CSM must have the organizational skills to track deadlines and meetings.

Customer Intelligence (High EQ)

Client success managers must have a high emotional intelligence (EQ).

For instance, your CSM must be able to understand how customers feel and act accordingly.

Knowing their clients means CSMs must understand the following things:

  • Customer’s emotions
  • A client’s business goals and motivations
  • Behaviors patterns

Collaboration Skills

CSMs must be able to collaborate with other departments and team members.

These employees must work well with sales, marketing, or customer service teams (as well as your clients!).

Also, your CSM should be able to manage different personalities and remain professional in any situation!

Industry Knowledge

Every customer success manager must have an in-depth understanding of the industry they work in.

That way, they can answer client questions, give advice to remain competitive, and ensure the sales process is up to par!

Active Listening

Active listening means understanding what a customer is saying, why they’re saying it, and reacting appropriately.

This type of listening helps a customer success manager do the following:

  • Build trust with customers
  • Gain an understanding of their challenges
  • Provide solutions or advice tailored to the client’s needs

Technical Monitoring

Customer success managers must be able to monitor technical issues.

That said, a CSM should know how to use customer relationship management (CRM) software and other tools used for tracking processes, such as project management or issue-tracking software.

Also, these employees should have an understanding of analytics platforms, reporting tools, and success metrics.

Technical Skills

Knowing how to monitor technical aspects of a client’s products or system isn’t enough.

Client success managers must know how customers use your company’s products in their day-to-day work.

Reading and Writing Skills

Although a customer success manager connects with clients face to face at times, most of their communication is via email.

Therefore, CSMs must be proficient at reading and writing so your customers understand and communicate through high-priority tasks.

Strategic Planning

A customer success manager must have the foresight to plan and implement strategies for customer success.

These employees should be able to do the following tasks:

  • Identify improvement areas
  • Create onboarding process plans
  • Devise strategies for solving problems quickly


A client success manager must be able to sway your customers into thinking your company’s products or services are the best.

Remember, there’s a fine line between pushing customers aggressively and being persuasive.

Creative Thinking

A customer success manager must have a creative mindset.

These employees must be able to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions for customer problems.

They should also be able to find new ways to introduce customers to your company’s products or services!