You probably have account managers assigned to new businesses when they buy products or services from your MSP company. It is then up to the manager to try to retain their services when their contract is up for renewal, but have you thought about an alternative? Many companies are having a favorable outcome when using customer success managers instead, so what is the difference?
Account Managers vs. Customer Success Managers
The main difference between these two roles is the care they take to ensure each customer gets your product as possible.
An account manager will usually be assigned to a customer once they purchase a service or product. Unfortunately, that is usually the last time they make contact with each other until the year is out or the contract is up for renewal. They often have little or no specific knowledge of the client’s sector or business processes as it is purely a sales job with a requirement to get the client to re-sign or resubscribe at renewal time.
Customer Success Managers
Contrast this with the role of a customer success manager (CSM). They are also assigned to a customer once they purchase a product, but rather than be concerned with just a continuation of business at the end of the year, they are actually measured on how successful the client is throughout that year. This means that they will constantly be in touch to let the client know about anything that will affect their business processes with or in some cases outside the scope of your product.
Benefits of a CSM
Generally, your MSP company is only concerned with making sure the service that you give to your customers relates to their IT needs and is as good as you can make it. However, as far as customer service is concerned, going that little bit further can pay dividends in the long run. When a customer begins to feel valued, they psychologically feel indebted to you, and if they can come to you to solve their problems as well, then they will feel like they can’t do without you. The extra service that a CSM gives contributes to that feeling. It is far harder to convert a cold lead into a paying customer than keep them as a client once they have bought something, and when you are looking after their success at the same time, they will find it even harder to leave.
To this end, a CSM will concentrate on the success of the client’s business and will contact them if there are changes that affect them directly, whether that is with your product or an external change that they think may be an issue. They will be proactive and anticipated issues in advance and always be available in case the client needs support or help with your product.
Because they will have more directed experience than an account manager in the sector of the client, they will not need to pass a query to another department but will be able to solve problems themselves, giving the customer a personalized approach to any difficulties they may have.
As they are wholly judged on the success of the client, it is in their interest to help as much as they can to streamline the client’s business and how it relates to your product and be able to tweak your product specifically to make the client’s life easier and more productive. With the resources they have on hand and their availability to the client, it becomes a simple decision for the client to sign again when the contract is up as they benefit by the dedicated help they are receiving.
If your MSP company has account managers only, it might be time to look after your customers a little more. Everyone needs to feel of being cared, and it is a win-win situation if they want to stay with you when it becomes time to renew their contracts. Don’t forget, if you don’t look after your customers, someone else will.