There are many certifications to choose from when looking to break into the CSM role or even advance your skills, but which Customer Success Manager certification is the best one for you? We'll take a look at various options and compare the details of each program from length to budget so that you can make an informed decision on which one to pursue. Let's get started!
Benefits Of Customer Success Certifications
In your day-to-day as a Customer Success Manager (CSM), you are responsible for ensuring that your customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. This requires a deep understanding of your customers' needs, as well as the ability to create strong relationships, communicate effectively, ensure customer satisfaction and solve problems. The certified Customer Success Manager (CCSM) training helps you learn the basics so you can easily navigate the role of a CSM on a customer success team.
While many of the certification programs are designed to help you build the skills and knowledge needed to become a successful customer success professional, there is no guarantee that the program will help you land the job or move up in your career. That being said, there are many benefits of customer success certificate programs that you should consider. Some programs are accredited, which means that the program has met certain standards and that the certification is recognized by industry professionals. More on accreditation in the section below.
Customer Success Manager Certification programs can cover a wide range of topics, including customer engagement, business strategy, customer journey mapping, and data analysis for customer success professionals. The certifications are recognized by industry leaders and can help you stand out in a competitive job market. The programs can help you demonstrate your expertise to potential employers and provide credibility and reputation in the industry. It demonstrates your commitment to ongoing professional development
Here are some of the potential benefits that may come with obtaining a Customer Success Manager certification for a CSM role:
Increased Job Opportunities
Expanded Knowledge and Skills
Increased Earning Potential
Customer Success Association Competency Standard
The Customer Success Association (CSA) has developed a Customer Success Manager (CSM) Competency Standard as a guide for individuals who work in customer success. This standard defines the skills and knowledge that a CSM should possess to be successful in their role. The CSA's CSM Competency Standard is divided into two levels: Basic and Advanced. The Basic Level standard defines the expectations of a first-level CSM. These expectations include knowing how to engage, manage, and retain customers, as well as designing plans and building business reviews for onboarding success. Some programs such as the Success League follow this standard, which means their programs are accredited by the CSA. By following this standard, CSMs can ensure that they possess the skills and knowledge necessary to provide excellent customer service and drive business growth.
Which Customer Success Management Certification is Best For You?
We've listed some of the best customer success certification programs that are available. From the list below, you'll want to compare different vendors, framework, instructors, course length and budget to help you find a program that best suits your needs. There are many online training courses available that can help you develop the necessary skills that you need to excel in the field of customer success management. Each program or online course has interactive material followed by quizzes or a final exam leading up to the certification. Here are some well known Customer Success Manager certification programs that will provide immediate value.
The programs highlighted below discuss core competencies of a Customer Success Manager through certificate programs. Here is a comparison chart before we breakdown the details of each program below:
The Success League's program for a customer success certification offers a holistic approach to customer success. This program is designed for customer success professionals who want to take their skills to the next level and develop a deeper understanding of customer success management. It provides practical applications of best practices, and includes tools that CSMs can adopt right away. The program covers a range of topics, including customer success strategy, customer journey mapping, customer segmentation, customer engagement, and more. The program is delivered online, and you can complete it at your own pace.
The accredited certification program has been available since 2017 and offers a series of 15 online sessions led by experts with live peer discussions for package price of $1795. You can also purchase a la carte classes for $195 per class.
SuccessCOACHING offers a comprehensive and expert-led training program that will take your customer success skills to the next level. The program offers an intensive 3-month Customer Success Manager Training and Certification program that is created to build your knowledge, skills, and confidence through targeted lessons, live group coaching calls, templates, and more.
The SuccessCOACHING program is designed to help you learn everything you need to know to become a successful Customer Success Manager. You'll learn how to create and execute effective customer success strategies, how to identify and mitigate churn risks, how to manage customer expectations, and more. The SuccessCoaching program is accredited by the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) standard based in the UK. This program offers 12 video courses, over 500 minutes per level, 12 workbook exercises, 24 quizzes and an accredited certification, which is all available with an annual Launch subscription for Level 1 CSM at $99 per year or with an All Access Bundle (Levels 1-5) at $529 per year.
Practical CSM offers online customer success management courses, certification, and training. The Practical CSM certifications are high-value practical training programs that provide tools to ensure high-quality task performance while improving efficiency and productivity. The courses cover important topics such as what customer success means and why it's important, as well as how to effectively manage customer relationships and drive business growth. Practical CSM offers a budget-friendly CSM Essentials Program and an Certified CSM Professional (CCSMP)
The CSM Essentials (Basic and Comprehensive) is meant for those starting out their professional CSM journey. The Essentials Basic package starts with a 5 hour course, led by industry experts at one-time price of $197. The CCSMP program takes you through Levels 1 through 4 (Basic to Advanced) including 40 hours of self-paced training videos developed by author, trainer and CEO Rick Adams. The CSMP program covers a wide range of topics, including customer success strategy, customer journey mapping, and customer health scoring.
Aspireship's Customer Success Foundations and Customer Success Intensive online series of courses cover the basics of customer success, including customer engagement, retention, and advocacy. The Foundations course offers a 20 hour course curriculum, led by industry experts with real-world experience, which spans 4 weeks. You receive a certificate at the end of the program and get added to their Talent Network to help you land a job. Aspireship has a Free, Plus and Intensive level. You get free access to Section 1 of any Aspireship program when you sign up. Plus is a one-time investment of $299 and Intensive level courses vary.
Gainsight Pulse+ offers premium eLearning and industry-grade certifications. The courses have 4 learning paths and 4 certficates from CSM Level 1 through 4 with foundational training and professional development for a CSM and an Advanced CSM. The program has exclusive content designed to vary in length from anywhere between 4-6 hours covering fundamental topics from the Pillars of Customer Success to metrics to drive value to help you build your core set of skills. Pulse+ has an upfront annual subscription cost of $900 per year per person. After completion of each certification, Pulse+ offers a badge to add to your LinkedIn profile.
LinkedIn Learning offers e-learning material from thousands of courses. They have Customer Success Management Fundamentals training course covering core topics such as customer success strategy, customer engagement, and customer retention. The course is led by instructor Rick Adams who is an author, trainer and CEO of Practical CSM. While the Fundamentals course is available for a one-time purchase of $24.99, LI offers a one-month free trial where you can take advantage of unlimited access to 15,000 other course materials including the CSM Fundamentals course. The LI course comes with a certificate of completion.
Udemy has a few CSM courses, but one of the top rated CSM courses, Customer Success Manager Fundamentals is a 2 hour on-demand course led by instructor Gustavo Escobar Henriquez, which covers the fundamental principles of CS and practical application of being a CSM in a tech company. This coursework is designed for professionals who want to learn the best practices in customer success management. You can make a one-time purchase to access this course or get unlimited access to 10,500+ courses with Udemy's Personal monthly plan (at $16.58), which comes with a 7-day free trial. The Udemy course comes with a certificate of completion.
In addition to these certifications and courses, there are also industry-specific certifications that can be beneficial for Customer Success Managers. For example, if you're interested in working in the software industry, you may want to consider getting certified in a specific software platform, such as Salesforce or HubSpot.
Overall, certifications can be a great option to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise as a Customer Success Manager. They can also help you stand out from other candidates when applying for remote jobs. Consider researching the various certifications available and choosing one that aligns with your career goals and interests. To learn more about career paths, visit CSM Career Path and Progression: A Comprehensive Guide.