How to break into Customer Success

How to break into Customer Success? Data-driven decision making

How to break into Customer Success
Adaptive Pulse


You’re looking to break into tech but don’t know where to start? You have a broad range of communication skills, soft skills, and a curious mindset? You are closer to breaking into tech than you think!

A great place to start exploring is the Customer Success field in Software as a Service, better known as SaaS. You’re at the right place because now we will be exploring how to set yourself apart from other candidates by becoming data-driven. 

Customer Success is all about building strong relationships for your company. It’s a great field to work in with lots of various roles. If you are from a non-technical background such as healthcare, construction, education, or the gig economy, learning to be data-driven can help you to break into tech. 

So the first role that benefits from being data-driven is the customer success manager, also called CSM. 

Now, what does a CSM do? 

  • Firstly, it’s a customer-facing role.
  • You will be responsible for meeting customers’ long-term needs.
  • You will learn about your company’s customer journey.
  • You will focus on building long-term relationships with customers.
  • Your ultimate goal is anticipating the needs of your company’s customers
  • Most importantly, you have to be proactive about customer’s problems and churn 

Your core responsibilities will look like the following: 

  • Gathering data to guide the company’s decisions in the future 
  • You will communicate customer feedback to influence key features such as 
  • Product features 
  • Pricing model
  • Onboarding processes

Some key activities that you will be doing are: 

  • Customer Onboarding
  • Translate and Communicate Customer Sentiments 
  • Company Advocacy 

So now that you know what a customer success manager does, this is how you can learn data-driven decision-making.

Data-driven decision-making (DDDM) is defined as- using facts, metrics, and data to guide strategic business decisions that align with your goals, objectives, and initiatives.

So at first, you have to collect the data and make sure it’s high quality. It is important to keep your customer data updated and relevant. A small amount of clean and trustworthy data can be far more valuable than petabytes of junk.

Now that you have good quality data, you have to verify that it is accessible and queryable. What is queryable data, you ask? A query, is a request for data or information from a database table or combination of tables. This data may be generated as results returned by Structured Query Language (SQL) or as pictorials, graphs, or complex results, e.g., trend analyses from data-mining tools. In simple terms, the data must be in a form that can be joined to other enterprise data when necessary. Use the right tool for the job. 

Make sure to ask about what tools the hiring company uses! Learning about what tech they use also shows your curiosity to learn new things. 

It is important to have shareable data. There must be a data-sharing culture within the organization so that the data can be joined. In interviews, you can ask follow-up questions about the company’s approach to data-sharing.

When you prioritize making data queryable, you incentivize data sharing culture. There must be appropriate tools to query and slice and dice the data. All reporting and analysis require filtering, grouping, and aggregating data to reduce the large amounts of raw data into a smaller set of higher-level numbers that help our brains comprehend what is happening in a business. During your interview, ask about tools you can use to upload customer data that you collect and how you can share it with your team. 

So, that was a lot of information. Let us quickly summarize. Customer Success is a great space to explore when looking to break into tech. The specific role in customer success that we talked about is the customer success manager. You can bring plenty of skills you already have, to the CSM role, but to become a top candidate for hiring companies, you need to become data-driven. If you liked our brief intro to data-driven decision making, head to Adaptive Pulse’s Youtube channel or blog for more related content. 

We want to give you the best edge, when it comes to breaking into tech!

Adaptive Pulse

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