Landing your first job isn't easy. The growing SaaS market requires fundamental skills, even for entry-level customer success jobs. Requirements are higher and you should have more skills and experience. Expectations have increased because companies need to provide personalized support. This affects trust, revenue growth, customer retention, and product growth. It is the face of the company. It’s a reason why they devote so much attention to the development of support services. We came up with an idea to go through the entire process to help you land your first customer success job.
This guide will break down:
- Where are your starting points and what does customer success do?
- What are the core fundamental skills you should have?
- What to expect from this job and why it’s a good career start?
Determine the starting point
Everyone has unique abilities, experiences, and starting points. It determines your next steps. Let's imagine you are just starting your career in the customer success industry.
What does "customer success" do?
Let’s dive deeper into role requirements and responsibilities. What exactly is customer success?
In mission-critical activities, customer support is responsible for providing value for the product. In other words, you are the primary contact for the customer and the primary contact for the product. You are the voice and ears. Your main task is to make the customer happy, no matter what kind of issues he is struggling with. Responsibilities differ. You could be involved in technical support, renewals, software troubleshooting, post-sales, etc.
That’s one of the reasons why this job is challenging but also opens more opportunities in the future. We will explain why later in this guide.
What soft skills do you need for a customer success specialist job?
Well, actually, that’s a good question, isn’t it?
Before you make a decision, most customer care jobs are about communication. No matter what kind of channels your SaaS company uses, you have to write and speak clearly. It's important. Based on our experience, we highlighted the most common soft skills requirements.
Yes, number 1 for sure. There is the most frustrating thing after a long story to go with the question: "Wait, what happened?" " You should listen to customers and take notes for yourself to understand your next steps. What is your strategy? Customers want to be understood. Active listening involves you from the customer point of view. The main task is to understand their goals and provide a resolution.
Empathy and Understanding
When you pick up the phone or accept a new chat, you never know what is waiting for you. We love different things and brands, and we have different personal life values. Customers are the same way. You never know what happened. You never know how critical the issue is. You never know what the real business impact is. You never know what this customer current mood is. But you know that you are a human being. Your main strength is aligning yourself with the customer. Understand that all inquiries, claims, or complaints aren't addressed to you. What you have to remember is that you must stay human in every situation, no matter what. And that's not because you may lose your job, it's respect for yourself. So, be kind, understand customers, and be empathetic.
Some companies have few communication channels or only one. Some people prefer the phone or another channel of contact. Communication skills are a core value. It's not always about grammar or vocabulary (which are a big advantage for everyone). You should have the skills to deliver the right message to the customer. You should know how to explain complicated technical stuff with easy words. You should be on the same wave as the customer because you are both in one boat.
You could adapt to the situation and find the right balance between customer and company. Today, customers expect a high standard of support with fast responses. They want their issues to be resolved quickly. This is why you should take responsibility to avoid negative customer experiences. This skill often comes with experience, because every single day you'll get to know the product and your audience better. Keep in mind that there are no good or bad choices. Do what you can do with the responsibilities and tools you have. The rest of it is the experience that you'll gain during your journey.
A Sense of Humor
In this job, you’ll have a lot of fun situations, and it would be great if you had a sense of humor. It helps you to stay positive while handling even challenging issues with customers. Sometimes it helps you to decrease a conversation degree or to have small talk. The customer can share with you a story from his life. That’s a good point to create even more close relationships with them. Having a great attitude towards work and accepting challenges will open opportunities in your work.
What to expect in entry-level customer success jobs?
Depending on the company, you should have some basic soft skills and technical knowledge. Therefore, during your interview, the hiring manager is looking for empathy, logical thinking, and creativity. Most SaaS companies provide onboarding and training for the specific role. It means you will gain the required knowledge once you get your customer success job.
This is the first part of a complete guide on how to land your first customer success job. You know what to expect from this job, what soft skills you need, and what the main responsibilities are. From this point, the count is starting.