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  • Kuba Płonka

Why Customer Success is the Hottest Career Path in 2023



The beginning of the year is an excellent opportunity to reflect and prepare for the coming months. Some of you may be just taking your first steps, or you may be considering a career change and have become interested in Customer Success and Customer Experience. Great for you because in today’s article, I’ll talk about why you should be interested in working in the CS field in 2023 and where to start. Enjoy your reading!


Firstly: What does Customer Success do


Customer Success is the team that ensures that a company’s customer gets the most benefit from the products they use and pay for. This role often focuses on post-sales (post-sales) customers, but depending on the company and the customer, the Customer Success team may be involved in pre-sales (pre-sales) activities.


The role is not just about handling user requests and problems but proactively finding new solutions to increase customer satisfaction. Also associated with the Customer Success team is the concept of building customer experience (from Customer Experience or CX for short). The Customer Success Manager will work at the interface of several groups to coordinate changes affecting customer satisfaction.

You can read more about the role itself and the tasks of this position in one of my previous articles.


Secondly: Why is it worth it


The area where the Customer Success team shows the most value is in products offered in an As Service model. (As Service, e.g. Software as a Service, or SaaS for short). The CS team can increase customer retention and profits by building long-term relationships.


According to a Gartner report, the SaaS market is expected to grow by almost 17% in 2023. This means even more demand for specialists responsible for building customer relationships. As important as support, the area of experience building will grow in 2023. In a recently published article, Forbes has compiled seven predictions for Customer Experience. I particularly like the observation by Barry Cooper, President of the CX division at Nice:


The CX scales are going to tip — more than 80 per cent of customers start their journeys through digital channels rather than in-person interactions.


With the growth of the SaaS business and the increasing emphasis companies place on building engagement by creating unique experiences, the role of Customer Success should become even more potent within companies in the coming year. If companies still need to invest in CS/CX activities, 2023 should be a breakout year.


I strongly recommend you to read Totango’s article, which collects the most important reasons why the current year will be the breakthrough year for the Customer Success area. Also worth reading is an article from SuccessCoaching on their predictions for CS in 2023.


Finally, briefly on the equally important issue of earnings. Already, rankings such as

Glassdoor, for example, position Customer Success as one of the better-paid professions and as the demand for specialists, experts and managers increases, these rates should rise even further.


Thirdly: How to get started


The matter is very individual and depends on the company and the product you will support. Customer Success combines both technical and business knowledge. To succeed in this area, you need to develop both continuously. But it is also an opportunity because there are no barriers to entry, and if you commit yourself and take the time, you can work in this position. As I can’t specifically write you what you need to do to become a customer success specialist, I have put together some advice to get you started and some books and courses you might be interested in.

  1. Be open to learning new things. As I mentioned working on Customer Success is a constant learning experience. Some areas are critical, mainly related to soft skills, but technical knowledge will allow you to work more efficiently with product teams.

  2. Develop a deep understanding of the customer. As a customer success specialist, it is essential to deeply understand your customer’s needs, goals and pain points. This understanding will help you tailor your approach to each customer and make sure they succeed with your product or service.

  3. Be organised. Customer success involves managing a large number of tasks and interactions with customers. It is essential to stay organised and track customer interactions, follow-ups and progress.

  4. Be proactive. Anticipating customer needs and proactively addressing potential problems before they arise is vital to customer success. Get ahead of the facts by constantly monitoring customer progress and proactively responding to any challenges they may face.

Below are some of my suggestions for books and training


Books

  • “Delivering Happiness” by Tony Hsieh

  • “The Challenger Customer” by Brent Adamson and Matthew Dixon

  • “The Experience-Centric Organisation” by Simon Clatworthy

  • “The Customer Success Professional’s Handbook” Ashvin Vaidyanathan and Ruben Rabago

Internet

  • Hubspot blog

  • CS po Polsku community and newsletter (only in Polish)

  • Harvard Business Review

  • Gainsight blog

Courses

  • Coursera: Customer Service Fundamentals

  • Udemy: Customer Success Manager: Fundamentals to your CSM career

  • LinkedIn Learning licence

Once you have grasped the basics, a host of courses, training courses and postgraduate studies can help you. But before you spend much money on training, identify what you need to learn and whether you can achieve it better in-house. Be aware that often your colleagues have already gone down the same path you are starting on and can offer you this invaluable knowledge. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!


The Final Word


Starting a career in Customer Success in the coming year is a sensational idea. It’s an area that offers excellent opportunities for growth in any chosen field and a great place to meet great people and understand one of the most important values of any company — its customers.


Are you planning to start working in CS this year? Or have you recently made a change? What are your tips for those new to the CS industry? Share in the comments!

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