The 9 Most Impossible Customer Success Questions Asked in 2018, Answered!

Updated: Feb 21, 2019

2018 was an exciting time as we launched with your readership and support. We hope to contribute back to the community and answer some hard questions that we received from our subscribers in this year!

1. Are there any good Podcasts for Customer Success Managers?

My favourite podcast covers beyond Customer Success, it actually looks at Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) in a holistic manner. This will give you more context and alignment from a higher level, and give you the knowledge and strategy you need to excel as a great Customer Success Manager. However, if you’re looking for something more specific, try The Customer Success Podcast by Gainsight.

2. Is it acceptable to fire a difficult customer? Will the consequences cause more harm than good?

Are they trying to be difficult because your product has room for improvement? Or are they really being over-demanding? This is a common dilemma that many seasoned Customer Success Managers would have faced at some point in their career. More often than not, we do not realise that this difficult customer is actually taking up more resources and focus away from our better customers.

3. How do I align with Sales as a Customer Success Manager?

Learn to communicate effectively with your sales counterpart and speak a common language of ‘putting the customer first’. This will put both Sales and Customer Success on the track towards high levels of customer satisfaction which statistically has proven to lead to upsells and cross-sells (which usually benefits both sides). Team work makes the dream work!

4. How much revenue should a Customer Success professional bring in for the company annually?

This is highly dependent on your Target Audience (Small-Medium Business/Enterprise), Industry, and Geography. It usually ranges between US$500,000 to US$5,000,000 per Customer Success Manager.

5. Are there good certification courses for a Customer Success Manager?

Gainsight - Customer Success University SuccessHacker - Success Coaching CCXP - Certified Customer Experience Professional Udemy - Customer Success Manager 101: Foundations to your CSM career CISCO - Customer Success Manager Specialist

6. Have you ever had unforgettable customers in your work?

I had a customer who threw us a Halloween party, followed by sending us gifts to thank us for helping them achieve their outcomes much faster than they expected. Needless to say, they signed a new contract within the year to expand their engagement with us too.

7. What is a good compensation structure for your first Customer Success Manager?

Ensure that there is a variable bonus that takes up 20% to 30% of their on-target-earnings. This is a good ratio to drive value to a Customer Success Manager’s job, but not aggressive enough for them to be pushing the customer too hard.

8. What are the biggest challenges B2B Customer Success leaders face?

I would say Recruitment. Hiring the right person and paving their way to becoming a first-in-class Customer Success Manager has been by far the most difficult for me. You need to identify key traits in the individual during the interview process that you will need on your team; self-motivated, detail-oriented, strong communication skills, and strong observation skills are the major characteristics I usually look out for.

9. What are the most important Customer Success Metrics?

Revenue Churn, Customer Retention, and Product Usage. These metrics all affect your Customer Health directly.

That's my round up on 2018 for CSM Daily. Thank you for your readership, and I hope to produce more valuable content on Customer Success in the year 2019.

Until then, Merry Christmas, and have a great new year ahead! 🎄🎉

Did you have other challenging Customer Success questions you faced?

Write to me at


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