Success Coach VS. Customer Success Coach

Success Coach VS. Customer Success Coach

Three (3) reasons why you need a Customer Success Coach.

A Customer Success coach helps CS professionals gain the knowledge and skills to generate value effectively. In other words, Customer Success coaches pave the way for Customer Success Managers to become better at Customer Success Management. At the same time, Success Coaches work with individuals on that individual’s personal and career development, to help them achieve their own goals. Both Customer Success coach and Success coach work with outcome attainment, so how are they different? 

A customer success coach works only with CSMs and focuses on specific issues pertaining to Customer Success Management best practices. He or she analyzes those CSM’s abilities to help customers attain the most value from the company’s product or services. They impart their specific knowledge and expertise around Customer Success Management responsibilities such as onboarding, retention, and more to help bridge the knowledge gaps of the CS professionals they work with.  

On the other hand, a success coach works with employees of all kinds on their personal/career development and helps them succeed in their life goals- i.e., financial, career, etc. They are experts on achieving personal success but not Customer Success. 

Why do you need a Customer Success Coach? 

Coaching is a fantastic way to provide continuing professional development (CPD) for your team. To be a “good” CSM requires an extensive amount of knowledge regarding customers, current market conditions, business management, and of course the company’s products or services and how they apply to each customer segment’s unique challenges, outcome requirements and business initiatives. In addition, the CSM needs to know what to do and when and how to do it through the entire lifecycle of each of the seven phases of the post-sales customer lifecycle.  

Should you wish to learn more about these seven phases of Customer Success, check out the Practical CSM Framework here: https://practicalcsm.com/the-practical-csm-framework-managers-overview-download/. 

For companies, having a CS team has proven to deliver measurable and scalable value. Still, no matter how good your CS team is, there are specific points they may have difficulty doing or understanding. This is where a Customer Success coach comes in. 

1. CS Coaches increase your CSMs’ competence and confidence 

Specialist CS coaches will have years of experience in helping to deliver value for customers, using Customer Success Management best practice tools and techniques to do so. For CSMs, CS Coaches are a reliable source for both which specific actions to perform in a certain set of circumstances and how to perform each action effectively. They will delve into one or more subject areas in Customer Success that a CSM may currently have difficulties with and help them to overcome those difficulties and ultimately even to master that part of their role.  

2. CS Coaches improve implemented Customer Success strategies 

As they are subject experts, CS coaches can quickly identify what the CSMs as individuals and CS Team as a whole is or are doing poorly. Consulting with a CS Coach helps develop a plan to improve CS strategies that don’t interfere with the productivity of Customer Success Managers and their ability to help customers attain expected outcomes. As the CS Coach may deem necessary, they can provide training or simple consultation. 

3. CS Coaches identify corporate and departmental growth opportunities 

According to a Harvard Business Review article, close monitoring and automation have helped successful organizations continue to grow and innovate. A customer success coach, with their expertise, has been trained to spot all opportunities for growth. They can act as a consultant and help companies make informed business decisions. For Customer Success Managers, CS Coaches connect them to the company’s goals and ensure that they are advancing in their careers- to mastering the field of Customer Success. 

Summary 

Both Success coaches and Customer Success coaches offer significant benefits to their clients and provide valuable assistance in helping them achieve their goals. A success coach may work with individuals or organizations of all types on personal and/or career goals. In contrast, a CS coach is an expert in the Customer Success Management field and will work only with individuals or organizations that need help in that specific subject matter. 

Are you a Customer Success Manager who wants to polish your existing skills, learn knew skills, and/or seek practical advice from an expert in Customer Success? Perhaps you need a Customer Success Coach! The Success Hub is a free online community for the Customer Success profession.  Among other things the Hub puts CSMs looking for coaching in touch with experienced CS professionals who have volunteered their time to perform CS coaching. Check out our Coaching Station here: https://hub.practicalcsm.com/coaching-station/ and book an initial confidential meeting with one of our CS coaches. 

If you are a company or a CS Leader who is interested in any aspect of learning for your Customer Success team, book a 45-minute strategy checkup with Rick Adams, our CEO, and Founder, and learn how we may be able to enable your team to become more effective CS professionals quickly and cost efficiently. Check us out here: https://practicalcsm.com/checkup/.