How to become a Customer Success Manager

Customer Success Manager

A customer success manager works with individual customers to discuss what their brand can do for them. They both onboard new customers and nurture their relationships with existing customers, ensuring the best possible experience with their brand.

A customer success manager represents an online company or brand to their customers, and in turn, represents their customers to their colleagues. Professionals in this career want to see their customers succeed and feel confident in their investments. They work to foster a positive relationship between customer and brand.

Customer success managers act as the point of contact for any customer concerns, including anything regarding billing, products, and support. They will also focus on customer service, and the expansion and retention of their customer base. 

The main duties of a customer success manager are: 

  • Working with customers to make sure that they are getting what they want from the company. 
  • Giving them advice on decisions of what to purchase. 
  • Onboarding new customers. 
  • Explaining to new and existing customers what they can do for their business. 
  • Following up customers on renewals. 
  • Encouraging customers to upsell and cross-sell
  • Acting as the customer’s voice in the company

Many customer success managers have a degree in a business subject, for example, business administration. Other relevant topics include IT, marketing, or sales. Candidates could, however, enter the field vocationally by taking on different customer service roles and working their way into the position. Most vacancies will require 3-5 years of experience in related customer service jobs. 

As this is a customer-focused role, candidates should have impeccable interpersonal skills. They should be able to relate to their customers on a personal level and be understanding of their needs. Customer success managers are generally extroverted, not averse to small talk, and eager to discuss issues at length with their clients. 

Candidates should be organised, as they will have to manage multiple clients at once, and thus good with time management. They may also need management skills, as they could be supervising others in the customer success team. 

A customer success manager works in an office, typically office hours. As this is a career in business, they could progress to other customer-focused roles, including sales and marketing.


What degree is most commonly held by a Customer Success Manager ?

  • Bachelors Degree of Economics and Mathematics
  • Bachelors of Life and Medical Sciences
  • Bachelors of International Business
  • BA Politics of Social Sciences

Career Transportability across Countries

Transportability: Low
As this role is customer-focused, candidates may struggle to find work abroad - candidates will need extensive cultural knowledge and fluency in the local language. It may be possible for professionals to find work in a country that they can speak the language of; however, they may need to acquire a visa independently from the job and then apply.

What is the Salary of a Customer Success Manager ?

Experience Average salary | year
Customer Success Manager 1-3 yrs $33,000 £34,000 $40,000
Customer Success Manager 3-5 yrs $56,000 £42,500 $49,912
Customer Success Manager 5-10 yrs $112,234 £75,000 $105,000

What skills are needed to become a Customer Success Manager ?

  • Customer Service
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Leadership
  • Microsoft Office
  • Account Management
  • Business Development
  • Project Management
  • Social Media
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • Marketing
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Team Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Time Management
  • Public Speaking
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Strategy
  • Communication
  • Training
  • Customer Success
  • Marketing Strategy
  • CRM
  • Microsoft Word

Customer Success Manager Course

To learn the skills that are necessary to become a customer success manager, it is recommended for candidates to take some relevant courses. At FutureLearn, we have plenty of customer service focused courses, including the principles of service management.

  • Principles of Service Management

    Your customers are your key resource Explore a service-based approach to marketing and management that can better serve them

  • Effective Questioning for Call Handlers

    Improve how you or your company speaks to people on the phone to ensure good levels of service and in some situations safety

  • Business Management: National and Organisational Cultures

    Explore the concepts of national and organisational culture and build your skills in cross-cultural management

  • Harnessing Open Innovation in Business

    Learn how to use open innovation to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your organisation's innovation processes

  • Managing Innovation: Learning to Prototype for Business

    Understand how to pitch innovative ideas using prototypes and develop your skills by creating your own prototype

  • Design a Feminist Chatbot

    Learn how to design and prototype a chatbot that doesn't reinforce harmful gender stereotypes

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