The Enlightened Customer Success Manager

The Enlightened Customer Success Manager

Koan = A paradox used in Zen Buddhism, usually a short statement or story that causes the hearer to take pause in order to develop enlightenment.

CSM Koan= Assurances made by customer success managers reduce customer satisfaction.

Has this given you pause? Let me explain.

As I review CSM call recordings, there are CSM’s who make frequent assurances, such as:

  • “We are going to make sure you have a great experience.”
  • “We are definitely going to find a way to do this.”

If you have a tendency to making assurances, consider this equation…

CS = PI – E


  • CS = Customer Satisfaction
  • PI = Perceived Impact
  • E = Expectations

Which variable is impacted by assurances and how?

Assurances increase E, which makes it more likely CS will be negative in the equation.

The CSM that has promised the moon but has not addressed the actual desired result with appropriate and attainable deliverables, is bound to disappoint.

Assurances reduce your Net Promoter Score

Assurances reduce the positive word of mouth that is the strategic growth objective of all for profit entities.

Your customers are like pins in a bowling alley. Your sales and marketing efforts are the ball. The ball does not have to knock down all the pins.

Companies achieve exponential growth only when the pins start to knock down the pins.

Increased Perceived Impact raises CS, Net Promoter Score, positive word of mouth, and growth.

The way to increase Perceived Impact is by:

  1. Demonstrate that you deeply care, rather than asserting it.
  2. Don’t tell them. Show them in the customer on-boarding process. Re-examine the need. There are new players on your side. There are often new players on the customer side. Deep re-diagnosis ensures you understand the customer’s needs exactly. Only then can one serve those needs exactly.
  3. Include the buyers’ personal and emotional goals, and preferences.
  4. Even then the “P” is not a given, so take great pain to ensure your impact is perceived. This is best done by selecting metrics up front, then moving the needle in a clear way.
  5. Toot their horn, not yours.

Increase Customer Satisfaction by delivering early Perceived Impact and being careful not to set Expectations so high you can’t meet the bar you set for yourself.

If you’d like help more help with connecting to your customers in more impactful ways, please be in touch (703) 966-0192.