CS OPS CENTRAL

Accelerate Retention and Growth with Customer Success Operations

CS Ops Overview

What is Customer Success Operations?

CS Ops has a clear mission: Help the CS team operate efficiently and with excellence, so that CSMs help customers to achieve their goals.

Companies invest in CS Ops as a strategy to drive retention, expansion, advocacy, and efficiency.

Top responsibilities include systems & tools to support the customer experience, data and analytics to measure success and make decisions, and program management and process development to improve how the business operates.

Best-in-class CS Ops teams are thought partners to design strategic initiatives, and then they execute to make a vision into reality.

Is CS Ops taking your business to the next level?

Average Gross Retention

89%

Average Net Retention

111%

Are you budgeting the right level for CS Ops?

Average CSM: CS Ops Ratio

12:1

Average CS Spend (Ops + CS Org)

7%

Source: Gainsight CS Ops Benchmarking Survey, 60+ private and public software companies with at least one CS Ops role

Value of a CS Ops Team

Organizations create Customer Success teams to increase NRR, and we’ve recently published research showing that NRR drives valuation.

Over time, organizations find that the baseline impact of simply having a CS team will plateau -- your NRR stagnates. So, to improve NRR or to reduce costs by scaling up your customer base with the same CS headcount, organizations recruit people who make it their career to continuously improve CS functions.

The value and impact of CS Ops often matures on a common pathway for companies leading to improvements in Efficiency, Retention and Growth. The next section breaks down these three levels of value creation by CS Ops teams.

Learn more about the typical responsibilities of CS Ops. Hear leaders speak about the positive impact of CS Ops at ServiceTitan and PTC.

CS Ops Value Creation Levels

Where do CS Ops teams typically drive the most value?

Level 1

EFFICIENCY CS Ops Enables Higher Ratios

CS Ops has the most immediate impact on efficiency improvements like increasing account ratios by providing structured processes and resources for CSMs to use with customers.

Critically, this is a scaling investment that leads to a permanent efficiency increase in ratios across the team.

Level 2

RETENTION CS Ops Scales Risk Identification + Management

Faster risk identification and resolution reduces dollars lost to churn. Every day CSMs are individually identifying and addressing risks.

CS Ops creates standardized ways of identifying risk and provides best practice playbooks based on what works from individual CSMs.

Level 3

GROWTH CS Ops Drives Advocacy + Expansion

CS Ops typically runs the survey programs that identify potential promoters or leverages the data to systematically guide promoters to advocacy. CS Ops also maintains the processes, tools and data to track and communicate Value Realization (aka ROI) back to customers. Each success creates an opportunity to expand.

Taken together, your CS ops team can quantify the increased advocacy and expansion from CS Ops programs.

Learn

Where do CS Ops teams typically drive the most value?

Check out this variety of short blogs to get started:

Issue #54: 10+ CS Ops Questions Answered

CS ops experts share answers to common questions about the role, function, and more

Learn More

Why it’s Time to Build a CS Ops role

Learn More

How to Build an Effective CS Ops Team?

Includes 11 questions you should ask yourself before embarking on a CS Ops career

Learn More
How do you climb a mountain? One step at a time!

See where a CS Ops team will start, and where it will go.

Act

When and How do I Hire?

Start with a High Level Budget / Business Case

Whether it’s your first hire in CS Ops or you’re looking for a specialized resource to join an existing team, it’s critical to start with the result - what impact does this person need to have to justify the investment?

Estimate the value from one or more of these key assumptions:

Increase in Ratios

By automating CSM tasks and standardizing resources, how much money can you save with higher CS ratios?

Increase in Retention

With better data and processes, how many at risk accounts do you need to save to justify hiring a CS ops person?

Increase in Growth

How much additional revenue can the CS org source by understanding customer needs? (Hint: Customer Success Qualified Leads)

With a few basic assumptions, you can figure out what level of Ratio, Retention and/or Growth is needed to pay for a CS Ops investment.

Create a Job Description

CS Ops often starts as a single process-minded generalist. As you mature, your CS Ops team will become a team of specialists with deep skills and experience in a few aspects of ops. Below are links to Job Descriptions for key roles to help you move quickly.

GAINSIGHT ADMINISTRATOR

The cornerstone of any CS ops team is your Gainsight Administrator. We’ve created a job description based on 10+ years working with our customers and managing Gainsight internally. Critically, you don’t need past Gainsight Administration experience. There are often other experiences or job responsibilities that are effective signals for a high potential admin.

Stay tuned for additional Job Descriptions, including:
CS Ops Manager
A generalist across process, analysis and resource creation
CS Ops Associate
Early career ops generalist to add leverage to your Ops team

Post on Gainsight’s CS Jobs Board (Free!)

As soon as your job post is live, get it in front of 1000s of customer success professionals across the globe.

Get Guidance

Connect with your community

CS Ops Leadership Slack

CS Ops leaders created this channel to connect about strategic priorities, specific tactics, and everything in between.

Global Gainsight Admin Slack

If your role in CS Ops includes administration of Gainsight, you want to be part of this community-driven channel to hear about specific product solutions and share best practices with other Admins.

Mentorship

The CS Ops Mentor Program has hundreds of participants who have raised their hands to connect. Find someone to talk with about CS Ops, at any level of experience or seniority.

Start a New Career in Customer Success.

Check out these opportunities with SV Academy.

In partnership with

Gainsight has partnered with EdTech master, SV Academy, on our mission to level the playing field for underrepresented communities in Customer Success and to support our Veterans returning to civilian life.

Click here to learn more about the program which trains underrepresented individuals and Veterans and then places them in entry-level CS Associate and CS Ops Associate apprenticeship roles at companies.