Jeff Gardner (Director of Customer Support & Success at Intercom in the early days) on customer communications:
“It’s got to be easy. Don’t make customers jump through hoops to use your product.
It’s got to be effective. Know everything about your product, including its limitations.
It’s got to be authentic. Make sure everyone’s aligned on your fundamental cultural values.”
As a Customer Success Manager, you represent the customer’s interest and your goal is to help them get value from your product. In many ways, they are the link between the user and the company, and that link grows stronger the more acquainted with the product the customer becomes.
CSMs are kind of like a combination of product manager and technical support; one of their chief duties is leading the Customer Success team in handling all communication from the customer about the product, be it questions about service, onboarding, or resolving technical difficulties.
It goes without saying that communication is important. The tone, content, and delivery of any kind of messaging should be refined and optimized to deliver the best possible customer experience. You should consider how to tailor different messages for different purposes, mediums, and customer profiles. A one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to get you very far, and a keen understanding of etiquette around customer success communications is essential.
This means the CSM needs to be able to take into account the nuances of written communication with individual customers and be able to adjust their approach to each specific situation.
In this Process Street post, I’ll detail the core principles vital for a CSM to lead their team to successful communications with all customers.
- CSM communications etiquette: Ground rules
- CSM communications etiquette: Provide a solution
- CSM communications etiquette: Closing a query
Let’s dive in!