The Importance of English Language Proficiency for the CSM
key information to remember
Are you naturally empathetic, that means, someone able to step into someone else’s shoes? Can you easily identify key problems and prioritize them? Have you ever been told you are a natural-born advocate because you are ready to fight to improve things people are reluctant to change? Do you speak and write clearly with solid grammar skills and adapt your tone to the situation? Are you organized enough to manage a sea of unanswered emails, weekly meetings, and training requests without drowning in? Are you willing to learn about a new subject matter area and quickly gain domain expertise?
If your answer to all these questions is yes, then maybe you are an innate Customer Success Manager. The CSM is a relatively new role that has emerged in the business world, at present becoming one of the most in-demand jobs because SaaS (Software as a Service) E-commerce business, and companies in general have realized they need to place their customers at the heart of their operations to succeed.
CSMs, also called customer advocates or customer relationship managers, have a post-sales role: they build solid relationships with clients; they are their mentors. For example, whenever a client has questions or complaints about the sales process, the CSM must be ready to work out any pressing issues, find big problems that customers are having, communicate with the marketing and product teams, find solutions and guarantee that everything runs without any difficulty after a purchase. They ensure the clients’ satisfaction and improve on dissatisfaction areas. This is why it is important to know how to confront a dissatisfied customer in English.
This role has become vital since the secret of success is growing a solid customer base, that is to say, retaining happy customers who become the company’s biggest ambassadors. Knowing how to greet a client in English makes a good impression on them. CSMs are the heroes who avoid customer churn, the arch-enemy of growth, which occurs when customers or subscribers do not want to continue doing business with a company or service. As companies are aware of the difficulty of acquiring new customers, they have decided to invest in retaining existing customers, those whose trust and loyalty they have already earned. CSMs are there to create product stickiness, monitor churn rate and identify strategies to avoid it.
If it wasn’t already obvious, CSM roles rely on excellent communication, and what’s essential to good communication? Vocabulary! Not only is a Customer Success Manager a customer-facing role, it’s also a technical role that requires a solid foundation in business and all the right terms and expressions to ensure you can keep on top of customer-related matters. Let’s take a look at a short selection of business terms that any CSM worth their salt must know and be able to use:
Customer churn / attrition / turnover = the loss of a customer account
Downsell = offering a more affordable product to a customer to ensure a sale
Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) = a metric for measuring your company’s growth
Net Promoter Score (NPS) = a way of measuring the likelihood your customers will remain loyal (usually acquired through surveys)
Onboarding = introducing a new consumer to your company
Goals = working with customers is objective-driven work and your goal as CSM should be ensuring customer success
Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) = defining who you are selling your product/service to
Customer journey = the experience of your customers from the moment they engage with your product/service
B2B = Business-to-business products, sales and services
B2C = Business-to-consumer products, sales and services
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) = measurable indicators for tracking the success of customer engagement, satisfaction, product usage, etc.
Lifecycle stages = the consumer lifecycle from hearing about your company to becoming a loyal customer
Year over year (YoY) = comparing results from one year to the next is often the most useful way to understand your company’s performance
Quarterly Business Review (QBR) = a once-per-quarter exchange with your customer used in some circumstances to assess goals
Customer satisfaction = measuring how satisfied your customers are with your offering
Value proposition = showing off and reminding your customers about the value of your product/service
Upselling = the opposite of downselling, persuading a customer to opt for a more expensive product/service
X-selling = when you sell a different product/service to an existing customer
Working in a role based around ensuring customer happiness and solving problems requires being at ease with communication and maintaining a happy disposition. One way we can make our customers happy is by being happy ourselves.
Let’s look at a few essential phrases that take an everyday interaction and make it friendlier:
“I’d be happy to help!”
“As much as I'd love to help you with that, unfortunately…”
“That’s a great question.”
“Thanks for bringing this issue to our attention...”
“I completely understand why you would expect that.”
If your objective is to improve your vocabulary and expressions for the CSM sector, the good news is that we’ve got the tools to help you do just that. On GlobalExam, we’ve dedicated one of our learning modules to the CSM sector, with beginner, intermediate and advanced vocabulary and grammar divided up over more than 30 situations to prepare you for working in an English-speaking CSM role. Let’s take a look at the type of exercises you can practice with on our platform.
Learning situations on GlobalExam start by introducing you to the topic that will be tackled in that particular set of resources. This example situation looks at finding solutions for problems, which is a typical CSM task.
You begin the situation by watching the video explaining the objectives of the lesson. This is a simple way of familiarizing yourself with English comprehension, and there is also a transcript to help out if you get stuck.
Each situation is composed of different parts, and this one begins with an example text: an email from one colleague to another sharing some bad news. Each text will introduce you to new vocabulary and expressions that will be tested with exercises. Here you can see two examples highlighted in orange. Below is a full list of the terms tested in this text:
to bear bad news - to share bad news
to assess - to evaluate
an invoice - a document that proves that you paid something
to have a grasp of something - to have a clear understanding of something
a dashboard - an interface where you have many options
updates - new information
to comply with something - to be adequate
Here is an example exercise based on the previous text. Typical exercises will ask you to complete a multiple-choice question, fill in the gaps, or reorder words in a sentence. This exercise requires you to have on boarded a key term from the text, “invoice”.
Every exercise is immediately corrected and the answers come with an explanation, so you’ll be able to understand where you’ve gone wrong if you choose the wrong response.
So far, it is clear that CSMs are a bridge between clients, customer support and salespeople because they manage cross-sells, upsells and renewals. When you check most of the world’s leading brands’ CSMs job requirements, you notice that the ideal candidate must have excellent English written and verbal communication skills at all levels in order to manage clients from all over the world.
Being able to build strategic relationships with clients requires outstanding oral, written and presentation skills. In order to become the customers’ voice a CSM must speak their lingua franca, which is English. Besides, tasks like resolving after sales queries will imply writing emails and talking on the phone to ensure the customers understand all the aftersales procedures.
If you know you are a CSM innate, don’t let language be a barrier! Improve your English skills with GlobalExam! Imagine being able to live a typical day in a CSM’s life by doing different tasks such as explaining launch process to new customers, running product training sessions, creating and distributing educational materials and videos to help customers get more value from the product, identify superfans for customer success stories or troubleshooting different issues… all that in fluent English!
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Do you consider your English level to be insufficient to use it in a daily working environment?
Real-life situations that correspond to real corporate life
Videocoaching and, last but not least:
Certified competences that prove your language level.
There are a huge number of methods for learning English nowadays, but as technology becomes more sophisticated and we get used to distance learning, e-learning platforms are becoming a more appealing option for language learning. Let’s consider some of the advantages of learning English online:
Learn on a sophisticated platform with excellent user experience
Learning adapted to three levels: beginner; intermediate; and advanced
Learn at your own pace
Complement your independent learning with guided lessons
Orientate your learning around the topics you need to move forward
Use a sophisticated combined learning method where vocabulary, grammar and context come together
Focus on skills that can be directly applied to real-life situations
A reliable platform with excellent live connectivity
Learning that uses multiple media (audio, video, text, live)
Complete exercises and get instant feedback
Follow your learning and target your weaknesses
If you’ve decided that online learning could be for you, here are some ideas of ways to go about it:
Download a language app
Download an online grammar aid
Subscribe to an e-learning platform
Find a personal tutor
Follow English news and media.
However you choose to improve your English, you’re going to make some progress. But one of the fastest and most effective ways you can improve your English communication skills is by interacting with other English speakers.
In addition to all the vocabulary and grammar tools you can learn with on GlobalExam, we also offer the opportunity to participate in virtual classes. There’s no better way to put your knowledge to the test than by applying it to real conversations with other learned and trained teachers.
We offer two types of class: a half-an-hour individual lesson; or a one-hour group lesson with up to six other students. All our online lessons are guided by a certified native English teacher and each lesson can be tailored to meet your needs.