By Grace Gurley
Given the focus on empathy and fast-paced problem solving, customer success isn’t made for the timid. That said, customer success has a bad reputation due to the nature of the industry. When in reality, customer success is one of the most versatile skills to develop. Being empathic, proactive, resourceful, and easily adaptable can land you a variety of jobs.
Kind Helper or Walking Target?
When working with customers, you can go from friendly acquaintance to the enemy in one interaction. Learning not to take interactions personally and truly connecting with the customer is the difference between failure and success.
Ways to Practice Empathic Communication:
- Listen carefully to the customer’s problems and goals
- Validate their feelings about what they are communicating
Proactive vs Reactive
Customer success is about problem-solving, before or after the problem emerges. Being the force behind getting things done preemptively shows your proactivity. You must be proactive to see customer issues before they arise. Finding and solving the faults in your company or product differentiates you as a strong customer success specialist. Whereas, waiting for issues to come to you can lead to reactive customers and wasted time fixing bad experiences. To succeed, you need to first be proactive.
Ways to be Proactive:
- Write down recurring issues. Find the correlation between them
- Ask for feedback from customers and co-workers
Can You Ask and Answer Questions?
Customer success involves dealing with many questions from customers. To pinpoint the problem, you must understand and solve the issue. Thinking on your feet and being resourceful are huge tools for customer success. In this fast-paced position, critical thinking can save the company’s reputation with its clientele.
Ways to Grow Your Resourcefulness:
- Be creative. Ask yourself questions about your company and product
- Take and review notes on the job
Zoned In or Two Steps Behind
Customer Success is a chaotic work experience. You can be thrown into a new issue or interaction in an hour or in a minute. Your place of employment could have an unforeseen issue be brought to light at any time. Can you digest new information quickly and learn from your mistakes? Learning to be flexible highlights you and your role in the company.
Ways to Practice Adaptability:
- Work in a different environment
- Set goals
- Practice working around distractions (loud noises, talking, etc)
These skills are the backbone of all customer success roles. Being comfortable and confident with these soft skills can translate into success at any job, making you a valuable addition to any team.