Customer Success Specialist (CSS)

Customer Success Specialist (CSS) | Telephones for business

What is a Customer Success Specialist (CSS)?

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering… “What’s the difference between a CSS and a CSR?” We get it. There’s confusion and overlap between various sales titles used at different organizations. What’s more, titles are often changing and adapting to industry trends.

The fast-growing, competitive nature of the SaaS industry has created an environment where new titles are needed to accommodate for completely new positions. What’s more, (slightly) different titles – à la Sales Development Rep vs. Business Development Rep – are created to sound more relevant, modern, and in line with company values and culture.

If you’re new to all this sales jargon, look no further! We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to find out exactly what a customer success specialist does, average salary for CSSs, career outlook, and available CSS jobs.

In SaaS, the acronym CSS generally stands for Customer Success Specialist. CSSs usually work in customer success, assisting clients with troubleshooting, and providing support, knowledge, and understanding.

Customer Success Specialist Job Description

Customer success professionals guide clients from the sales to the support phase, by being a reliable, friendly and knowledgeable resource for customers. These employees are key in maintaining and improving customer satisfaction.

What does a Customer Success Specialist do?

CSSs not only troubleshoot client challenges and provide relevant information, they also build relationships with their portfolio of clients and are an advocate for their needs within the company. Similarly, customer success teams also advocate on behalf of the company and encourage upsells and cross-sells to existing customers.

Effective customer success specialists increase a customer’s lifetime value and improve customer retention rate (CRR), by encouraging loyal customers who not only continue with the company, but also upgrade and purchase premium products and services.

Another relevant concern of a customer success specialist in SaaS is reducing churn, or limiting the number of customers who cancel their memberships or plans. By providing excellent customer service and meeting the needs of clients, CSSs can reduce churn and even increase CRR by up- and cross-selling.

Customer Success Specialist Salary

Customer Success Specialists make, on average, $65,681 per year in total pay in the US (source: Glassdoor). However, this number can vary significantly based on the portion of the pay that is base vs. performance-driven. Salaries also vary based on company size, location, and years of experience. For example, CSSs at Cisco make an estimated $151,370 per year.

CSS Career Outlook

With the abundance of automation, software, and innovative tools available on the market today, it may come as no surprise that customer support positions are projected to grow rapidly in the future. In fact, LinkedIn named Customer Success as one of the top emerging jobs in the US.

If you’re looking to grow your career in the customer success industry, don’t worry - as the market outlook for customer success specialists is positive, with a large portion of new opportunities being created in the SaaS field.

Customer Success Specialist Jobs

Looking for available CSS jobs? Here are a few resources to help your search:

Which customer success role is right for me?

The right role for you depends on your experience and expertise, but customer success can be a good industry to get your start if you are entering the job market for the first time!

Some key characteristics of great customer support professionals include:

  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Great communicators
  • Passion for what they are selling
  • Willingness to roll up their sleeves and get the job done
  • No fear calling and following-up with clients
  • Positive attitude
  • Creative and passionate about helping others
  • Sincere empathy for people and clients
  • Ability to multi-task across different platforms and forms of communication
  • Ability to work well under pressure and with a team

Does this sound like you? Kixie is hiring, and we’d love to hear from you! We are looking for jovial, hard-working colleagues to share our journey as we change the landscape of business telephony.