How to Crush it in a Customer Success Role

Waris Hussain
4 min readJul 7, 2021

It’s a brilliant idea to call the role Customer “Success” and not Customer “Support” (which, I previously thought of it).

When you hear Customer Support, what comes to your mind?

A group of Customer Support executives sitting on their computers, wearing headphones and helping out customers? Or, if your image of customer support is really bad — The same group of people hearing out angry customer’s complaints?

Image credits: Vice

While call centres exist in this world, Customer Success is a lot different.

Customer Success is the bridge between a company, the products and services it offers, and the customers it’s serving.

It’s about solving problems before they arise. You have to be proactive, to foresee the difficulties that may arise for a customer along their journey using a product.

This is the difference between Customer “Success” and Customer “Support”.

In Success, you need to be able to analyse and predict customer’s needs and provide it for them before they ask.

This week, I’ve been diving deep into customer success, learning as much as I can about the topic.

As a part of “Customer Success-Project”, I figured out an area I can help with at Springboard — a UX Design and Data Science Enthusiasts company.

I figured out that it is difficult for a potential customer to contact someone from the team SpringBoard for help. They’ll find it hard to talk to a Customer Success representative, as the only contact button on the website is a “Contact-Us” Button at the bottom of the homepage. This page consists of emails, mailing address, and phone number for voice-mails.

I demonstrated how SpringBoard can make their Customer Success even more effective by installing a chat-bot on their website using Drift, and further using a tool — TextExpander — to save their time replying to customers. I demonstrated the entire project in this 5-minute video -

Lessons from the Customer Success Project

How Customer Success fits in the bigger picture

Imagine a day in the life of a Customer Success Representative. You’re handling customer’s pain points, talking to them, and communicating with different departments of the company — the Product Design, Development, Sales, Marketing. You’re going to be exposed to everyone in the company. Having this much communication with other departments of a company is a great advantage, it is a great learning opportunity.

If you’re starting out in your career, Customer Success is a great starting point. It exposes you to various departments and activities of the company from how the business runs, to how to handle difficult customers.

This dynamic role touches almost every department of a company. It also impacts the business in a critical way, by overseeing the experience of its customers.

As a Customer Success Representative, you’re making sure the customers have the best experience possible with your product. You navigate customers how to use the product, and you’re building relationships with them. You’re responsible for making sure they have a good experience. So, in a way, you’re making sure they keep using your product.

Apart from being so dynamic, there’s another advantage to being a Customer Success Representative. You’ll be the critical intelligence-gathering branch of the company. You’re the one who’s helping out customers on a daily basis in many different ways.

A customer may find difficulties because of a design fault of the company, while another may find the company’s messaging confusing and hard to set expectations. You’re going to help out customers with lots of different — expected and unexpected — problems.

This makes a customer success agent full of knowledge about what customer’s pain points are and how their experience can be improved. You’re going to be an intelligence-gathering branch of the company. Helping the company understand how to best develop, market, and sell the product.

Skills of a Customer Support Representative

It might not be a surprise — the main task of a Customer Success Representative is to help customers have a better experience. You’re helping people and solving their problems; a problem is itself a bad experience — so when a customer has a problem, it’s your job to make sure their experience is as smooth as possible.

To solve customer’s problems, you need to understand them first. That’s why you need soft skills like empathy, problem-solving and good judgment. Along with these, you need strong communication and even stronger attention to detail, and good organisation skills.

If you’re dealing with a frustrated customer, you need to be comfortable with talking to them. Calming them down before you help them and figure out a way for them to have a better experience. Basically, you’ll need people skills.

Soft skills help a lot to make people a great fit for Customer Success roles. If you have a keen interest in problem-solving, you’re going to enjoy this role.

Great customer success teams help customers learn how to use the product, solve their problems with the product, and maximize the value they’re getting out of their experience. If customers didn’t have anywhere to go when they had a problem, they’d get frustrated and stop being customers. (And that’s something we definitely don’t want for our business)

Customers love feeling seen and heard and supported, and customer success reps create that feeling — which in turn creates happy customers :)

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Waris Hussain

I'm a User Experience Designer, a curious soul always keen to learn as much as possible. Here to share what I've learnt and get better at life.