Imagine this: Your team has just invested in a new software platform, and you’re counting on it to drive results. But there’s a problem. You need someone who can ensure successful implementation and support as you execute your vision.
Enter the often overlooked heroes of your fundraising and engagement journey: Customer Success Managers (CSMs). CSMs are dedicated to fostering healthy client relationships, guiding customers through the implementation process into the successful usage phase.
So, who are these unsung support heroes? And how do they help our partners? We’re glad you asked!
Morning: The start of a CSM’s day
A typical day for a CSM at Gravyty like Meghan, Craig, or Ali begins with a clear prioritization process. They meticulously address any implementation and support questions that may have come in and prepare for their day by reviewing their calendar and prepping for client check-in meetings.
For Meghan, Giving Days involve sending clients a Gratavid wishing them luck and reminding them she’s cheering them on and on standby for support. Craig checks his customers’ giving campaigns before starting his client-facing calls, while Ali identifies any support needs and prepares slide decks of any product updates to share with her clients.
“If it’s a Giving Day, I’ll send my clients a Gratavid wishing them luck and reminding them I’m cheering them on. I let them know I’m on standby if they need any help with technical items or midday strategy changes (like if a challenge isn’t hitting their audience correctly or they get a new matching gift).”— Meghan Matthews, CSM at Gravyty
Craig checks his customers’ giving campaigns before starting his client-facing calls, while Ali identifies any support needs and prepares slide decks of any product updates to share with her clients.
“I start each day checking any urgent issues that came in overnight before starting my client-facing calls.”— Craig Batson, CSM at Gravyty
Midday: Problem-solving, implementation and support
CSMs work closely with clients to understand their strategy and goals, making suggestions to optimize the donor experience. Ali taps into her vast frontline fundraiser experience to meet clients where they are, asking critical questions to understand their investment in the platform, campaign goals, and current priorities.
“I tap into 15+ years experience as a frontline fundraiser and consultant to meet the client where they are. I ask “Client 101” questions—why they invested in the Raise from Gravyty solution, team structure and roles, revenue goals vs. actuals, current priorities.”— Ali
During this time, CSMs also present detailed implementation plans and guide new clients through the onboarding process. Craig, for instance, schedules a series of meetings with new clients, covering everything from dashboard training to building a Giving Day site.
“Midday is training time. This is when I schedule meetings with my clients, new and returning. If they’re a new partner, we run through a series of meetings to talk through the onboarding process.”— Craig
After a successful testing period, Ali hosts a team training session after which everyone can start using Raise from Gravyty in their day-to-day fundraising efforts. For clients in both the implementation and support stages, CSMs offer detailed guidance and feedback.
“I talk through my clients’ strategy and goals with them pretty closely. I make suggestions on how we can structure the hierarchy of their site to optimize the donor experience, as well as determine what types of gamification work best, and where.”— Meghan
Afternoon: Ongoing support and relationship management
In the afternoons, CSMs focus on providing ongoing support and managing relationships with clients. They hold regular meetings with clients to discuss product updates, review training materials, and share applicable examples from other clients that includes helpful benchmarking.
They also connect with each client to review usage, discuss upcoming events and initiatives, and ensure the alignment of the platform with the clients’ needs.
“I connect with each Raise client at least monthly. During these meetings, we review usage and discuss upcoming events and initiatives to ensure Raise aligns. New user trainings are provided, product enhancements are presented, and these meetings also flag opportunities for minor setting adjustments within the platform.
Raise’s Task Management is a big focus right now, and is one I’m very excited about—it’s a great enhancement for those fundraisers who ‘know their portfolios,’ as it provides greater opportunity to align Raise with tailored, individualized donor engagement plans.”— Ali
CSMs go beyond just implementation and support and are your biggest cheerleader and an extension of your team during your key events and campaigns.
Evening: Wrapping up and strategizing for the future
As the day ends, CSMs look ahead to upcoming client campaigns and future planning. They scour industry news and draw on their own professional experience for insights from development professionals and the latest industry research.
“I am constantly scouring LinkedIn for insights from development professionals, new resources and the latest research to make sure I’m keeping tabs on what’s working, what isn’t, and what’s in store for the industry.”— Meghan
Craig likes to close his day by working on product feature improvement requests.
“”This is feature improvement or requests time. Time to collaborate with our Product team to make Advance from Gravyty better!”— Craig
Beyond just implementation and support, CSMs synthesize the whole fundraising and engagement picture. Onwards and upwards!
Going above and beyond implementation and support for customers
A day in the life of a Customer Success Manager is filled with customer-first tasks, and the ultimate goal always remains the same: to ensure the successful implementation and support to enable the ongoing success of their clients campaigns.
CSMs are more than just dedicated professionals; they are the white-glove supporters and teammates that help your team thrive. So, whether you’re considering a new solution or you already have one, remember to appreciate the indispensable role of your CSM. They are the superheroes who make your Gravyty journey smooth and successful!