Unlock the Power of Customer Success With CS Ops

Unlock the Power of Customer Success With CS Ops

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller

Customer Success teams understand the constant pressure to deliver a positive customer experience and drive growth. But with a never-ending to-do list and limited resources, it can be challenging to keep up.

This is where Customer Success Operations (CS Ops) comes in.

This article is an introduction to how you can leverage the power of CS Ops to help scale and maximize the impact of your CS team.

What is Customer Success Operations, and why is it important?

In a nutshell, Customer Success Operations help optimize the Customer Success function, working behind the scenes to ensure that existing customers are retained and new customers get maximum value from the product. While CS Management focuses on the execution of the customer journey, CS Ops plans and ensures that the execution is intelligent (data & technology) and optimized (systems and processes).

CS Ops can be seen as an assistant role, helping Customer Success deliver a seamless experience, and a managerial position, overseeing the operational activities that keep everything running smoothly and optimized.

Ultimately, CS Ops is critical in helping Customer Success deliver the best customer experience.

What are the responsibilities of Customer Success Operations?

Everything related to the customer experience falls under the purview of the CS Ops team. Below are some of the typical responsibilities of CS Ops.

  • Forecast and plan for renewals, upsells, churn, team growth, and revenue.
  • Conduct churn after-actions to capture insights and lessons learned.
  • Define internal performance metrics (revenue, product usage, customer feedback, health scores, etc.).
  • Develop CS playbooks that drive consistent and intelligent decision-making.
  • Analyze and fill knowledge gaps across the CS team.
  • Track and capture insights from customer feedback and product usage.
  • Analyze the impact of customer marketing campaigns.
  • Facilitate knowledge sharing across cross-functional teams.
  • Get buy-in from decision-makers and other leaders for important CS initiatives.
  • Manage technologies and vendor relationships.
  • Forecast future needs of the CS department.
  • Align CS strategy with other departments.
  • Assess churn risk, so preventative action can be taken.
  • Identify and eliminate any roadblocks or patterns that stall performance.
  • Build and improve upon any processes or systems needed.
  • Track the quality, efficiency, and performance of CSMs.
  • Segment customers and assign workloads.
  • Automate repetitive tasks and processes.

How do Customer Success Operations & Customer Success Management collaborate?

CSMs have a lot on their plate. Customers need quick resolutions to their problems, excellent technical support, constant information about the data that matters to them, and weekly or monthly conversations to better understand next steps. The CSM is the first person the customer reaches out to. Every customer expects solo attention from the CSM. At the same time, the organization expects the CSMs to increase their revenue by reselling, upselling, and strategic planning.

Uff!! So much work for a single role.

The CSM needs a CSM to help them out. The CS Ops team plays this role. Your CSMs are the face of your brand and the key point person for existing customers. They're what everyone sees first. Your customers may not even know CS Ops exists, but without them, your CSMs would have a significantly harder time achieving their goals.

  • They work towards making Customer Success managers more effective.
  • They take up the operations work and free up the CSM so that they can focus on strategic thinking.
  • They figure out what is and isn’t working to ensure success.
  • They make the communication flow constant within internal functions.
  • They unify the CS department's operations to ensure all work towards common goals.
  • They serve as the backbone of Customer Success, helping them to function effectively.
  • They make valuable insights available for the CSM to make data-based decisions.
  • They help CSMs concentrate more on the tasks which need a human touch.
  • They help to enhance the performance of Customer Success teams.
  • They ensure a higher level of engagement and the best service for existing customers.
  • They identify the redundant processes and work on the areas of improvement.
  • They help in segmenting customers and allocating the CSM with relevant experience.

When is it time to invest in CS Operations?

The hiring of the CS Ops team depends on many factors.

  • The stage of business.
  • The number of customers.
  • The number of CSMs.
  • The complexity of the product.
  • The model of customer touch.

Here are some typical signals that it may be time to invest in CS Ops.

  • When your CSMs struggle to keep up with the day-to-day needs of serving your customers.
  • When you see that your Customer Success team could be operating more efficiently.
  • When your CSMs are doing a lot of manual tasks that take up too much of their working hours.
  • When the tools used by the Customer Success team are not working well.
  • When your CS team is not fully recognized.
  • When your CS team is not performing efficiently.
  • When the existing CS team is struggling to keep up with customer needs.
  • When getting critical customer data-based insights becomes a struggle.
  • When it becomes challenging to use the available tools with maximum efficiency.

What are the best ways to structure a CS Operations team?

CS Ops can have various roles like any other department depending on your experience, skills, education, and expertise. The structure also depends upon the industry, business revenue, number of customers, and customer needs.

Several key roles can be involved in ensuring CS Ops functions effectively.

  • Onboarding Specialist
  • Customer Care Expert
  • Expansion Manager or Associate
  • Customer Success Operations Analyst or Specialist
  • Customer Success Operations Associate or Manager
  • Manager, Customer Success Operations

Based on the industry and experience, various CS Ops roles have different salary ranges. The reporting of the roles also depends on the internal hierarchy followed by the organization.

Can anyone work in CS operations?

The specific roles and responsibilities of the CS Operations lead always depend on the maturity and function of the business.

The following are crucial skills, knowledge, and attributes that help you excel in CS Operations.

  • Technical proficiency
  • Systems thinking
  • Business strategy
  • Iterative thinking
  • Change management
  • Process design
  • Conflict management
  • Risk analysis
  • Data analysis
  • System administration
  • Strategic thinking/planning
  • Budget & staff management
  • Problem-solving
  • Reporting
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Revenue forecasting
  • Building advocacy
  • Persuasion
  • Humbleness and teamwork
  • Performance enablement
  • Project management
  • Learning agility
  • Financial literacy

How does someone transition into a CS Operations role?

If you're transitioning to an operational management role, the skills you can showcase will boost your chances of success. Here are various ways to showcase your skills while applying for the CS Ops role:

On the resume

Make sure to highlight your skills within a professional summary. Go through the job description and include your operational skills relevant to the requirement. This shows that you are fit for the role. The employer needs to see how your qualifications and skills match the requirement.

In the cover letter

In the cover letter, write about how you will contribute using the examples from your current role and position. The employer should be able to make out that you have the capacity to fulfill the desired position and make an impact.

During the interview

You must highlight the operations management skills from your experience and role. Talk about what issue you faced and how you solved it using your skills. Use the storytelling technique to get the interviewer's attention and engagement.


Do not hesitate to share your achievements and recognitions. You can relate the achievements with your skills and experience. Also, mention the way you learned and developed that skill. This shows that you are forever ready to learn.

Is CS Operations needed in today’s remote work environment?

Remote working comes with many challenges like lack of motivation, technical tools giving problems due to lack of centralized infrastructure, lack of team spirit, and missing support from team and colleagues. In the role of CS, tech touch has increased the expectations of customers. The CSMs are still working on all their defined responsibilities and delivering digital experiences.

Onboarding, collecting data, Customer reviews, everything is to be managed digitally. This is where the CS Ops role comes into the picture.

  • They make sure that the implementation of strategies is done as planned.
  • They work towards segmenting the customers and running personalized campaigns.
  • They work with the Marketing team to keep the customers involved and enthusiastic.
  • They collect data from various resources and come out with useful insights.
  • They share engaging invites and MoMs with the customers to keep them stuck to the product. They prepare infographics and short videos to answer customer queries.
  • They come up with creative ways to talk to customers.
  • They work towards training the CSMs and the support staff with the new and existing tools.
  • They block redundant processes and start new ones, which give better results. They keep an eye on the usage of tools so that the old ones can be replaced with more effective tools.
  • They keep regular calls with internal functions so that all are aligned for Customer Success.
  • They play a role in deciding on product releases based on customer feedback.
  • They collect regular feedback and keep the feedback loop running with the customer.
  • They keep track of the revenue generation targets and make future strategies.

Wrap Up

Strategic CS Ops teams can be called the foundation of a proactive Customer Success function. The CS Operations role makes the CS function more efficient and productive by taking up routine tasks and helping the CSM to focus on proactive measures. It is essential to introduce CS Ops at the appropriate time in your organization to achieve the desired results.

Without CS Ops, the CSMs would not have the bandwidth required to measure the success of each account. If the CS Ops team does not share the data-based insights, decision-making can become a nightmare for the CSM. CS Ops provide the CS function with the right information at the right time, which helps to make decisions with much clarity.

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