6 Ways to Best Utilize Your Customer Success Manager | AppsFlyer
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6 Ways to Best Utilize Your Account / Customer Success Manager

Ziv Bass Specktor Feb 15, 2016

As an app marketer, you are most likely challenged to acquire new users and keep them coming back for more. It’s no easy task. In fact, it takes quite the juggling skills, among others.

Think of how many things you need to juggle to be successful at your job.

A partial list includes:

  • Copywriting – exciting, compelling and action-driven copy
  • Designing – colorful, attention-grabbing visuals in different formats (banner, video, native etc.)
  • Media buying – running and integrating with multiple sources to maximize your reach, sharpen your targeting and ultimately increase your ROI
  • Reporting & optimization – if you’re not “spraying and praying” (I hope not…) you’re probably using an attribution and marketing analytics service to help you understand which sources are delivering the goods and which are not, and optimizing accordingly

All you need is one of the above to stutter, and suddenly your entire juggling operation is at risk of failure.

With so much (risky) juggling, your time actually becomes your most important commodity. Here’s what we suggest is the best way to work with your account, aka customer success manager (CSM) to save time so you can keep on juggling:

1) Pick up a pen (keyboard), not a phone!

When a new problem surfaces you want it solved right away. However, unless it’s really urgent, calling your account manager for every technical problem you face is generally not recommended. How come?

  • Written questions and answers can easily be stored, searched and referenced later, while phone conversations fade away in memory
  • Your CSM may not be fully available for you at a given time. Also, you may not even be in the same time zone, although good SaaS services give you round the clock support. If you need your CSM for a more in-depth talk, send an email and put it in a calendar
  • While calling may get you results, writing helps your CSM prioritize work and give you the attention you deserve

Bottom line: Talking is the new smoking. If you have to pick up the phone or mic – better write ahead to let your CSM know what you need and schedule it.

2) Be specific

The majority of SaaS-related issues surface because of a lack of knowledge, and can be solved quickly when identified correctly. However, if you just tell your CSM ‘It doesn’t work’ and expect your problem to be solved in a flash you’ll probably be disappointed.

Your request may get delayed as you’ll likely get a “Please clarify” response, which can take several hours or more. Be very specific about what you had attempted to do and the unexpected outcome you got. The more details you provide, the greater the chance that your supporter would know how to help you right away.

Bottom line: Spending two more minutes on explaining problems with details will save you hours or days later on.

3) Each service knows about its own business

You probably work with many service providers. Some of them may take a while before they reply to your queries, but if you need them to reply ASAP, it’s only natural you’d turn to a friendly face for answers even when they’ve got nothing to do with the issue in question.

For example, a client email that stated, “I have a question about Apple’s review process for iOS apps, we submitted one of our new games for review two weeks ago, and it is still in review till today. I contacted Apple on their expedite review contact info, and they replied with the generic answer that the game is still in review and that they will contact me if they need any additional info. So is it normal for a game to take this long in review? Also is there a way to check what is going on?”

Unfortunately for that client, the only company that can provide real answers is Apple. But Apple has its own timetable, which led the client to send the questions to us instead.

One may argue that a CSM should be an expert in his field and go beyond the limited scope of his company. That’s a valid point. For example, our CSMs are all mobile marketing experts, not just attribution experts. However, a CSM may also want to please his client and make an impression by answering questions he may not know the answer to. That’s why it’s best that every company keeps to its domain to avoid any confusion.

Bottom line: Sending your CSM questions about other companies’ services may cost you redundant waiting time. Try searching online for answers on your own and if your efforts are unsuccessful, contact the relevant service provider.

4) Feature requests may take time

SaaS companies serve thousands and sometimes millions of users. By nature, SaaS solutions are deployed with a minimal number of features and are heavily influenced by clients’ feedback and requests. It’s a large part of what makes SaaS so great as customers get their SaaS products updated regularly with the features they want. However, don’t expect your request to be treated overnight.

The following quote came from a client who wanted a dashboard change that would have affected all our clients: “I ask you to contact the development Department and ask them to add this setting on the dashboard for us as an exception. This is very important.” After consideration, we decided not to implement the requested change, but still showed the client how to get the requested data anyway.

Bottom line: Keep asking your CSMs for more and better features, but don’t get mad if it’s not done right away or at all – there are good reasons for that.

5) We know (our system) best

There is a reason why your CSMs send you detailed step by step guides and instructions. It saves time and effort and redundant communication. CSMs don’t know everything, but they sure do know their own business.

Sometimes clients think they know better. For example, take the following quote: “My programmer refuses to implement the receiver and google play services where it’s indicated because he says it does not make a difference.  I asked him if that’s the case why is it not working. He didn’t have a good answer…”

When your CSM sends you instructions, it is highly recommended to follow them in full and in the order they are given. After all, the procedure is based on hundreds or thousands of cases and as such is optimized to reach the best results in the fastest possible way.

And by the way, “Mandatory” means “Do IT” (and not consider doing it), while “Optional” means “You should probably do it” (and not skip it entirely).

Bottom line: Your CSM will usually ask you to take the minimum necessary steps to succeed so you should make sure that you follow them to avoid future frustration. 

6) Looping in… short summaries is the way to go

Sometimes, you need to loop your CSM into an existing correspondence. Don’t just write “Looping in Caroline. Caroline, please see if you can help” and send your CSM to try and decipher an endless chain of correspondence. Spend another minute to shortly describe the problem. You’ll get answers much faster and to the point.

Bottom line: a short summary when looping in your CSM can save you lots of time and misunderstandings.

To sum up, these 6 golden principles will actually help you achieve better results with anybody – not just with your customer success managers. By using them you’ll save time, get better at juggling, and ultimately deliver results. It may even earn you your rightful place in heaven, but this I can’t guarantee. This is handled by an entirely different service.