Inside Trustpilot

The five differences between an account manager and a customer success manager

Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Trustpilot difference account manager and customer success manager

Our approach to customer success starts from the first day of onboarding where we are committed to improve our customer’s business above and beyond the use of Trustpilot.

With last year’s ROI Technology Award for our Zendesk implementation, courtesy of our Support Team, we’ve demonstrated quite the dedication to our customers and it has paid off. But don’t take our word for it, hear it straight from our customers.

Update: We just learned that our customer success team has won 1st place at the Customer Success Summit 2017, produced by Totango, in the Customer Success Team Hero award category. Measured on customer testimonials, retention rate, team complexity, and the victory is a testament to our company-wide philosophy that places customers first, above anything else.

After acquiring a new technology, companies often assign you an ‘Account Manager’ who are often driven by one straightforward motivation: to keep you as a paying customer. When working with Account Managers you should ask yourself ‘is this person here to help me achieve maximum success for my business or just to make sure I renew my contract every year?’ Unless you reach out to them, you’re likely to only hear from them come renewal time.

Why a customer success manager is better for your company

A customer success manager is always there

An account manager is, for the most part, a billing contact, tasked to complete a renewal transaction. If there’s hesitation, the account manager will likely escalate the potential issue, bringing you to a separate department focused on resolving any potential issues. On the other hand, a CSM is available year-round and provides hands-on support whenever you run into issues and when you have general questions or want to improve or optimize any tools or processes.

A customer success manager keeps you updated

An account manager has limited knowledge of your industry and use case with a new technology. This limits their ability to provide specialized support. A CSM, however, is incentivized by your success and will inform you of new features, assets, updates, or even industry changes that may impact the way you work with your technology.

A customer success manager is proactive

An account manager is reactive and only provides support whenever you ask for it, which poses a problem if you there are any issues you’re not aware of. On the other hand, a CSM provides a proactive approach to your relationship, anticipating potential issues or providing unprompted support simply to improve your experience and further your success.

A customer success manager has resources and availability

Account managers usually have little pull or power in their department. While they can route you or provide the contact information for the correct person that can help you with a potential issue, it’s hard for an account manager to personally see to an issue’s resolution. This becomes a problem as you’re forced to re-communicate problems to multiple parties, sapping productivity. But a CSM is equipped with the resources and personnel to resolve any issues and is usually the sole point-of-contact, personally dedicated to resolving your issues.

A customer success manager is invested in your success

Account managers, due to lack of resources and differences in priorities, have client renewals as their sole marker of success. CSMs, on the other hand, are named as such because their measure of success is directly tied to yours. Your customer success manager is incentivized to facilitate benefits such as ROI and increased productivity to positively impact your business.

As you can see, the difference between an account manager and a CSM is huge when considering the benefits a customer success manager can bring to your company. This is why we have dedicated Customer Success Managers for every Trustpilot customer. CSMs lead a small, dedicated three-person team to provide proactive support, guiding customers to continued success throughout the entire relationship.

How Trustpilot uses customer success managers to maximize their customers’ benefits

Our CSMs provide hands-on assistance, year-round, to set up our partners for success. That’s why as soon as you sign up with Trustpilot, you’ll be assigned your own personal Customer Success Manager. They will:

Provide comprehensive knowledge

In an industry that’s continually being disrupted, your CSM will keep you updated on any changes to make sure you’re kept up.

Has the Google Ads layout changed? Your CSM will leave you a voicemail about it. Newly released Hootsuite integration? You’ll have an email in your inbox from your CSM. Have some feedback on the product? Your CSM will gladly talk one-on-one with our product managers to recommend implementation and updates, based on your reviews of our solution. Our product constantly evolves, just as you and your business does. We keep that in mind as we work to help you succeed.

Be an expert consultant

CSMs act as your advisor, working with you from your first day with us to explain how your business can best utilize Trustpilot and address any pain points. The CSM will then work closely with you and within their department to provide solutions that will work optimally for your specific needs.

If your business doesn’t have Google Ads, but you’re working on a new billboard campaign - your CSM will help you with that. If you’re concerned about handling negative reviews publicly and want to take the responses offline, your CSM can guide you through that. When you hit your first review milestone, they will proactively reach out with congratulations and share helpful links so you can boost your accomplishment across your digital channels.

The biggest benefit of working with our expert CSMs is that our goals are the same as yours: to produce the highest possible ROI for your business.

Offer proactive, personal care

Your journey with Trustpilot will be facilitated by a team of success-driven individuals. In addition to having a CSM, you’ll also have a dedicated Integration Manager, who will help with the initiation of your account, and a Support teammate prepared to help with any technical challenges.

This three-person team is working for you to make sure you are successful with Trustpilot, and that you continue, on a monthly basis, to see ROI.

An Account Manager might help you shave off a few dollars at renewal time, but your CSM will generate more revenue over the lifetime of the contract. We know that our most successful partners are guided throughout their relationship with Trustpilot, automating review collection, sharing reviews on-site, and integrating their reviews throughout their marketing channels.


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