17 Things You Wish You Knew Before Starting In CS
I've spent over 20+ years helping customers succeed. I've seen the good and the bad in all kinds of situations.
Here's a list of 17 quick tips that will help you get ahead:
1. Communicate More
Your customers are the heroes of the story you're building with them.
And you, their guide.
You can't control every detail like product specifics, clients, data, or past solutions.
But you can control your reactions to the situation.
It's okay not to know everything your customers ask. Just get back to them with an answer after you investigate the request internally.
Overall, manage your accounts with trust and integrity, and respond to their requests, fast.
2. Advocate Non-Stop
You are your customers’ voice at your company.
Make sure they know you’re always advocating for their success in your organization.
Defend their use cases internally, and push other teams like product management in particular to prioritize your customers’ needs based on business impact and urgency.
3. It's Not Personal, It's Business
Never take it personally.
Tech can be tough, but it's usually not rocket science.
Customers are always demanding. Just don't let their frustrations get over your feelings on a personal level.
It's about the business, not you.
Focus on doing your best to help them succeed, and stay rational about things that are out of your control.
4. Internal Network Matters
Make sure you participate in as many discussions as possible.
Let people know who you are, what you’re doing and who are the customers you’re managing.
The same applies to the customer side.
Get involved, and stay informed about what's happening at their organization so you can drive more meaningful conversations in a proactive way.
5. Connect On a Personal Level
Your job is not to become friends with your customers - although you could.
But sharing some topics that matter the most to you in your personal life is a genuine way to build empathy.
Building such personal connections leads to more open communication and a better understanding of your customer's needs and feelings.
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6. Set Clear Boundaries
What you allow will continue until you break the cycle or ultimately burn out.
Set your limits early on. It’s hard but necessary.
Define what's within your control, and set clear expectations with both yourself and your customers.
7. Own Your Role
You’re in the driver’s seat.
Make the CSM position what you want it to be.
Learn from other successful CSMs, but don't feel compelled to copy everything they do.
Rather, adapt their approaches to your unique situation.
Find your voice, and focus on what adds the most value.
8. Don’t Assume, Ask Questions
Assumptions are dangerous.
It lets you build a story that often doesn’t reflect reality.
Moreover, it’s a lazy and toxic behavior that often gets you to the wrong conclusions.
This is why the most effective people base their judgment on actual facts. They ask further questions to understand and investigate deeper.
Avoid these 3 common assumptions most people make:
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—Shannon, Premium subscriber.