CSM Chronicles: Establish success metrics when finalizing the sale

With Feng Gao, Enterprise AI CSM, DataRobot

Feng is a CSM with a knack for weaving AI into successful customer journeys. With experience across startups, established companies, and global brands, Feng excels in guiding clients through post-sales success. 

Check out this snappy 2-minute edition of CSM Chronicles for Feng’s take on Customer Success.

How do you define Customer Success? 

Doing everything it takes to make the customer successful across the three pillars of post-sales account management, customer enablement, and customer success with a focus on key metrics such as product adoption, customer satisfaction, and gross & net dollar retention and of course renewals.

What does it mean for a customer to be successful?

For a customer to be successful, they need to get real value from the solution.

It starts with working with the sales team to establish clear success metrics even before finalizing the deal. 

As a CSM, you then need to surpass these metrics, while maintaining high customer satisfaction throughout their journey.

What is one of the most difficult things about being a CSM? 

Handling customer churn, when the reasons for it are out of our hands – like a misalignment between the product roadmap and customer expectations.

Are there any things that you dread when you open up your calendar?

Seeing too many meetings lined up.

Working remotely has brought in a flood of virtual meetings, and it can sometimes be overwhelming.

Any tips, tricks, or hacks you'd like to share with fellow CSMs that helped you or your team?

Focus on planning your day and week. 

I schedule my week, day, and even month, blocking out dedicated no-meetings focus time. This time blocking helps me concentrate and strategize on the most critical tasks – and avoid the risk of focusing only on the operational demands of the job. 

If you were to wave a magic wand to do your job better, what would it be?

It would be to streamline the process of dealing with meeting notes. It takes up so much time to write and summarize notes, especially when dealing with huge customer volumes. 

Meeting notes that are concise and accurate – that don’t need further proofreading and summarizing –  would free up a significant amount of my time for other priorities.


Hear from other CS experts. Check out more CS Chronicles series here.

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