Customer Success Management is a dynamic role, and finding CSM talent is no easy feat. Let's look at how to craft the perfect Customer Success job description to land your next Customer Success Manager.
Skills for Customer Success
We reviewed dozens of Customer Success job descriptions and spoke with a variety of Customer Success teams to understand the top skills of great CSMs.
Here's what we saw and heard:
- Domain expertise
- Curiosity (actively listens)
- Problem solving (brings solutions to the table)
- Relationship management
- Professional yet sociable
- Comfortable with difficult conversations
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Project management (stays organized)
- Sales acumen* (depending on role)
These skills should provide a solid foundation for most Customer Success managers. However, as you think about your ideal CSM, also consider:
- What segment will they manage?
- How will they engage with customers?
- Where will they fit within your organization?
There are many ways to manage a customer portfolio.
You can distinguish accounts by revenue, company size, complexity, and more. Whatever your strategy, each segment requires a thoughtful engagement model to deliver the most appropriate customer experience.
Customer Engagement Models
Common approaches include:
- High-touch — actively managed high-value accounts.
- Low-touch — passively managed low-value accounts.
High-Touch Customer Success
High-touch Customer Success is typically reserved for "Enterprise-level" accounts. It typically involves significant hand-holding and consultative guidance throughout the customer journey.
CSMs are expected to thoroughly understand a customer's business and cultivate deep relationships with stakeholders and end-users. As a consultative role, it also requires the ability to "course correct" and conduct difficult conversations if necessary.
A high-touch model makes the most sense when your business has some combination of high-value accounts, complex customer requirements, and customized solution options. High-touch CSMs may even make onsite visits to strengthen relationships and ensure clients are set up for success.
Top skills for high-touch CSMs:
- Domain expertise — Understand and translate complex customer requirements and use-cases into measurable, proven outcomes.
- Project management — Shepard internal resources and external stakeholders through key projects along the customer journey.
"In Enterprise, the best CSMs are obsessive about 1) product, 2) domain, and 3) the customer. Product experience forms the foundation, and domain knowledge provides that "last-mile" value to build truly meaningful relationships."
— Param Vora, Head of Customer Success, Freshworks
Low-Touch Customer Success
On the other hand, low-touch Customer Success focuses on the SMB segment or the long tail of low-value accounts within a business. It's a transactional motion and leans heavily on automation, but CSMs are expected to identify at-risk accounts and jump in to solve customer issues when needed.
As you might expect, this is an inside role where customer interactions happen over phone, email, and web.
Top skills for low-touch CSMs:
- Analytical mindset — Monitor KPIs and behavioral trends to prioritize at-risk customers in a large portfolio.
- Written communication — Create engaging email campaigns, best practices, and training materials that deflect support tickets and enable success at scale.
CSM roles can also differ based on the team's structure within an organization. Large teams thrive through specialization, while small teams and early-stage ventures need generalists who can wear many hats.
CSMs in large teams often fall into functional roles (think separate groups for onboarding, training, and even operations), while CSMs in small teams can expect broader responsibilities.
As you write your job description, think about your customer portfolio, engagement model, and team dynamics to attract the right kind of candidate from the start.
Customer Success Job Description
With your ideal role in mind, you're now ready to write your perfect Customer Success job description.
Let's look at a couple of examples to kick start your next job post:
You might also include your tech stack, especially if your team relies on specific tools or Customer Success software for their day-to-day work.
Once you've crafted your job description, it's time to share it with the world. But simply publishing it on your website might not be enough.
Sources of Talent
It seems like everyone is scrambling to hire Customer Success Managers, and the pool of available talent is rapidly shrinking. You may need to get creative to maximize your chances of landing your next superstar CSM.
There are many benefits to hiring from within, and Account Management, Support, and even Sales teams can yield great CSMs. Remember, Customer Success sits at the intersection of many different roles and skillsets, so don't neglect to evangelize Customer Success Management within your organization.
"We've found that moving potential CSMs through Support has been invaluable. If you decide to hire externally, ensure that CSMs receive adequate product and industry knowledge, so interactions remain relevant to your customer's business."
— Erika Entz, Global Head of Customer Success, simPRO
Get to know other team leads in your organization and look for opportunities to promote your new job opening:
- Perhaps a quick announcement during the next all-hands meeting?
- Maybe a post on an internal work collaboration tool?
- How about a post in a shared channel or employee newsletter?
Meetups are a great way to network with other Customer Success professionals in your area. Job announcements are usually part of the agenda, and it's a great way to meet candidates who are genuinely passionate about Customer Success.
Connect with the organizer and see how you can participate to the fullest. They may include your job post on recurring announcements or let your company host the next event for even more exposure.
Join Online Communities
Just like local meetups, online communities can be a great place to connect with your peers in Customer Success. Most of these communities have job boards where you can post your opening for all members to see.
Popular Customer Success communities:
- Customer Success Association
- OUTCOMES: The Customer Success Community
- Customer Success Network
- LinkedIn groups
• • •
In today's competitive market, you'll need every advantage to find Customer Success talent for your organization. A well-crafted job description that attracts the right candidate is the first step toward hiring your next Customer Success Manager.