Goals and Responsibilities of a Customer Service Manager
Customer service most often relies on a support team that works to help all levels of your organization. But those teams don’t just run on their own. They need someone to lead the team and make important decisions when the going gets tough.
That’s where a customer service manager (CSM) steps in.
A CSM in most organizations will have two overarching goals:
– Manage the customer service team
– Ensure the retention of profitable customers.
How do you strategize and execute these goals? What duties fall into them, and how can you help foster progress as a CSM?
This post will look at the four primary responsibilities of a CSM and show you how they impact customer retention efforts and team management.
1. Build Long-term Relationships with High-value Customers
Building customer loyalty is an often-overlooked duty that many brands assume will happen naturally. They think “we have a good product, so our customers will be loyal.” This leads to some pretty lax retention efforts, especially once the customer has made his first purchase.
While this attitude isn’t totally incorrect (products are important), it’s not the ideal approach to building customer loyalty. Putting a CSM on the case will help give definition to your customer loyalty efforts and create opportunities to construct long-term relationships.
Retaining customers is one of the fastest ways to improve the ROI of your marketing and service initiatives. Over time, your acquisition costs will even out, and retained customers will continue to increase in value.
The fastest way to boost retention is to have a CSM dedicated to increasing customer loyalty.
So what role does a CSM take in building customer loyalty? It depends on where you’re at in the life of your organization.
If you’re still building your customer base, a CSM should focus on helping the sales and marketing teams bring customers through the acquisition process. This means advising them on what types of promises are okay to make, and how you should build customer expectations. If problems arise later on, you won’t have to battle against false promises or high expectations.
As you evolve into a more mature company with a solid customer base, some of the CSM’s role will evolve into customer loyalty initiatives. This means designing and executing retention campaigns, or personally handling issues that high-value customers experience.
When done well, a CSM will be able to spend most of his time on retention while only partially helping with customer acquisition.
A good CSM will recognize that his role is never stagnant. CSMs must constantly assess the maturity of the organization as a whole and adapt their day-to-day duties efficiently.
When your CSM can focus on building customer loyalty in all areas, you’re opting to not leave this huge moneymaker up to chance.
2. Manage the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Your Support Team
One of the primary duties a CSM has is to ensure that support employees get the training they need, remain loyal, and stay equipped to take on new issues as they arise.
This can help double the odds1 that your organization will be successful, as employee engagement is an often-overlooked factor that CSMs need to specialize in.
A CSM is responsible for hiring, training, and supporting employees. This enables the team to execute day-to-day tasks. It also helps create an organizational chain of command for your support efforts. Your customer support representatives report to the customer support manager, who then reports to the customer support director, and so on.
The CSM can keep your team accountable toward their goals and eliminate the need for your representatives to help with operational tasks. This ensures that everything runs smoothly and no one is overworked.
The CSM’s role in the support team falls into three main areas:
– Handle operational duties and alleviate administrative tasks for the support team
– Step in on customer support calls or emails when needed
– Back your employees whenever possible
3. Set Goals and Execute Your Support Strategies
A CSM is also responsible for setting goals that direct customer support initiatives. This is an essential element of customer support success as it helps you see both where you are and where you need to be.
As you consider your customer service goals, keep in mind that they need to stem from detailed customer research. If you go based on your gut, you’ll likely hamstring long-term success.
It also means that your CSM needs to understand your company vision, customer issues, and which objectives need priority status.
When you sit down to create goals as a CSM, direct your goals where they’re needed. Some examples of customer service goals for a CSM include:
– Increase customer satisfaction rates from x% to y% by the end of the year, determined through CSAT surveys.
– Achieve an average Net Promoter Score of 8 or above.
– Boost the support tickets managed by your team by 10%.
Keep in mind that these goals should be a mixture of big picture and small picture efforts. Focusing too much on either could backfire and leave you wondering where you went wrong.
That means you need to set goals for both your team and individuals within the team. This maximizes your chances for success, and helps you keep the whole picture in focus.
When done well, everyone can work toward a greater company visions and work together to achieve tangible and effective goals. Without these in place, you’ll have a hard time making any kind of meaningful progress.
4. Lead the Charge of Customer-centric Culture
A majority of businesses realize they need good customer service, and put strategies in place to help resolve customer issues. But many fall short because they stop at simply providing customer service. You need to take this strategy a step further and ensure that your entire company is customer-centric.
This is where a CSM is vital, and it is arguably the CSM’s most important duty.
Everything they do, whether loyalty or team-focused, should be with the goal of building a customer-centric culture.
And as the leaders of the customer-centric culture efforts, CSMs have the responsibility of laying the foundations that the company is built on. When executed properly, they’ll help improve loyalty, revenue, and customer advocacy.
But how does a CSM lead this charge? Where do they start, and how do they ensure that they have an impact on both the leadership and lower-level employees while building a customer-centric culture?
This process can be broken down into four stages.
At first, a CSM will help marketing teams, sales teams, and the company leadership understand how to target customers.
Then, CSMs help build support efforts that are responsive to customer needs. This requires collecting and implementing customer feedback.
As engagement improves, the CSM can then focus on crafting an emotional relationship between the company and the customer. This leads to loyalty and advocacy.
Finally, they can use customer feedback and engagement to help direct new initiatives in the company that solves customer problems.
This way, a CSM acts as the official representative of your customers and steers the company in its efforts to put the customer first.
It will take time to implement, but the loyalty and innovation brought about by the effort are worth the investment.
Customer service may require teamwork, but a customer service manager at the center of it all will help ensure that your support efforts are successful. As the leader of your support team and the frontline of your customer loyalty efforts, CSMs can help propel you to long-term success.
CSMs can advise both acquisition and retention plans, which results in improved revenue. They also act as the operations manager for customer service representatives, and help keep stress levels low and productivity high.
They’ll also be able to dive into customer analytics and set clear and actionable goals for your support staff.
Most importantly, they’ll be able to help lead the charge as you seek to build a customer-centric culture.
All of this means that CSMs have an immense amount of responsibility for the success of your organization. So, choose one with care.
1 – https://justworks.com/blog/infographic-4-reasons-employee-motivation-crucial-success