Customer Success Manager VS Account Manager

As we all know, customer success managers are tasked with retaining existing customers by helping them achieve their expectations when using the company’s product or services. They work with multiple departments to understand what the customers want and need and formulate a plan that efficiently leads them towards its attainment.

On the other hand, account managers handle the client’s accounts, focusing on “how can they make the customer buy more?”. While these two roles have similar goals (to keep customers happy and ensure they’re satisfied), they have different focuses. Let’s start by discussing the role of a customer success manager (CSM).

Customer Success Managers ensure that your customers are thriving as a result of working with you.

A customer success manager’s role is to ensure that your customers reach their definition of “success” from working with your company. Considering the complexity of the products or services offered, as well as the maturity and expertise of the customers, the Customer Success Managers devise a plan that onboards the customers and ensures a smooth customer journey.

Most importantly, CSMs work toward Value Realization.

The primary goal of a customer success manager is to retain existing customers and drive their retention by ensuring they’re getting maximum value from their product or service. Retention, in this sense, is the key to success; it’s not enough to acquire new customers if you don’t keep them interested in what you have to offer.

While this sounds simple at first glance, many layers of complexity go into retaining clients already using your product or service. You will be responsible for ensuring that your clients achieve their goals through working with you—and not just anyone’s definition of “success,” but rather what your product was designed for and how it can help them accomplish those particular tasks or goals effectively. Ideally, we want our customers to be successful using our products—but how do we ensure they get the most out of them? And how do we ensure that if something isn’t working as expected (which happens more often than not), someone will find out about it ASAP so we can address any issues before leaving an unhappy customer behind us forever? This is where a CSM comes in; they proactively communicate with the customers ensuring that they’re always on the top of their game towards outcome attainment.

Account Managers improve revenue.

An account manager’s job is to help existing customers by providing them with support and services and not miss a chance to cross-sell, upsell, and renew customers. Account managers can also be tasked with cold-calling potential clients to land more deals or grow the overall account.

Salespeople and account managers need to understand each other’s roles because they often work together within one company—but they don’t always have the same goals or responsibilities!

Both Customer Success Managers and Account Managers can drive business growth.

Account managers are responsible for targeting new clients and new business opportunities within existing accounts. The result is more revenue for a company!

Customer Success Managers (CSMs) work with customers to meet client needs. CSMs also identify and develop best practices, tools, and processes around customer success. In this way, CSMs help companies achieve their long-term goals by improving client retention rates and reducing churn rates across their portfolio of clients.

In short,

Customer success and account management are two very different roles, but both play a crucial role in the long-term success of any business. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which one fits best for your company.

Account managers are responsible for targeting new clients and new business opportunities within existing accounts. Their job is more akin to sales: they’re trying to close a deal by convincing the customer that you’re the best option for them, rather than focusing on the long-term relationship or customer satisfaction.

On the other hand, customer success managers ensure that your customers have attained the expected value. They usually work with an account manager until they get up to speed on what’s going on with your company’s products—and then they transition into their primary focus: maintaining customer relationships paving the way for customers to succeed. As part of this role, they may work with sales teams and help them understand how they can better serve customers in their roles.

What’s next?

Now that you know how Customer Success Managers differ from Account Managers start learning how you can become an effective and one-of-the-best CS professional. Check out how you can become part of the rapidly growing and competitive field of Customer Success here: https://practicalcsm.com/certified-csm-professional/.