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A Day in the Life of a Customer Success Manager

Posting date: 06/11/2024

Join Wibke Koetter, our Customer Success Manager, as she takes you through a typical day at SmartRecruiters, revealing her approach to customer success, the teamwork that fuels her role, and the personal insights that shape her journey.


Introduction


Can you introduce yourself, your role, and the team you work with at SmartRecruiters?


Wibke: Hi, my name is Wibke. I’m forever 25, living in Düsseldorf, Germany, and a mom of two teenage girls. I’ve been with SmartRecruiters since September 2021, working with enterprise customers primarily based in the DACH/EMEA region but operating globally. My responsibilities include creating success plans with customers, helping them achieve their goals, removing any roadblocks, and supporting them with product changes. I am the main point of contact for customers, alongside our support teams, helping them find the right SmartRecruiters resources for their needs.


My trusted partners in crime are the Account Managers; together, we form the account team for our customers. I’m part of the BTE (Best Team Ever), consisting of awesome, knowledgeable, and experienced CSMs and CSEs spread across EMEA, NAMER, and APAC regions. We live and breathe the #asone company value, sharing knowledge and support whenever we can—it's our DNA.


Customer Success Philosophy and Strategy


What principles guide your approach to customer success?


Wibke: I strive to understand my customers’ businesses in depth and translate their corporate objectives into actionable outcomes aligned with our Hiring Success methodology. This means putting myself in my customers’ shoes to understand their needs, requirements, and challenges. This way, I can ensure I provide the necessary information and resources to help them overcome their challenges and reach their goals successfully.


How do you ensure your strategies align with SmartRecruiters' business objectives?


Wibke: Our strategies are centered around the success of our customers, which inherently aligns with SmartRecruiters' business objectives. By ensuring our customers achieve their goals, we drive their satisfaction and loyalty, which in turn supports our growth and innovation.


Customer Success Stories


What aspects of your role and impact you have make you proud?


Wibke: I’m most proud of working with incredible people, both at our customers’ organizations and internally, and delivering success daily. Whether it’s guiding a customer to the right content on the community, sharing a webinar on SmartRecruiters University, helping find the right data points on Report Builder, or discussing strategic goals—every interaction is a success as it supports our customers in various ways. Success is not one project to be completed but rather a commitment to continuous improvement.


Collaboration and Team Dynamics


How do you collaborate with other teams at SmartRecruiters to ensure customer success?


Wibke: Collaboration is key, and bringing different resources together to work on our customers’ success is as natural as breathing. I enjoy learning from other teams and supporting them by sharing customer insights. Figuring out where to ask for information or finding the right team can be daunting, so I’m incredibly grateful to work in a company where everyone is always helpful and supportive. #asone is my favorite Smartian value. We do things collaboratively, inclusively, and collectively. No one is on an island alone.


Day-to-Day Operations


What does a typical day look like for you? How do you manage your tasks, especially working remotely?


Wibke: My day starts with checking my schedule and preparing for customer meetings by revisiting notes and planning the information to share. Then, I check emails, responding to time-critical or easy-to-answer ones first. I also review our Slack channels for responses from other teams, product updates, and general information.


Working remotely can challenge relationship building, so we have many internal calls, including one with a strict “don’t talk business” rule (though we don’t always stick to it). Prioritizing tasks involves using several apps to stay organized and on top of deadlines, but I mostly rely on my 20+ years of experience in customer-facing roles to differentiate critical from non-critical requests, stick to plans, and manage expectations well. I usually close my day with tasks requiring quiet time, like watching huddles, checking community posts, or responding to messages.


Customer Insights and Feedback


How do you gather and incorporate customer feedback into your strategy?


Wibke: Customers share feedback mostly during our regular calls. Depending on the feedback, I ask questions to understand its root cause. For critical feedback, understanding its origin is crucial—whether it’s a lack of information or functionality. I guide customers to the right channels for product change requests or share feedback directly with the product team. We create success plans documenting strategic goals, timelines, and measures of success. Feedback related to these goals prompts us to revisit and possibly adjust the plan.


Career Development


How did you become a Customer Success Manager? What advice do you have for someone aspiring to this role?


Wibke: With over 20 years in account and key account management in the contingent workforce industry, I worked with many global organizations. I enjoyed the diversity of tasks but missed the post-deal customer relationship. I discovered customer success management a few years ago and knew it was my calling. After researching, reading "The Customer Success Professional’s Handbook," and applying for roles, I joined SmartRecruiters thanks to a former colleague’s recommendation.


My advice? Speak to people in the role to learn about their daily duties and necessary skills. Connect on LinkedIn or join CS groups if you don’t know anyone. Read job ads to understand how organizations define CS roles and enrol in courses, starting with free content if you’re new. Apply for roles to learn and possibly land your dream job. Nothing bad can come from an application; only good things.


Posted byAlicja Spizarska
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