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Customer success manager: What I do and how much I make

Video transcript

my name is Nick Donovan I'm 28 years old and I'm a customer success manager at user testing I make a DK a year user testing is a company that specializes in providing qualitative user feedback for companies with apps and websites so that's a little bit complicated but essentially what we do is we allow big companies to understand what users experiences are like when they try using their apps and websites so for example when you go to Amazon to buy something maybe there's step in the process that's really confusing and so you decide not to buy it Amazon wants that not to be the case so they purchase a subscription with user testing which allows them to see what their users are experiencing and improve those processes so user testing has a panel of testers that exist all over the globe and in order to get feedback what we do is we have each of those testers take what we call sessions and those are done using a screen recorder on either their desktop computer or their mobile device which will record what they're doing on their device as well as their thoughts that they're speaking aloud during a session so that way we're getting feedback on not only what it looks like when they're trying to click on things but also if they're running into an issue they didn't know they were going to have they can speak their thoughts aloud and say oh this isn't what I expected to make those pain points really clear essentially user testing is here in order to provide companies with those insights into those users so as a customer success manager I'm here for a couple different reasons that I main focus here is to make sure that our customers are always really happy with the platform and the product and subscriptions they've purchased with us if they're really happy with us then it means that they're really sticky and we're doing great work for them in providing them valuable research and that means that they're going to come back again next year and purchase again so really when it all boils down I'm here to help ensure that customers are renewing with us and spending money that way my major responsibilities as I'd said previously is essentially to ensure that my customers are always healthy which means that they're utilizing the product they are finding value in it that's really kind of what matters so in order to do that I'll do partnership reviews which is times when I'll go in and try to meet with the executive stakeholders at my customers companies and ensure that they're seeing the great value that they're getting beyond that we'll also be having regular email correspondence monthly check-ins in order to make sure that they're doing well phone calls I'll go visit them in person sometimes that's some of my favorite stuff to do on my job is actually going in visiting really cool companies and then beyond that I'm also responsible for all renewal discussions so once a customer is done with their first year with us I'm responsible for talking with them about their upcoming year subscription and making sure they still want to stay on so projects for my role are a little varied sometimes a project could be onboarding a new customer and that would mean that I am working with our professional services team or researchers and project managers who want to make sure that all our customers understand fully how to utilize the platform so sometimes I'm focusing really on that with newer customers other times I'm putting out fires if there's a customer who had a really poor experience for one reason or another I want to make sure that they understand that that's not how the business the usual typical experience and helping them kind of reconnect and regroup so that we can do great stuff going forward other times its renewal discussions so figuring out you know what number is really going to work for that customer and what actual package is going to get them what they really need in order to get those insights that they're looking for I make $80,000 a year now that number is a little bit variable it tends shift based on a few different factors the main thing that I'm kind of graded on and that can impact that is whether or not my customers are new which is a great sign of a good customer success manager if I'm doing my job they want to continue with us so customer success managers tend to make around $80,000 ish it varies quite a bit just because custom success managers and customer success as a field tends to be a newer field that's just kind of starting so a lot of different companies are figuring out what their responsibilities as customer success managers should be and with that what the pay should be so that it really balances out there's a really broad window I would say tends to make anywhere from 60 K to 100k a year student job so I'm making pretty much right in the middle there which is really great started out making around 60 K that improved because user testing wanted to make sure that everyone at the company was making industry-standard and so we've improved to this point and then from here for me to continue improving I need to make sure that my renewal numbers are good my customers are utilizing the product things that are normally expected of me in my day-to-day so that it's pretty fitting I would say I had my first annual review last year and I thought ahead and I planned and I came prepared with all of the great renewal numbers that I had all the usage data but so that I could show the positive impact that I had had on the customers who I worked with and that was really good and it was one of the factors that resulted in making a little more money so to be successful as a customer success manager there are a few things that have to happen you have to be able to think strategically long-term about customers a lot of times there's some confusion over well is customer success a sales role and it's not because in sales you're trying to sell as much as you can to be a great customer success manager you really need to think strategically long term about your customers and what will make the most positive impact for them so you really have to have their well-being in mind if you're wondering about what mines that you have to have what that means kind of for the skill set is to be able to look at okay this is what a customer is hoping to accomplish this is how we can get them there maybe it's a small package maybe it's something that they just need to get off the ground and from there maybe we are going to try out some new different things and maybe we'll find a feature that is bringing them a lot of value great we can than that we don't need to always be upselling we don't need to be charging as much as possible we don't need to be doing any of that we need to work with their budgets that there have healthy and happy and coming back again next year and continuing to work with us because that's really what matters so one of the things that's really important is being organized so like I said I'm managing a bunch of different customers right now I am managing about 60 customers which is a lot so that means multiple monthly touch points every day and I need to be knowing what these customers are doing so I need to know what their values are what they want to be achieving and with sixty different people who I need to be keeping track of everything each of them are doing and some of them are teams of more than one people so they have lots of different things they're doing within each of their teams organization is really key you need to be able to keep track of everything beyond that being a personable person and being friendly and not being nervous to go in and have conversations with important key stakeholders is a necessity you have to be able to be comfortable doing that yeah it's been great I've actually kind of become close with some of my customers which is really nice to be able to say oh well you know after work we should you know for drinks or you next time I'm in town I'll give you a call and we can go out and that's that's been a really cool experience
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