With Customer Success being one of the top emerging departments in software companies around the globe, you might be considering a career in this industry, but you also might be wondering which role is right for you.
To help answer some questions you might have around the Customer Success job market, we created this overview that will describe what the different career paths are that you can pursue, with descriptions for each role and the industry salaries.
Chief Customer Officer
Description: The Chief Customer Officer (CCO) role is still quite new, which means it is relatively undefined in a standardized way. According to the Chief Customer Officer Council, the CCO is “an executive that provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.”
- Own the revenue number for the installed customer base. The CCO is responsible for all customer activities with the goal of generating revenue growth for the company.
- Build a profitable customer experience. To help drive recurring growth the CCO must focus on initiatives such as customer prioritization, customer retention, customer loyalty, customer satisfaction, as well as improving the customer experience.
- Create a customer-centric culture. One of the most important roles of the CCO is to help create a strong, customer-centric culture company-wide with accountability and ownership of the customer experience at all levels.
- Drive change. This role was created for a reason, to bring about change within organizations. It is up to the CCO to effectively communicate the need for a business or process change and lead the way to embarking on a new path.
Salary: According to Salary.com the average Chief Customer Officer salary in the United States is $240,400, but the range typically falls between $202,700 and $291,900.
Customer Success Vice President/Director
Description: A Customer Success VP or Director reports to a CCO, or if that role does not exist within the organization, than they usually report directly to the CEO. They serve as the Customer Success team leader and help drive strategy and direction as well as manage a team of Customer Success Managers.
- Deliver business outcomes that include increased renewal rates as well as expansion revenue growth through cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.
- Define and optimize the customer lifecycle by mapping out the journey and enhancing the experience along the way.
- Provide direction for all Customer Success activities including onboarding, training, professional services, customer support, customer success management, renewals, and expansion.
- Build, lead, and measure effectiveness of the Customer Success team.
- Make decisions on technology to help support the team and drive efficiency.
- Inspire a customer-centric approach throughout the organization and serve as liaison between departments on behalf of the customer.
Salary: According to Glassdoor.com a Vice President of Customer Success earns an average base pay of $189,570 a year, while a Director of Customer Success earns an average base pay of $131,999 a year.
Customer Success Manager
Description: According to the Customer Success Association in their CSM Competency Standard – “the greatest part of the Customer Success Manager’s job is in working with their assigned customers to ensure that they get the maximum return on their investment in purchasing the company’s products. It is vital that the CSM realize two key facts abut their role with the customers. First, what counts in the customers’ definition of “value” and this is something that may not be easy for the CSM to reliably determine. Secord, it’s important to tie value directly as possible to money – and to get the customers’ agreement as to the value that they have received.”
“Working to ensure the customers’ success is only part of the CSM’s job. The other part is working for the Company’s success as well. The process of interaction with the customers will reveal information and insights that are of strategic significance to the Company – if properly captured and transmitted to the various personnel, departments, and recorded in the technological systems of the company.”
- Communication with the customer to establish rapport and identify customer expectations and facilitate change management to drive product adoption and renewals.
- Prioritization and time management of the customers’ tasks, goals, and objectives.
- Managing account growth to identify and pursue qualifying up-sell and cross-sell opportunities.
- Represent the interests and desires of the customers throughout the company.
- Drive customer advocacy in the form of reference, referrals, and case studies.
Salary: According to Glassdoor.com, the national average salary for a Customer Success Manager is $73,618 in the United States.
Customer Success Operations Manager
Description: The role of a Customer Success Operations Manager is to drive the effectiveness and efficiency of the Customer Success team. This role will report to the CS leader (VP or Director). Surprisingly, someone in CS Ops does not necessarily need a background in Customer Success. Experience in roles such as Operations or Revenue Operations is suitable.
- Own data and analytics for all things related to the customer including segmentation, renewal forecasting, account health, adoption, NPS and other customer surveys.
- Create the process for onboarding. renewal playbooks, proactive customer touchpoints and cross-functional coordination.
- Enable the Customer Success team to meet their goals and performance metrics with training and professional development.
- Implement and manage the systems and technology that the Customer Success team uses.
- Drive workforce planning, capacity planning and goal setting for the team.
Salary: According to Glassdoor.com the national average salary for Customer Success Operations Manager is $75,173 in the United States.
Description: An Implementation or Onboarding Manager is responsible for cultivating exceptional experience and sustained value for customers by acting as their guide throughout the onboarding process. They consult with customers on their goals and priorities and then assist in implementing the ideal configuration to achieve those goals. Part of the role also includes training customers on the platform, so they can effectively manage the product long term.
- Oversee the entire onboarding process of a rotating portfolio of customers, from contract to close through the competition of their technical implementation. This requires a working knowledge of integrations, how to get them set up and the ability to troubleshoot and correct issues.
- Build strong customer relationships by maintaining high levels of engagement and communication.
- Clearly translate technical requirements to non-technical customers to ensure clarity and confidence in decisions.
- Accurately ascertain customer goals and translate them into an implementation plan that will provide initial value in a timely fashion.
- Proactively manage both the customer and internal staff to ensure timelines are met.
- Coordinate and deliver training sessions to ensure confidence with the platform and cultivate customer accountability.
Salary: The national average salary for a Customer Onboarding/Implementation Manager according to ZipRecuriter is $65,810.
Looking for a new role in Customer Success? Check out the ChurnZero careers page as we are always looking for sharp talent.
Customer Success Around the Web
- Chose Your Fighter: TAM or CSM?– Learn when you should hire a Customer Success Manager vs. a Technical Account Manager.
- Emotional Intelligence: How to Thrive in Customer Success (Part One)– Discover how to develop the most vital soft skill of emotional intelligence as a CSM.
- Everything You Need to Know Abut Customer Lifecycle Management– Find out how to better prepare your Customer Success team to be able to turn your customers into loyal promoters.
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