If you happen to be a CSM or manage a CS team, you have the challenging job of retaining customers, looming deadlines, and trying to manage daily stresses. We know you are trying your best; but let’s face it, the struggle is real. But not to worry! We came up with a few solutions you should consider before worrying yourself to death.
Take time out for yourself
We know how busy your day can get. For someone who's always multitasking there's rarely enough free ‘time to myself’. It might not come up immediately as the most productive and stress relieving tactic, but time blocking is an extremely effective resource most people fail to leverage.
Think of this as your at work ‘me time’. By giving yourself a decent period of time, free from calls, meetings, and small interruptions or chats, you are allowing yourself time to catch up on things that are constantly on the “back burner”, always on the back of your mind and never signed off as done.
This ultimately leads to a lot of unnecessary stress that can be dealt with readily and easily. These time slots don’t have to be planned in consecutive periods; they can even be as little as one afternoon a week depending on your role and organization.
Put things in perspective
It may seem like the end of the world when each incoming customer email is presenting itself as an additional task to be completed.
It doesn’t help that you can’t predict how long these incoming tasks will take to complete. At any given point, a customer email might require that you spend an additional 5 minutes, or 3 days, solving an issue. As a result, many CSMs are tied to their inbox all day long. Because of the constant need to move things around in their schedules to accommodate inbound requests, Inbox Zero seems like a long shot.
But we will let you in on a little secret: constantly living in your inbox and checking emails actually detains you from getting important, long-term projects done. To avoid this, you may consider creating a dynamic self-service database, so your support and success teams can focus on legitimate concerns instead of repetitive processes. Spend time creating educational material and make it available so that customers can learn to solve problems themselves.
Granted, some issues require your immediate attention - such as a customer who can’t log in into the system - but if it truly is an emergency, they can contact support directly. If you can get back to everyone else within the span of 4 hours to half a day, they will still feel heard and know that you value them.
Remember, by being level-headed and calm, you can keep always things in perspective.
Don’t be afraid to reach out
Being in the role of a Customer Success Manager, it can sometimes feel like a one-person marching band. You can usually only plan 24 to 48 hours in advance due to firefighting. This is a short scope—especially if you’re trying to help your customer for their long-term success by doing a number of things on your own. It can be exhausting, and sometimes you are forced to take a step back because a customer just isn’t willing to come to terms with an agreement.
Just because you have the most knowledge and insight on your customer’s issues, it does not mean that you’re always the right one for the job. You need to know when to pass the baton.
Granted, it might take a few minutes to explain the situation to your customer, but it’s worth it in the long run. Take the time to get to your know your network and build relationships with colleagues across departments.
At the end of the day, stress is an unavoidable element of any career, but the good news is that there are readily available, constructive steps you can take to keep things in control and create a stress-free environment for yourself and your team.
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