Producing and selling a product is an important transaction for any business. However, customer support and relationship maintenance is becoming increasingly important. Once a prospective customer becomes an active customer, they should also feel valued.
Customer service managers (CSMs) oversee this customer transition, supporting active customers and seeking to build long and fruitful relationships with returning customers. Customer success is crucial for the overall success of any business.
Ultimately, CSMs work with clients and all the employees to ensure everything runs smoothly.
What is a customer service manager?
Unlike customer service representatives (CSRs), who respond reactively when issues arise, customer service managers proactively work to understand how they can resolve a problem before it occurs. CSMs are well-tuned to the needs of both the business and the customer and devise practical solutions to appease both parties.
A team effort, effective customer service requires a cohesive cross-team effort between support, service and product, and sales. To retain profitable customers, customer service managers must provide added value to the customer experience.
This elevated customer experience is conducted by actively listening, empathetically responding, and providing effective and satisfying solutions.
Key responsibilities of a customer service manager
Customer service managers maintain the customer relationship while also reassuring the customer why the offering is valuable. They accomplish this by implementing a variety of key tools, including an effective customer service team, demonstrating product knowledge, and continued efforts to improve performance and efficiency.
Establish an effective customer service team
A customer service manager must be highly selective when hiring new customer service representatives. They should only onboard prospective team members skilled in active listening and conflict resolution.
Furthermore, successful customer service representatives must be thoroughly trained and equipped with the proper tools to resolve a variety of issues, as each conflict will be different and needs to be handled individually.
Build and maintain lasting relationships
Customer service managers must understand their target demographic. This includes the obstacles they are facing and the requirements they must meet to be successful. A unique role, CSMs are client-facing and instrumental in ensuring that customers are familiar with the uses of a product.
Additionally, CSMs should make a customer feel valued, maintaining customer relationships, and identifying how a product differs from its competitors.
Speak on behalf of the customer
As the owner of customer relationships, customer service managers must represent the voice of the customers they are serving. For this, CSMs must work closely with customers, listen to their needs, and be willing to accept their feedback. Customer service managers bridge the gap between the company and the consumer, so they must demonstrate effective communication.
Implement team goal setting, follow up
Arguably, accountability is the most effective method for an individual or team to grow personally and professionally. Customer service managers must ensure that each representative is aware of expectations, changes in offerings.
They should also actively strive to achieve set goals. Customer service managers must create a space where representatives can identify reasonably aspirational goals and hold them accountable to achieve them.
Handle unresolved, long-lasting issues
Sometimes, a customer service representative may encounter an angry customer who requests to speak to the manager. It is the customer service manager’s responsibility to diffuse escalated situations, which may often require difficult conversations with angry customers.
CSMs can rely on their expertise to employ active listening, empathetic reasoning, and providing a genuine apology for the customer’s disapproval.
How to be a successful customer service manager
After discovering the key responsibilities of a customer service manager, it is important to also understand the key competencies for a successful customer service manager. As a cohesive and invested customer service team is key to customer success, a customer service manager must demonstrate exceptional leadership.
Lead the customer service team by example
When handling customer service requests, customer service managers must create an elevated customer service experience for the guest as is expected for the representatives. Doing so ensures a positive customer experience while reinforcing representatives’ respect for their leader.
Be thoroughly familiar with the product offering and industry
Customer service managers must have thorough knowledge about both the product offering and the changing landscape of the industry in which the product resides. They must ensure that the product offering is optimized and that the CSM is anticipating customer needs in an evolving environment.
CSMs are a crucial piece in ensuring customer success.
Why Is Customer Success Important?
A customer success manager ensures business viability, as it secures recurrent sales and allows for consistent growth. There are many facets to ensuring customer success. With this, customer service managers are vital in ensuring customers experience immediate gratification while also maintaining long-term loyalty.
Without customer success, a company will not be successful.
Leading outsourcing services and cloud staffing provider Cloudstaff takes pride in its roster of customer success managers. They help the company guide their clients throughout their journey, resulting in maximized and guaranteed satisfactory results.