This article is shared here from Ron’s LinkedIn post.

Are Customer Success Managers (CSMs) Conflict Resolution Specialists?

By Ron Griguts

In the dynamic world of Customer Success, CSMs wear many hats. One of the most debated roles is whether CSMs should also serve as conflict resolution specialists. Let’s dive in!

The Argument For:

  1. Customer Advocate: CSMs act as the voice of the customer within the company, making them well-positioned to mediate conflicts and find win-win solutions.
  2. Relationship Builders: With their deep understanding of customer needs and company offerings, CSMs can effectively bridge gaps and resolve misunderstandings.
  3. Proactive Problem Solvers: Addressing issues before they escalate ensures a smoother customer journey and strengthens trust.

The Argument Against:

  1. Role Overload: Balancing conflict resolution with other responsibilities can stretch CSMs thin, potentially impacting their effectiveness and morale.
  2. Specialized Skills Required: Depending on the behavior and pedigree of your customer base, conflict resolution may require specific training and expertise, which may not be within the CSM’s skill set.
  3. Potential Bias: Being deeply invested in the customer relationship might cloud objectivity in resolving conflicts impartially.

Finding the Balance:

While CSMs may not be primary conflict resolution specialists, having strong conflict management skills can certainly enhance their effectiveness. Equipping CSMs with basic conflict resolution training can empower them to handle issues swiftly and escalate when necessary.

In conclusion, while CSMs should not be the sole conflict resolution resource, their unique position allows them to play a crucial role in maintaining harmony and fostering positive relationships.

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