9 Things A Customer Success Manager Should Never Say At Work

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ChurnZero, a leading Customer Success platform, has announced the first CSM Appreciation Week to recognize the dedicated work of Customer Success Managers (CSMs) across the SaaS industry. Held from May 23 – May 27, the week includes industry-wide awards open to any Customer Success team who wishes to nominate and recognize an outstanding teammate.

Don’t wait – nominateEnter yourself or a teammate for a #CSMAppreciationWeek award by May 13. Each category winner will receive $1,500 along with other prizes.

Find out what it’s all about –and how to win– here!

Today at a glance

  • 9 things a CSM should never say at work
  • One book
  • One podcast
  • CS Café Hiring zone
  • About you!

Listen to this edition on Spotify

#13 The Customer Success Café – 9 Things a CSM Should Never Say At Work

1/ That’s not my job

This is what someone with a fixed mindset would say.

Doing the least effort will not get you anywhere.

The task to complete might be out of your scope but you can always consider the opportunity for yourself to be part of the solution.

Saying it’s not your job without any consideration sends your colleagues a negative signal telling them you are not a team player.

You might not be able to help directly but connect people with the right resource as you can.

This is why a great CSM has a growth mindset and always says:

“I see opportunities everywhere!”

2/ I can’t do it

There are situations where this is true.

But instead of cutting off the discussion which might come as being rude, you could simply say “I can’t do this, but here’s what I can do”

And this is a completely game-changing approach.

It sounds much positive and enthusiastic, showing your willingness to help even though you’d be limited in your own abilities.

It’s often easier to stay in your comfort zone and not to push yourself to deliver more.

This is why great CSMs always go the extra mile rather than sitting back and waiting for things to happen.

3/ I wanted to do so, but …

Guess what? It’s now too late. It happened already.

In life as at work, you can’t control things that happen to you. But you can always control how you react to a given situation, right?

So rather than finding excuses, you should acknowledge the situation and suggest plans to move forward.

Remember: winners always have a plan, and losers always have an excuse!

4/ We’ve always done it this way

This is one of the most dangerous phrases you could ever make.

It’s against all human creativity, innovation, improvement, and most importantly, your own growth!

You must therefore question the status quo at all times and always be on the move.

Einstein once said: “life is like riding a bike. You must move to keep balance.”

So keep moving on! Onwards and upwards!

5/ I’ll try

This one is tricky and usually brings in mixed feelings.

It’s like saying you didn’t want to do it but accepted anyway because you just couldn’t say “No”.

But getting stuck right in the middle of a choice is not what you want.

Instead, stop wasting everyone’s time.

Just do it, or simply don’t!

6/ It’s not fair

Sure. But that’s how things often are in life.

Now you’re a professional and this kind of judgment should be left far behind you!

If you have something to say, ask for a meeting to review.

And if you are not happy with where you are, change it.

You are not a tree!

So stop complaining or gossiping! And start taking action instead!

7/ This might sound like a stupid idea, but…

Your results are in direct proportion to your efforts and attitude.

Finding excuses for not doing the things you believe in often shows a lack of self-confidence.

So stop apologizing for your thoughts or ideas.

Say what you have to say and speak up. You’ll see most people will appreciate you taking the initiative and saying the things they wanted to bring in themselves.

8/ I told you

There is no need for you to rewrite history. The event already occurred and belongs to the past.

Rather than imagining things you could have said, ensure you make it a great learning experience so you can do better in the future.

Besides, it doesn’t add any single value to the conversation.

If something went wrong, you’d better give constructive feedback to help your peers succeed for the next iteration.

So praise people for their actions while suggesting new and more effective ways to complete a given task as needed.

9/ I’m busy right now

But guess what? everyone is.

And you don’t need to sound defensive but rather provide quick feedback as to when you’d be available.

Then, all you have to do is to get back to people as you suggested.

In the end, it’s all about adopting a growth mindset that will set you apart for success personally, in your Customer Success career, and beyond!

Well, that’s it.

These are the 9 things you should remove from your vocabulary as a highly effective CSM:

  1. That’s not my job
  2. I can’t do it
  3. I wanted to do so, but …
  4. We’ve always done it this way
  5. I’ll try 
  6. It’s not fair
  7. This might sound like a stupid idea, but…
  8. I told you 
  9. I’m busy right now

Agree? What else would you add?

One Book

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Wayne’s book is a must-read for all CS professionals. He gives a lot of tips and ideas on how to improve yourself as a CS manager or leader. One of the core books written about CS I’d recommend you to have in your library as a go-to reference!

One Podcast

With Rav Dhaliwal: How Customer Success Drives Company Valuation

With Rav Dhaliwal: How Customer Success Drives Company Valuation

As someone coming from the field, Rav is one of my top references in Customer Success!

Rav was running CS at Slack in EMEA, and held senior Customer Success positions, managing key processes like Customer Onboarding and expansion at Zendesk, Microsoft, and Salesforce. In this episode with Anika Zubair, Rav talks about how he has scaled Customer Success teams and his views on Customer Success leading indicators such as NPS and CSAT.

Tune in and listen, I’m sure you’ll learn a ton!

Hakan’s Hiring Zone

I’m personally curating the most unique jobs I’ve come across or have been made aware of this week in Customer Success.

Today’s Featured Opportunities

Check them out!

About you

I’m looking forward to learning more about you!

How are things going so far?

  • What’s your biggest struggle right now?
  • Why did you join my newsletter?
  • What is one thing you’d like me to help you with?

Please feel free to reach out either by email, on social media, or by clicking the thumbs up below for feedback.

I’d love to get on a quick zoom call with you or meet in person for a coffee if you were ever to travel to Paris in the near future!

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Well, there you are!

If you are enjoying my newsletter, the best favor you could do for me is to share a few nice words online. 

Thank you and have a great week ahead!

And until next Sunday, take care friends!


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Hakan Ozturk

Hakan Ozturk
Founder, theCScafe.com, #1 Weekly Customer Success Newsletter

Hakan Ozturk is a Paris-based Customer Success leader with over 15 years of experience in the computer software industry. Passionate about driving growth and delivering value to strategic customers, Hakan has established himself as a trusted industry expert. As the Founder of The Customer Success Café Newsletter and TopCSjobs.com, Hakan provides valuable industry insights and daily-updated job opportunities worldwide in the field of Customer Success. Connect with Hakan to boost your career in CS and your company’s potential for massive growth.

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