Retention, revenue and return: Why it’s important to identify and hire top Customer Success talent

Over the last ten years or so, cultural trends and customer expectations have combined, resulting in more and more businesses prioritising customer success.

Recent research reports that there has been an increase in the total number of open Customer Success jobs for the first time since February. In June, there were 6,515 available Customer Success jobs posted. This number was nearly 500 more than in May.

Regardless of the organisation’s size, gone are the days of Sales and Marketing departments only delivering the business goals. Today it’s critical to have the customer success department straddling sales and marketing to achieve your deliverables.

Customer Success versus Customer Service

Most customer support roles tend to be reactive as they respond to inbound customer requests, complaints and issues. The opposite tends to be the case when it comes to Customer Success roles.

These roles are focused on working proactively in partnership with customers post-sale to ensure maximisation of the product or service value delivered to the client and head off any issues before they fester. It’s key that Customer Success delivers a positive customer experience and creates a close professional relationship.

If done correctly, Customer Success’s broader and essential role leads to business success. It’s also a vital contributor to customer loyalty. When you help your customers succeed, they become promoters and advocates of your business. Customer Success is connected to your bottom line as it:

  • minimises customer churn rates,
  • improves renewal and satisfaction,
  • and in turn, boosts revenue.

Murphy’s law


Edward Murphy Jr. was an American aerospace engineer who worked on safety-critical systems and was born in 1918 in the Panama Canal Zone. He is best known for his namesake Murphy’s law, stating, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong”.


While Customer Success done well offers a significant commercial advantage to a business, if done poorly and with Murphy’s law at times coming in to play significantly affects business factors.  

But what can possibly go wrong with Customer Success?

For starters, to maximise productivity, organisations may allocate too many client accounts to one team or representative to look after. Or weight incentives are heavily towards revenue generation. Or worse still, wrong people are assigned to the role.

Spend any time with a sales organisation, and you are likely to hear a similar story—a story about a consistently top-performing sales rep who failed to make the transition to sales manager.

And the reason? The skills and attributes required as a successful salesperson are vastly different to those needed to be a top manager. The same is true applies to Customer Success Managers.

The abilities and traits required to be a successful Customer Success Manager are many and varied, and selecting the right people for this role certainly presents risk elements.

What makes a great Customer Service Manager (CSM)?

Firstly, there is no one size fits all. Industry type and service or product offering contribute to answering this question. CSM’s usually possess broad business experience. It’s not uncommon for people with backgrounds in sales, support, presales, project management, and even marketing roles to have made successful CSMs.

When we ask managers what makes a great CSM, they usually tell us their best people are proactive and tend to have similar traits such as:

  • Great at managing stress
  • Resilient
  • Empathetic
  • Customer-focused
  • Sincere
  • Keeps promises
  • Positive attitude
  • Calm in a crisis
  • Self-assured
  • Socially relaxed
  • Strong reasoning and analytical ability
  • Great communicators

It’s quite the laundry list. The complex nature of backgrounds combined with the challenge of pinpointing the varied attributes that align with your business and service offering is where many organisations fail.

In fact, studies tell us that failing to get the right person that fits your organisation will result in a decrease in productivity, higher levels of staff turnover and high levels of job-related stress.

Determine the requirements and spot the people

The challenge for organisations today, especially in the current tight market, is identifying the best potential CSM’s. Typically, in our work, we observe many organisations that rely on the job description, resumes and reference checks when making hiring or redeployment decisions. And this then results in a high level of three out of four recruits who just aren’t the right fit.


It’s a case of ‘rubbish in = rubbish out”. If we don’t have the right information,

how can we possibly make the right decision?


We have worked with many clients using our next-gen tools and helped them profile the critical success attributes that establish fit for a role. Using our 4-step robust process, our clients in the main enjoy a 3-fold increase in pinpointing top people that excel, 47% reduction in team turnover and a significant increase in productivity.

The war for talent is in play right now in Australia. You owe it to you and your business to remove the higher risk of getting it wrong.

Contact Great People Inside if we can help recruit your next CSM or top performers for other important roles to benefit your organisation.