A CSM's Guide to Becoming a Change Agent



As a CSM (Customer Success Manager), driving change for customers is key to your role. However, what about driving change within your own company? Even if you’re not an internal executive, you can become an internal change agent in your company by using data and well-formed arguments to influence internal decision-making on products and policies that impact your customers. This internal consulting can result in better customer retention and revenue growth, as well as increased personal credibility at work.

Contextualize the Problem

The first step in becoming an internal change agent is understanding that most problems are specific to an individual’s or group’s perception of an issue. By using customer data, you can contextualize your audience’s situation.

Build an Unassailable Case

If you want to convince colleagues of your value, you need to build an unassailable case for your ideas. Before presenting something new, do research and ask questions about what has worked in similar situations. Then present solutions that are actionable and can be understood by all involved parties.

Identify Relevant Influencers

Internal change agents need someone to rally behind them and their cause. Identify relevant influencers within your company with whom you can work towards common goals.

Propose Solutions with Data

As an internal change agent, you can provide much more than just emotional arguments for why certain changes should be made. Back up your ideas with real data that proves that customers will benefit from these changes.

Be Patient

Part of your job as a change agent is to make people aware of problems in their processes and empower them with ways to improve. This is going to take time, and you’ll need patience if you want to make any lasting impact.

Outline Next Steps

No matter what type of company you’re in, whether it’s a small startup or established corporation, embracing change is crucial. But it isn’t easy.

Communicate Results

Remember that you are here to facilitate a positive experience for your customers, which means not just helping them with their technical questions but also making sure they feel heard and understood. Your greatest tool in achieving that goal is communication—making clear what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and how it will help them. Be proactive about communicating results from every interaction with your customer base; make sure your stakeholders understand how their interests align with those of your customers.