The Customer Success professional has specific processes and methodologies, which allow him to lead the customer to be successful in his strategy. At the same time, the Account Manager focuses more on ensuring that the client’s demands are met within the deadlines and with quality. Juan Andrés Corrales Feb 7, 20 | 11 min read Customer Success and Account Manager: How They Differ You don’t have to be an expert to notice that we are in the age of customer orientation . Currently, the commercialization processes are focused on satisfying the needs and solving the problems of the same.
It is precisely there where two professional individuals come into play: Customer Success and Account Manager . For these experts, proving at all costs that the products or services of their companies are the most economical or virtuous is not a priority, but to guarantee a satisfactory customer experience . Did it surprise you? Yes, Nigeria WhatsApp Number List this philosophy departs a bit from the ideas of traditional advertising , which is aimed at exalting the products of the brands above all else. But what has made things change so much in recent years? Why are there now professionals specifically dedicated to the customer experience in their relationship with the company? The answer is not very complex: for today’s customer the most important thing is the sensations generated by interactions with brands . There are many statistics that support this thesis, and Precision Marketing Group grouped several of them in a recent work:86% of buyers would pay more for a product or service if they receive a better experience;the negative effect of a bad experience is twice that of a positive one; companies that prioritize customer experience generate 60% more revenue; In 2020, the customer experience will definitely exceed price and product as a key differentiator . As you can see,
Customer Success and Account Manager are specialties that have gained space within companies and Digital Marketing teams – and also traditional – as a mechanism to respond to consumers much more demanding, rational and eager for good experiences. However, this does not mean that these professionals do exactly the same and that their scope and contributions are identical. On the contrary! There are marked differences between Customer Success and Account Manager , which we will explore in detail. Do you think it is a good idea? Of course, first, let’s define in general terms each of these specialties. Let’s see! What does a Customer Success do? Customer success is when the customer achieves a desired result or solves their initial problem, right? So, this tells us that Customer Success (CS) is that professional who tries to guarantee that the customer, effectively, solves their problem or reaches the desired objective . Although the definition of this specialist seems simple, his work is actually much more profound and complex. And it is that its mission goes beyond helping the client to fully use the product or service they acquired . Also, you must ensure that the customer is aligned with his strategic objectives and that he grows and progressively improves with the use of his purchase. At the same time, it must convey to the rest of the work team the importance of applying certain criteria to guarantee a positive user experience. Although it is no longer strange to run into Customer Success within a company, the reality is that a few years ago it was a profession with little place in the market. This specialty began to gain ground in the workplace and professional with the expansion of SaaS (Software as a Service) companies. This is because they needed experts to guide the use of the platforms and their functionalities, to ensure that clients achieve results through them. But it is important to clarify that the CS is not a customer-focused Technical Support analyst, but rather a representative of you in the company.
That means you need to analyze the data generated by customer interactions and use it to give you insights into what you can do to get more positive results. At the same time, this professional is in charge of providing the client with autonomy to make decisions about the product or service, enabling them to use it according to their objectives and goals. And what is the role of an Account Manager? This is a professional who is especially focused on maximizing the Lifetime Value (LTV) , that is, the economic benefits that each client generates for a company throughout the term of their contract. To do this, logically, they must also ensure that the life cycle lasts as long as possible, establishing solid and long-term relationships between users and the companies they represent. How do they try to achieve it? Simple: making sure that customers are satisfied with the product or service purchased, because only then will they feel motivated to make new purchases or renew their subscriptions. So far, surely, you have not detected profound differences between these concepts, but believe me there are! Then…How are Customer Success and Account Manager different? At first glance, we can see that Customer Success is more rooted in the interests of the customer , while the Account Manager, while also seeking satisfaction, has the main function of providing concrete business results, such as cross-selling and renewals. In addition, when evaluating the work dynamics and objectives of these professionals, we find many other basic differences, such as:Permanent presence vs sporadic presence In many companies, the Account Manager is a billing and solution contact . This means that it “appears” when the customer needs to solve a problem or has a particular attitude, and also at times when renovations or new purchases are being negotiated. As for Customer Success, their participation timeline is very different.
The work dynamics of this professional is to accompany the user throughout the interaction process with a brand and one of its products or services. Even the CS should support the customer from the beginning , with him planning strategy and functionality that should “exploit” to achieve and accelerate results. Although it can also be present in the earlier interaction cycles, the accompaniment of the Account Manager is not usually continuous , but rather scheduled, through monthly or quarterly meetings, for example. This leads him to another big difference: the attitude that each professional maintains towards the client. Proactivity vs reactivity Both the Account Manager and Customer Success are a helping hand when the customer needs it, as long as they carry out their duties effectively, of course. However, Customer Success goes one step further and, in addition to offering solutions at specific times, maintains a proactive attitude in its interaction with the user, making recommendations, reporting on results and exchanging criteria. Also, this specialist analyzes and detects possible problems and reports them transparently to the client, to determine agreed and sustainable solutions. Customer success vs new sales or renewals Every Account Manager has the mission of obtaining renewals or additional or cross sales . In other words, its focus is the fulfillment of objectives associated with commercial profits.
Meanwhile, as you already know, Customer Success is in charge of directing customers to success. Of course, this also leads to retention and higher earnings. At the same time, the CS also ensures the profitability of the client, as it ensures that they get the most out of the money invested in a certain product or service. At the same time, the Account Manager tends to propose new offers to the client without being clear about whether it is the right moment for each one, according to the progressive advances that the product is making. That is the role of the CS. Generally, their methodologies involve a division into stages, which allow you to know what results the client should have before leveling up their contract . Sustainable results vs immediate results For the Account Manager, the faster results are obtained, the better, because at the end of the day it is about profits for the business. Regarding Customer Success, the speed of the results is not the priority, but sustainability, that is, that they resist the passage of time. A sustainable outcome, for example, is for a customer to renew a business contract after meeting their initial goals. And it is that a hasty renewal, without having traveled different lapses of the strategy, can generate non-conformities and points of friction, which significantly harm the customer experience.
Immediate responses vs delegation of functions Without a doubt, the Account Manager is a solid link between the client and the company. For example, if it is a SaaS company, this professional may receive a question from the user about the use of a tool and then transmit it to the systems or support team. That’s very good! However, in many circumstances less intermediation and more immediacy is required , and there Customer Success takes on special importance. These professionals must have knowledge of the service or product that the client acquired, as well as its needs, in order to be able to offer direct help on different occasions. Logically, if it is a very technical or specific area, dominated by another member of the team, the CS can delegate the work to a third party. In addition, although Customer Success is the professional closest to the customer, this does not mean that on certain occasions the user cannot go directly to another member of the team, through chats and other similar channels. In what contexts do these professionals work? The Account Manager is a professional who has been in the market for the longest time. Generally, it acts as an “appendage” of the sales team , which seeks to guarantee customer satisfaction to generate renewals and new business opportunities. It is especially common in the context of advertising and marketing agencies , where an Account Manager can act as an agent who does not allow the client to “escape” and go to the competition.
For its part, Customer Success is an expert who has been mainly linked to SaaS companies , startups and different organizations that carry out their activity based on technology and innovation. As we have already mentioned, its context of participation is much broader, since it accompanies the client from the beginning, even when planning their strategies and lines of action. For this, it can implement comprehensive management methodologies, such as the OKR (objectives and results indicators). Also, the CS is committed to constant feedback and provides the customer with instruments to constantly assess, through scores or comments, their interaction with the company and the product they purchased. Metrics of a Customer Success As with the Account Manager, renewals and second sales generated are indicators used to measure the performance of the CS . But, as it is a more complete task, this professional is also subject to other metrics, such as:Net Promoter Score (NPS): this is a note given by customers , responding – on a scale of 1 to 10 (generally) – how much they would recommend the company to a friend. Churn rate: it is the customer churn rate , that is, it takes into account those who have unsubscribed or who have canceled a certain contract. Activation: refers to the commitment of customers with respect to a product or service, taking as a premise that the more they use it, the more pleased they feel with it. Customer ROI: it is nothing more than the return on investment that the customer has had after purchasing a product or service. If it is positive, it is a very good sign that user satisfaction has been achieved. Results: they include all the objectives met by the clients with the help of the CS and the team in general.