When building a customer success team and making your case for more investment in the initiative, the most striking misunderstanding you may have come across is that a customer success team is a cost center and just provides really good customer support.  Let’s set the record straight – a customer success team does provide excellent customer support, but it’s also a powerful revenue engine.

According to Gainsight, companies with a dedicated customer success team – focused on identifying at-risk customers and getting them back on track – see a 24% lower churn rate than companies without one. Reducing churn is key to growing the bottom line.

In addition to reducing churn, a customer success team increases the lifetime value of an account. Over time, account revenue can grow to be many times larger than the customer’s year 1 value.  As a customer success team increases customer lifetime value, they can actually produce as much or more revenue than the sales team over the lifetime of the customer.

So, you had them at revenue engine. Management wants you to build a customer success team.

Once everyone is on-board and understands the benefits of investing in a customer success team and the impact they can make on the organization, make sure you spend your dollars wisely to build a profitable practice.  Since customer success is a relatively new discipline, there is still some debate on the best way to structure a team and the skillset required for a customer success manager.  When interviewing candidates to fill out your customer success team, keep these things in mind:

  • Customer success managers are critical to growing your bottom line. They are not only responsible for building a relationship with the customer, but also lay the groundwork for your overall future revenue opportunity with the customer.
  • A customer success manager is responsible for much more than just ensuring customers are implemented properly or their technical questions are answered.  Being responsible for customer success means ensuring the customer is getting value for the money they spend and their programs are growing.  This requires that your team members be exceedingly results-oriented and data-driven.
  • Your company will receive resumes from people with a variety of professional backgrounds. Some may have worked in IT, marketing, sales, product management or customer service.  A well-rounded customer success team should include individuals from of a variety of backgrounds – the one common denominator must be a passion for creating successful customers.

Want to learn more about building a winning customer success team?


Scott Schell

Senior Manager

CX Americas