Career Story: Customer Success Manager

Nick is a customer success manager working to improve user experience on apps and websites. Hear how he’s managing his student debt and building up an emergency fund.

Transcript
Close Disclaimer
The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional when making decisions regarding your financial or investment options.
Close Transcript

My name is Nick Donovan.
NICK, 28
CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER, USER TESTING

I'm 28 years old and
I'm a customer success manager

at User Testing.
I make $80K a year.

User Testing is a company
that specializes in providing

qualitative user feedback for
companies with apps and websites.

So that's a little bit complicated,

but essentially what we do
is we allow big companies

to understand what users’
experiences are like

when they try using
their apps and websites.

So for example, when you go
to Amazon to buy something,

maybe there's a step in the process
that's really confusing,

and so you decide not to buy it.

Amazon wants that
not to be the case,

so they purchase a
subscription with User Testing

which allows them to see
what their users are experiencing

and improve those processes.

So User Testing has a panel of testers
that exists all over the globe,

and in order to get feedback
what we do is we have

each of those testers take
what we call sessions.

And those are done
using a screen recorder

on either their desktop computer
or their mobile device

which will record what
they're doing on their device.

As well as their thoughts
that they're speaking aloud

during the session.

So that way we're getting feedback
on not only what it looks like

when they're trying
to click on things,

but also if they're running
into an issue they didn't know

they were going to have,
they can speak their thoughts aloud

and say, "Oh this isn't
what I expected.”

To make those
pain points really clear.

Essentially User Testing
is here in order to provide

companies with those insights
into those users.

So as a customer success manager,

I'm here for a
couple different reasons,

my main focus here is to make sure
that our customers

are always really happy
with the platform

and the product and subscriptions
that they've purchased with us.

If they're really happy with us,
then it means that we’re really sticky

and we're doing great work for them
in providing them valuable research.

And that means that
they're going to come back

again next year and purchase again.

So really when it all boils down,
I'm here to help ensure that

customers are renewing with us
and spending money that way.

My major responsibilities,
as I'd said previously,
NICK’S RESPONSIBILITIES:

is essentially to ensure that
my customers are always healthy.
ENSURE CUSTOMERS ARE HAPPY
AND PURCHASE MORE

Which means that they're
utilizing the product.

They are finding value in it.

That's really kind of what matters.

So in order to do that,
I'll do partnership reviews
PERFORM PARTNERSHIP REVIEWS

which is times when I'll
go in and try to meet

with the executive stakeholders
at my customers' companies,

and ensure that they're seeing
the great value that they're getting.

Beyond that we'll also be having
regular email correspondence,
ADDRESS CUSTOMER QUESTIONS

monthly check-ins
in order to make sure
ON EMAIL, CALLS, OR IN-PERSON

that they're doing well,
phone calls.

I'll go visit them
in person sometimes,

that's some of my favorite
stuff to do on my job

is actually going and visiting
really cool companies.

And then beyond that,
I'm also responsible

for all renewal discussions.
HOLD SUBSCRIPTION
RENEWAL CONVERSATIONS

So once a customer is done
with their first year with us,

I'm responsible for talking with them

about their upcoming
year subscription

and making sure
they still want to stay on.

So, projects for my role
are a little varied.

Sometimes a project could be
onboarding a new customer.

And that would mean that I am
working with our

professional services team
or researchers and project managers

who want to make sure that
all our customers understand fully

how to utilize the platform.

So sometimes I'm focusing really
on that with newer customers.

Other times I'm putting out fires.

If there's a customer who had
a really poor experience

for one reason or another,

I want to make sure
that they understand that

that's not how we do business,
the usual typical experience.

And helping them kind of
reconnect and regroup,

so that we can do great stuff
going forward.

Other times it's renewal discussions,

so figuring out what number
is really going to work

for that customer
and what actual package

is going to get them
what they really need

in order to get those insights
that they're looking for.

I make $80,000 a year,

Now that number is
a little bit variable,

it tends shift based on
a few different factors.

The main thing that I'm
kind of graded on

and that can impact that is
whether or not my customers renew,

which is a great sign of a
good customer success manager.

If I'm doing my job,
they want to continue with us.

So, customer success managers tend
to make around $80,000-ish.

It varies quite a bit just because
custom success managers

and customer success as a field,
tends to be a newer field

that's just kind of starting.

So a lot of different companies are
figuring out what the responsibilities

of a customer success manager
should be and with that

what the pay should be,
so that it really balances out.

There's a really broad window,
I would say,

tends to make anywhere
from $60k to $100k a year.

That’s the job.

So I'm making pretty much
right in the middle there,

which is really great.

Started out making around $60k.

That improved because
User Testing wanted to make sure

that everyone at the company
was making industry standard

and so we've improved to this point.

And then from here
for me to continue improving,

I need to make sure that
my renewal numbers are good,

my customers are
utilizing the product,

things that are
normally expected of me

in my day-to-day.
So that, it's pretty fitting

I would say.
I had my first annual review

last year and I thought ahead
and I planned and I came prepared

with all of the great
renewal numbers that I had,

all the usage data.
So that I could show

the positive impact
that I had had on the customers

who I'd worked with,
and that was really good.

And it was one of the factors

that resulted in me making
a little more money.

So to be successful as a
customer success manager

there are a few things
that have to happen.

You have to be able
to think strategically,

long-term about customers.

A lot of times,
there's some confusion over well

is customer success a sales role?
And it's not because in sales,

you're trying to sell
as much as you can.

To be a great
customer success manager,

you really need to
think strategically,

long-term about your customers
and what will make

the most positive impact for them.

So, you really have to have
their well-being in mind

if you're wondering about
what mindset you have to have.

What that means
kind of for the skill set

is to be able to look at, okay,
this is what a customer

is hoping to accomplish,
this is how we can get them there.

Maybe it's a small package,
maybe it's something

that they just need
to get off the ground.

And from there,
maybe we are going to try out

some new different things.

And maybe they'll find a feature
that is bringing them a lot of value.

Great, we can bring them that.

We don't need to
always be upselling,

we don't need to be
charging as much as possible,

we don't need to be
doing any of that.

We need to work with their budgets
that they're healthy and happy

and coming back again next year
and continuing to work with us,

because that's really what matters.

So, one of the things
that's really important

is being organized.

So, like I'd said,

I'm managing a bunch
of different customers.

Right now, I am managing
about 60 customers,

which is a lot.

So, that means multiple monthly
touch points every day

and I need to be knowing
what these customers are doing.

So, I need to know
what their values are,

what they want to be achieving.

And with 60 different people
who I need to be keeping track of,

everything each of them are doing,

and some of them are teams
of more than one people

so they have lots of different things

they're doing within
each of their teams.

Organization is really key,

you need to be able to
keep track of everything.

Beyond that,
being a personable person

and being friendly
and not being nervous to go in

and have conversations with important
key stakeholders, is a necessity.

You have to be able to
be comfortable doing that.

Yeah, it's been great.

I've actually kind of become
close with some of my customers

which is really nice
to be able to say,

"Oh well, you know after work
we should meet up for drinks."

Or, "You know,
next time I'm in town,

I'll give you a call
and we can go out."

And that's been a
really cool experience.

I was pretty nerdy in high school,
I think it's safe to say.
NICK, 28
CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER, USER TESTING

I was always playing
Dungeons and Dragons

and stuff like that and video games.

But I knew that I wanted to
do something involved in tech

but I wasn't sure what.

So, I started off as a
computer science major.

I was a computer science major
for four days.

I went to the
Rochester Institute of Technology

which is a great tech school,
great computer science school,

had lots of different options
and programs which are really cool.

But I realized that I did not
want to spend my days

staring at a computer screen.

I really like working
with people too much for that.

And my main focus,
I want to be with people.

But also I knew that I wanted
a little something with computers

and technology because that had
 always been something

that really interested me.
I stayed at RIT for one semester.

For the rest of the semester,
I focused more on liberal arts

so that I could kind of try
to understand what I wanted to do.

But then I realized I do not need
to pay this much money

for a tech school where
I'm focusing on liberal arts.

What am I doing?

So, since I realized that I
wasn't really sure what

I wanted to do next,
I took a little bit of time off.

And during this time
I realized that I'd incurred

a little bit of debt already
from college.

So, I got a job in order
to help pay that off.

And from there, I essentially
worked and went to school

throughout the rest
of my college years.

Sometimes going to school
part time and focusing

a little more on the work,
and sometimes working almost,

you know, just two days a week
or something like that.

Whatever I could afford when
my coursework got really heavy.

And I wound up going to
Monroe Community College.

Thank goodness for the
community colleges.

They're amazing.
And figuring out there

I had some really great mentors
and discovered that I had

really strong focuses that I loved
in communication and sociology.

And then after college,
I was actually offered

a full-time position at
the retail store that I'd been

working at kind of throughout
my years in college.

So, I wound up taking that position.

I was working at
Abercrombie and Fitch

for a little while.
That was a good experience.

It taught me a lot about
how to manage people,

about how to manage
expectations with customers,

about answering to yourself
and having your own kind of

things that you have to
get done in a day.

And then getting done
with them actually.

Being accountable.
So that was really valuable.

But after I was there for
about another year,

I decided I would rather
pursue other opportunities

and from there I wound up
applying to User Testing.

Community college was
a great experience for me.

It was an opportunity for me to
explore different fields of interest

without incurring a huge
sum of debt at the same time.

Because private school options
were seriously just going to

be draining my money
at that point.

And I didn't know what
I wanted to do in such a way

that I could really focus
all of my time and energy into it.

So that gave me that
kind of flexibility in order

to discover stuff
that I was interested in.

Yeah, there are a few things
that I think I would do differently.

I definitely at one point

I was meeting with a, like,

some academic counselor
and they had told me

that the prerequisites
for the major that I was in

had changed and so I would
actually need an additional semester.

And I thought that I was going
to be eligible to graduate

at the end of that semester.
I was very upset.

I actually took the next semester off
because I was so upset.

And I said, "I'm just going to
focus on earning money right now."

I probably wouldn't do that,
going back.

You know, I’d just get it done.

I would get it done
a little faster next time.

But it was also good experience
to kind of go out

and have real working experience.
That was good.

Other mistakes that I made?
I don't know.

I think overall it was a
pretty good experience.

I would think more seriously
about what I want to do

longer term earlier on
because that's something that

I hadn't given a ton of thought to.
I just figured I like computers.

I like tech.
I'm going to take computer science.

So that was an expensive mistake,
I suppose.

Two people who I really
consider mentors out there,

shout out to Todd Sedano.
You rock.

Shout out to Natasha Chen.
You also rock.

These are professors of mine
who I've had at different schools

that I've been to who both
taught me a lot about analyzing

what it is that I want to be doing.

And about putting in work
in order to actually get

pay off after the fact.
They taught me a lot about that.

And they taught me about
what it means to kind of

go get what I want.

They both highly encouraged me
to apply to something

that was outside of the city
that I lived in.

So, mentorship I think is

a super important thing for anyone.

If at all possible, find someone
who you respect,

who you find it's
relatively easy to talk to,

who is interesting to you,

and ask them if they'll
grab coffee with you.

Ask them if you can come in
on their office hours

if they're a professor.
Go spend time with those people

if they're a little older
and know a little more.

Ask them about how
they came to where they're at.

And see if there's anyone
in their network who

they would connect you with
because it's a really important thing.

Honestly, who you know
is a huge part of getting any job.

And you know people.

Even if you don't think
you know people,

you know someone
who knows someone.

So, you know, ask around
and go looking for stuff.

Even if you don't know
someone who's at a company,

still apply and see if you can
get a recommendation

from one of your mentors.

Because maybe they are
well known within the

community or something like that.

In order to pursue a career
as a Customer Success Manager,
NICK, 28
CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER, USER TESTING

there are a few different
ways to go about it.

It kind of goes one of two ways.

Either you're a little
more focused in sales

or you're a little more focused
in customer service.

Because it really is a fusion
of both of those things. Right?

We're having renewal conversations.

We're understanding long term success

and revenue for a company.

At the same time,
we're talking about making sure

that customers are happy
and having a good experience.

The User Testing application process
was really complicated but good.

I had a friend who had worked
at User Testing at the time.

She recommended me.

From there I got a call from
someone in human resources

which was just
an initial scouting call.

Talked with her for maybe 20 minutes.

She said that I sounded
like a good culture fit,

and that she'd love to have me
have a phone interview

with one of the managers.

I was over on the
East Coast at this time,

so I was interviewing for a position
halfway across the world really.

I wound up taking this phone interview
with one of the managers.

He said that stuff
sounded really good,

and he was excited
for this to continue.

I wound up having
another phone interview.

This time I was supposed to do
a demo of the actual product for them.

As you know, this product
is a little bit complicated.

I had to go through
and practice a whole bunch,

and I wound up doing that
for two of the managers.

They decided that I had done
well enough in the demo

that I would do two more
rounds of interviews.

From there, I interviewed
with two different groups

of two managers in each interview.

They asked me a bunch of questions
after which they told me

I would interview
with the director of the department.

I interviewed with him,
and at first it was very stressful.

He gave me a lot of
very direct feedback

about uncertainties
that he had about me.

He said, "Well, I'm gonna
tell you right now, I'm worried

that you might not be able to do this.
Tell me why that's not the case."

And it was a little jarring.

But, at the end of it, he said that
he thought I would be a great fit.

He asked me to come out
the next week.

I wound up packing my up
all my stuff,

canceling a bunch of plans
I had that week,

and moving out to California.
I've loved every minute of it since.

They want to make sure that
if you're given a responsibility

that you really feel wholeheartedly
like you need to own that.

Owning results and
ownership of results

is a huge part of the company here.

I think that's what they were
really kind of grading us on.

The standard prerequisite
is a bachelor's degree,

and I think they're probably
looking for one or two

years’ experience although
that might be a little bit flexible.

Depends on where
you're starting out.

Experience, whether that's in
customer service, Customer Success,

sales, like I was saying before.
Those are all different areas

to get your feet wet in
and then expand a little bit

into something like
Customer Success I would say.

As far as growth opportunities go,
both at User Testing

and in the Customer Success department,

there are a lot of
different opportunities.

At User Testing in particular,
we are a big company

who focuses on research.

Some of our Customer Success Managers
have gone on to do research,

as well as, project management
and product management

so a couple different things there.

Project management
more focusing on making sure

that different projects
are proceeding correctly

kind of throughout the organization.

Product management
meaning that you're focusing on

how a product is designed,
developed throughout its whole cycle

and taking ownership of that.

Couple different areas that
are within Customer Success.

There are managers and directors

just like in any other department.

We're called
Customer Success Managers.

A Customer Success Manager
manager is a little weird.

But that's a position that I,
in particular, I am gearing towards.

I like managing groups of people,
so I would love to

hold a position kind of like that.

There are also things like
strategic planning

and strategic thinking.
So, strategy, business development.

Things along those lines
can be really big

for where to go after this.

As a next step for me,
I am aiming to work as a manager

of Customer Success Managers.

In order to get there,
I really need to make sure

that I have a solid understanding

of not only the way
that everything works internally,

but also, the way that
our customers operate.

So that I can think about them
on a more strategic, higher level.

I have to get a little more experience
actually running renewals,

and actually holding some of those
more challenging conversations

that Customer Success Managers
are expected to have,

so that I'll be able to, in turn,
help the people that I’m managing

hold those conversations.

I know that what I love doing
is working with people,

helping train those people,
helping them feel empowered

and they have someone
they can go to with any questions

that they might have.

I hope to be that person
for a group of people in 10 years.

If you're interested in becoming
a Customer Success Manager,

a great place to start is
to understand how to have

really high level conversations
with other people.

That can be taking
a communication course,

making sure you're not nervous
on the phone,

making sure you're able to write
a really great professional email.

These are all things that will
really, really be impactful

at the end of the day
once you're in charge of

doing that day in and day out.
Get your basics down.

Learn that stuff.
That's a great place to start.

Once you're actually at a company,
networking is also super important.

You want to make sure
that you understand internally

who all is around
so you can not only have friends.

I moved across the country
to be out here, right?

I needed to make friends
with my coworkers

because otherwise I was alone
with my two buddies.

It's really great to be able
to talk to people

and meet new people.

I have a friend who is
at Facebook now.

I have a bunch of friends
who work over at Google.

I have a friend who works at EA.
This isn't just because I work here.

It's because I have been going out
and getting to know people

through the community
in Silicon Valley.

Now if I were ever interested
in something

other than User Testing,
which I'm not,

I love User Testing.
You're great.

Then, I have other people
who I could go to and talk to

and see what's good.

To start out, just be aware
that other people are going to

look at what you've done,
and what you are doing in the future.

Be wary of what you're
putting online as yourself.

People brand themselves
when they go out.

They post pictures of themselves
out at parties which can be great

and can be super fun,
but also, just be cautious

depending on what type of employer
you're looking to get hired by

because some of them
take that really seriously.

My name is Nick Donovan,
I'm a Customer Success Manager
NICK, 28
CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER, USER TESTING

at User Testing and
I make about $80,000 a year.

So anytime you live in the Bay Area,
I think you're immediately warranted

to be a little concerned
about finances.

It's really expensive to live here.

I pay about $2,000 a month in rent,

which is a ton of money
for an apartment that I share

with three other people.

I'm making enough money
at this point where I am able

to live without necessarily
needing to worry

about money every day or like,
living paycheck to paycheck.

But at the same time
it can be a little bit stressful,

when you think about things like
what if I get into

some kind of accident
or something like that,

or something happens,
that's always worrying.

So right now, my main financial goal
is trying to build up

a buffer of $10,000 so that
I have an emergency fund

to fall back on if I need it.

So my first semester at college
at a private technological institute

cost me $15,000,
and that was a lot of money.

I agreed with my parents,
as far as how to pay

for college and all that,
because everyone

has a different arrangement.

We discussed that each of us
would pay for one third of my college,

so mom would pay for a third,
dad would pay for a third,

I would pay for a third.

That worked out nicely,
thanks mom and dad.

But, even at the end
of one semester,

I had $5,000 in debt and
I had never had a job before

and that was surprising.

And I said, “Okay, wait,
I've gotta work to pay this off.”

So, I worked full time for a semester
and then from there

I worked throughout college
in order to help make sure

that I was paying off
some of that interest

that was going,
and everything like that.

For all of my college years,
I wound up accruing

I think it was about $45,000 of debt,
which is not a ton,

compared to a lot of other people.

For me it was still
a significant amount of money

and so I've been working
to pay that off ever since.

Right now I'm down to about $20,000,
so, pretty good.

Well, when I was back
in New York, even working

in retail management,
even when I did have a job,

I was making next to nothing.

I was making about $29,000 a year
in retail management.

And that was not enough
to ever make a significant dent

in any of my loans.

Now I'm at a point where I can
actually start to pay off my loans

and I realize, okay,
this is, like, this is what

it means to be able
to actually afford that.

Which is significant
because a lot of times

you don't have access
to things like that,

and you don't have access
to enough money

to make your interest go down.
And I've lived that.

I was living through that
and living paycheck to paycheck

for a long time through that.

For my monthly income,
I earn approximately $6,667 a month.

Then taxes, healthcare and pension
are taken out,
NICK’S BUDGET:
MONTHLY SALARY $6,667

which takes about
$1,667 of those dollars off,
TAXES AND OTHER DEDUCTIONS $1,667

which leaves me with about
$5,000 for take home pay each month.
NET TAKE HOME INCOME $5,000

So, let's talk about my
monthly expenses a little bit.
RENT

To start off, I have my rent,
and I live with two other people,

so we have a three bedroom
apartment together.

That is in a nice place,
nice apartment.

I pay about $2,000 a month
for my private room
$2,000

within that three-bedroom apartment.

Then we've got gas
and electricity, utilities,
UTILITIES

that takes off about $60 a month.
$60

Once we're done with that,
we go to Internet and TV
INTERNET & CABLE

which takes about $100 a month.
$100

Phone bill for my cell phone
is about $100 a month.
CELL PHONE $100

We've got my car,
well I don't make car payments,

I do have car insurance,
and that together with gas
CAR INSURANCE & GAS $200

comes out to about $200 a month.

I do have my student loans
still that I'm paying,
STUDENT LOANS

and that is about a hundred dollars,
$140 a month,
$140

however I'll also sometimes
make some bulk payments

on that in order to eat away
at big chunks of the interest.

I also have my
monthly food allowance,
GROCERIES

So, I spend about
$300 a month on food,
$300

sometimes more if I'm eating out.

And then the gym, I go to the gym,
I spent about $100 a month at the gym.
GYM MEMBERSHIP $100

And then finally just entertainment,
like I said, going out to eat,
ENTERTAINMENT/EATING OUT

usually I'll budget myself
about $300 a month
$300

for entertainment expenses.

So finally, at the end,
I'm left with about $1,700 remaining
REMAINING $1,700

I usually use that in order to,
like I was saying,

pay off some of my
additional bills in bulk.

Or sometimes I'll contribute,
well I try to contribute about $600

a month to my savings.
SAVINGS $600

And then the rest of it I use
towards my emergency fund

which I'm building up right now.

I do have some bigger long term goals.

Like I've mentioned before,
I'm really interested in

eventually owning a house someday.

Which is a big challenge
in the Bay Area.

But we'll see if I can make
my way to that point.

I'd like to be able to have a dog
THE AVERAGE FIRST-YEAR COST OF
OWNING A DOG IS $1,270

and be able to pay to actually
PET OWNERS MUST ALSO BE PREPARED
FOR UNEXPECTED MEDICAL EXPENSES

care for a dog in the city.
THAT CAN BE AS HIGH AS $2,000 - $4,000.

Yeah, those are some of my goals.

I think largely it's just have comfort
in order to be a little flexible.

Some things I wish
I'd known about money.

Honestly, my aunt always told me this,
my aunt Sherry always said,

“Just pay off all of your student loans
as soon as possible.”

And while it's not always 100%,

either realistic or totally feasible

under a given kind of circumstance,
or even always the best bet,

for a large portion of them
that's super necessary.

Well, I wish I knew
about refinancing my loans,

I wish I knew more about
the fact that some of the debts

that you have are not hard
set in stone numbers

that are always gonna be that way.

There's a lot of debt
that can be kinda negotiated,

and that's something that
I'm still kind of learning to do.

I was on the phone
the other day with someone who

I was talking about,
you know my student loans,

and I was scheduling
to make payment.

And they asked me for
a certain amount that was not

the full amount that I owed.

And I said, “Well, you know
I'd like to pay off this debt,

and I would like to pay it off
for this much.”

And they agreed.

And I had like, you know,
$400 knocked off

of this old debt that I had.

And I was like, “Oh, right, of course,
because they just want to get

however much money they can.”

So, it's a little bit salesy
but you can negotiate stuff like that,

stuff like student loan
and student debts,

and it's really hard to do
but if you're in a really tough spot

you know, you can make it happen.

My name is Nick Donovan.
NICK, 28
CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER, USER TESTING

I'm 28 years old and
I'm a customer success manager

at User Testing.
I make $80K a year.

User Testing is a company
that specializes in providing

qualitative user feedback for
companies with apps and websites.

So that's a little bit complicated,

but essentially what we do
is we allow big companies

to understand what users’
experiences are like

when they try using
their apps and websites.

So for example, when you go
to Amazon to buy something,

maybe there's a step in the process
that's really confusing,

and so you decide not to buy it.

Amazon wants that
not to be the case,

so they purchase a
subscription with User Testing

which allows them to see
what their users are experiencing

and improve those processes.

So User Testing has a panel of testers
that exists all over the globe,

and in order to get feedback
what we do is we have

each of those testers take
what we call sessions.

And those are done
using a screen recorder

on either their desktop computer
or their mobile device

which will record what
they're doing on their device.

As well as their thoughts
that they're speaking aloud

during the session.

So that way we're getting feedback
on not only what it looks like

when they're trying
to click on things,

but also if they're running
into an issue they didn't know

they were going to have,
they can speak their thoughts aloud

and say, "Oh this isn't
what I expected.”

To make those
pain points really clear.

Essentially User Testing
is here in order to provide

companies with those insights
into those users.

So as a customer success manager,

I'm here for a
couple different reasons,

my main focus here is to make sure
that our customers

are always really happy
with the platform

and the product and subscriptions
that they've purchased with us.

If they're really happy with us,
then it means that we’re really sticky

and we're doing great work for them
in providing them valuable research.

And that means that
they're going to come back

again next year and purchase again.

So really when it all boils down,
I'm here to help ensure that

customers are renewing with us
and spending money that way.

My major responsibilities,
as I'd said previously,
NICK’S RESPONSIBILITIES:

is essentially to ensure that
my customers are always healthy.
ENSURE CUSTOMERS ARE HAPPY
AND PURCHASE MORE

Which means that they're
utilizing the product.

They are finding value in it.

That's really kind of what matters.

So in order to do that,
I'll do partnership reviews
PERFORM PARTNERSHIP REVIEWS

which is times when I'll
go in and try to meet

with the executive stakeholders
at my customers' companies,

and ensure that they're seeing
the great value that they're getting.

Beyond that we'll also be having
regular email correspondence,
ADDRESS CUSTOMER QUESTIONS

monthly check-ins
in order to make sure
ON EMAIL, CALLS, OR IN-PERSON

that they're doing well,
phone calls.

I'll go visit them
in person sometimes,

that's some of my favorite
stuff to do on my job

is actually going and visiting
really cool companies.

And then beyond that,
I'm also responsible

for all renewal discussions.
HOLD SUBSCRIPTION
RENEWAL CONVERSATIONS

So once a customer is done
with their first year with us,

I'm responsible for talking with them

about their upcoming
year subscription

and making sure
they still want to stay on.

So, projects for my role
are a little varied.

Sometimes a project could be
onboarding a new customer.

And that would mean that I am
working with our

professional services team
or researchers and project managers

who want to make sure that
all our customers understand fully

how to utilize the platform.

So sometimes I'm focusing really
on that with newer customers.

Other times I'm putting out fires.

If there's a customer who had
a really poor experience

for one reason or another,

I want to make sure
that they understand that

that's not how we do business,
the usual typical experience.

And helping them kind of
reconnect and regroup,

so that we can do great stuff
going forward.

Other times it's renewal discussions,

so figuring out what number
is really going to work

for that customer
and what actual package

is going to get them
what they really need

in order to get those insights
that they're looking for.

I make $80,000 a year,

Now that number is
a little bit variable,

it tends shift based on
a few different factors.

The main thing that I'm
kind of graded on

and that can impact that is
whether or not my customers renew,

which is a great sign of a
good customer success manager.

If I'm doing my job,
they want to continue with us.

So, customer success managers tend
to make around $80,000-ish.

It varies quite a bit just because
custom success managers

and customer success as a field,
tends to be a newer field

that's just kind of starting.

So a lot of different companies are
figuring out what the responsibilities

of a customer success manager
should be and with that

what the pay should be,
so that it really balances out.

There's a really broad window,
I would say,

tends to make anywhere
from $60k to $100k a year.

That’s the job.

So I'm making pretty much
right in the middle there,

which is really great.

Started out making around $60k.

That improved because
User Testing wanted to make sure

that everyone at the company
was making industry standard

and so we've improved to this point.

And then from here
for me to continue improving,

I need to make sure that
my renewal numbers are good,

my customers are
utilizing the product,

things that are
normally expected of me

in my day-to-day.
So that, it's pretty fitting

I would say.
I had my first annual review

last year and I thought ahead
and I planned and I came prepared

with all of the great
renewal numbers that I had,

all the usage data.
So that I could show

the positive impact
that I had had on the customers

who I'd worked with,
and that was really good.

And it was one of the factors

that resulted in me making
a little more money.

So to be successful as a
customer success manager

there are a few things
that have to happen.

You have to be able
to think strategically,

long-term about customers.

A lot of times,
there's some confusion over well

is customer success a sales role?
And it's not because in sales,

you're trying to sell
as much as you can.

To be a great
customer success manager,

you really need to
think strategically,

long-term about your customers
and what will make

the most positive impact for them.

So, you really have to have
their well-being in mind

if you're wondering about
what mindset you have to have.

What that means
kind of for the skill set

is to be able to look at, okay,
this is what a customer

is hoping to accomplish,
this is how we can get them there.

Maybe it's a small package,
maybe it's something

that they just need
to get off the ground.

And from there,
maybe we are going to try out

some new different things.

And maybe they'll find a feature
that is bringing them a lot of value.

Great, we can bring them that.

We don't need to
always be upselling,

we don't need to be
charging as much as possible,

we don't need to be
doing any of that.

We need to work with their budgets
that they're healthy and happy

and coming back again next year
and continuing to work with us,

because that's really what matters.

So, one of the things
that's really important

is being organized.

So, like I'd said,

I'm managing a bunch
of different customers.

Right now, I am managing
about 60 customers,

which is a lot.

So, that means multiple monthly
touch points every day

and I need to be knowing
what these customers are doing.

So, I need to know
what their values are,

what they want to be achieving.

And with 60 different people
who I need to be keeping track of,

everything each of them are doing,

and some of them are teams
of more than one people

so they have lots of different things

they're doing within
each of their teams.

Organization is really key,

you need to be able to
keep track of everything.

Beyond that,
being a personable person

and being friendly
and not being nervous to go in

and have conversations with important
key stakeholders, is a necessity.

You have to be able to
be comfortable doing that.

Yeah, it's been great.

I've actually kind of become
close with some of my customers

which is really nice
to be able to say,

"Oh well, you know after work
we should meet up for drinks."

Or, "You know,
next time I'm in town,

I'll give you a call
and we can go out."

And that's been a
really cool experience.