Key Responsibilities: What Does a Director of Customer Success Do?
A Director of Customer Success is the person that oversees the middle ground between customer success and business development. They manage the customer success team in a way that combines the customers’ goals with the business’s goals to form a cohesive, data-led, and customer-informed process.
The Director of CS is the one responsible for the CS team structure: they build the team, create and have the final say on internal processes, and lead the team towards driving value for customers.
In many cases, a Director of CS will have a hands-on approach, keeping a close relationship with the most noteworthy accounts. Apart from traditional CS tactics such as upselling, they also frequently attempt to turn CS relationships into business partnerships that can drive value for both the customer and the company.
- Leading the customer success team, from building the department to developing it for scalability and sustained growth, with all the people, processes, and strategies optimized in a customer-first manner.
- Adding value to customer relationships and driving the desired customer goals by either actively participating in client discussions or by testing and implementing a proven approach within their team.
- Creating an optimized & data-led model of the customer journey, then making sure all internal stakeholders are aligned on it. They also work with their CS Ops specialists to ensure customer data is correct and that everyone uses the same data sets (data hygiene).
- Determining the metrics, health scores, and KPIs relevant to each account, the entire team, and the entire business. They also decide how the CS team will track these metrics and who has the overview for each account.
- Increasing product adoption, customer loyalty and retention, and customer satisfaction while actively setting and contributing to churn reduction tactics.
- Collaborating with sales and marketing to create and optimize the upsell and cross-sell strategies the CS team uses to increase ROI.
- Drafting, approving, and implementing compensation plans for the entire CS team with the goal of encouraging productivity and performance and rewarding customer-goal and business-goal achievement.
- Relationship management across the entire CS team, helping others on the team maintain and improve customer relationships.
Skills and Competencies
Here are the necessary skills to be a good Director of CS:
- Minimum 3 years of experience working as a Customer Success Manager, leading a customer success team with proven performance and specific revenue goal achievement (typically set by the company interviewing for such a position). Many businesses ask for 10+ years of management experience for this role.
- An MBA or related graduate or post-graduate degree is ideal, with a technical undergrad degree being an added advantage. Customer success courses and certifications are nice-to-have, but experience in the field is much more important and often substitutes traditional education.
- Deep understanding of software businesses, with knowledge of both the subscription and renewal models. In some cases, however, CS departments also exist for non-software products and services.
- Expert communication skills and the ability to hold C-level customer conversations that drive business for both parties and move the relationship forward.
- Business development knowledge and, ideally, experience growing a business.
- Strong analytical and goal-oriented mindset backed by expert-level project management knowledge and skillset.
- Advanced business experience and ability to create strategies, guidelines, and objectives and implement them while driving business growth and creating data-driven reports.
Advanced IT&C knowledge and capabilities and ability to learn new software tools on the job.
Good Training Materials and ProgramsHere is a list of articles, guides, courses, and other resources that provide good training for professionals in this position:
Potential Roles to Grow into
If you’re starting from this position, here are some roles you can consider in the future: