Different roles within CS teams?

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Jeff Yeger
Jeff Yeger Member Posts: 13 Contributor
Hi all!

We plan to double our CS team in the next 12 months (from 8 to 16 CSM's). 

As we scale and become a fairly large team I want to learn more about what other roles exist within CS organizations in support or other functions. 

I see CS Operations roles growing, I'd love to hear more about that role and the value it brings. 

Are there other positions I should be considering for the team?

Thanks!

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  • Matt Myszkowski
    Matt Myszkowski Member Posts: 143 Expert
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    edited October 2020
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    hi @Jeff Yeger

    Great question....CS Ops is definitely one I see as impactful and valuable, and I think with increased pressure on all businesses today and next year (and beyond with Covid) your ability toi scale probably can't or won't come from hiring CSMs alone. The scale comes from being more effective, efficient, productive through technology or centralised functions. So what do you have in your business or team that be more efficient? Think about the problems you need to solve, not the solutions you may not need or want.

    If expansion is a thing, then maybe you need to look at increasing advocacy so think about CS Marketing. If you are focusing on increased adoption with new functionality is there a Product Marketing role needed? If you are struggling to deliver value or RoI to your customer, do you need an Outcomes Architect designing programmatic approaches to outcome delivery?

    My advice, understand your problems and then create solutions - don't always be lead by what others are doing. I hope that helps and hope I am not being too patronising.
  • Marco Innocenti
    Marco Innocenti Member Posts: 18 Thought Leader
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    edited October 2020
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    Hi Jeff - I run a CS Operations team here at Zoom and this is what we have under its umbrella as individual roles.
    - CS OPs Manager
    - CS Communications
    - CS Enablement
    - CS Data and Analytics

    These grew over time.  So I would echo what Matt says and determine which problem you need to solve first, that will help with wich of these rolls, if any, make sense.

    Always happy to connect and outline how this team came about and functions.

    Marco
  • Russell Bourne
    Russell Bourne Member Posts: 61 Expert
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    edited October 2020
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    @Jeff Yeger, great that you're in a position to grow so much.  I'll first echo @Matt Myszkowski and say, think about where you have needs and aim toward solving those.

    As for non-CSM roles, there's great value in splitting your CS ops into a data analyst as well as a program manager.  I've found both of those things are full-time jobs, and if you need to expand beyond that, I think the program manager is more likely to need a companion first.  Preferably both would be well-versed in being ERP admins.

    For CS roles, of course always be thinking about your bench!  Maybe align your newer hires / early career reps with a higher volume of lower-billing accounts, let them learn by going through a ton of different scenarios, and they'll be ready to earn promotions when the times comes.

    For me, this is the most fun part of leadership - enjoy it!
  • Ben Coffman
    Ben Coffman Member Posts: 4 Navigator
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    edited October 2020
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    Hi Jeff,

    I agree with the roles outlined above.  I know my team would benefit from a more robust CS Ops group!

    I don't know how technical or strategic the technology of your org is, but we have two different teams of CSMs.  One team has traditional CSMs.  The other actually predates the CSMs, and it contains Customer Success Strategists.  Our technology can have a high impact, but we need executive alignment to enable it.  Our Strategists work with customers to define their journey and success plans, requiring deep industry expertise and vision.  These CSS are much more senior than our CSMs, and in many cases they work together, with CSS setting the vision and strategy, and the CSMs engaging at the user-level to drive adoption.  We haven't integrated the teams as much as I'd like yet, but I see a positive future if we do.
  • Ido Barnoam
    Ido Barnoam Member Posts: 22 Thought Leader
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    edited October 2020
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    Hey @Jeff Yeger

    Our CS team was created alongside our company and in answer to the needs we needed and solutions we wanted to provide. So in that regard, I can also echo @Matt Myszkowski's comment to define your needs and then set the orles.

    Currently, our team consists of (in order of creation):
    • Technical support - which provides support for all of our customers, self-service and premium
    • CSM's - which have specific premium accounts each manages and aims to drive adoption.
    • Solution architects - which create custom solutions or integrations for our premium customers if needed. They also have designated accounts and work alongside the CSM's
    • CS ops - currently this a one-man show, but the role is crucial. The integrations we are building and internal tools that this role provide multiply the teams effcieny and effectivness
    • Customer education - This team creates and maintains courses and our education center where customers and employees can take courses and learn
    • Engagment team - This team is responsible for our self service and low tocuh customers. They handle the one-to-many relationships and are focused more on campaign for specific segments and adoption of features in bulk
    • CS enablement - Yours truly. This position is aimed to make the work of all of the CS teams easier and more streamlined. This ranges from creating colletoral for our CSM's, managing onboardings. ramping up existing employees and also more strategic topics like creation of KPI's for example
    hope this helps. I would be happy to dive deeper into any of these if it can help further.