Getting Started in Customer Success

I started in Customer Success at Gatsby 3 years ago without any prior experience. At some point I'll write more about that pivot and how it worked for me, but for now I wanted to share some resources I found really useful as I've entered this world.


I don't know if these are the best books out there, but these are the ones I read and that have been influential to me.

Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue

Link on Amazon

This book was foundational for helping me understand Customer Success as a discipline. It covers what I think of as the pillars of customer success: making customers successful, monitoring and managing customer health, focusing on value and time to value, and creating a company culture of customer focus.

The Startup's Guide to Customer Success

Link on Amazon

This book is maybe a little too long and not the best introduction to customer success, but it does have some good insights into situations you may encounter in a startup--for one, getting customer success off the ground. And another - how does customer success relate to customer support. I will probably be revisiting this as I look to bring customer success to my next opportunity.

The Beginner's Guide to Customer Success

Link on Amazon

Kind of weird formatting, but another helpful perspective when I was first starting out.


SuccessCoaching Level 1 (Launch)

Pricing - starts at $99 / year for individuals This is the coursework I and all of my success team went through when we first started getting serious about bringing the customer success into our day to day work. I really got a lot out of it - especially on how to structure a business review, building success plans and demonstrating value to customers. This has helped us form the basis of our Concierge program.


How to Break Into the Customer Success Industry

I think this article from Vitally (it's the CS software we've used at Gatsby for the past few years) is a really great look at getting started. This piece in particular:

The first step is to go through your LinkedIn profile or resume and narrow down your experiences by industry or profession. To provide some examples, do you have any experience volunteering for a non-profit? Have you experienced working in the travel, media, or education industries? Are there any experiences in marketing, sales, or finance? Once you have narrowed that list, you can create a more accurate list of industries you have the most experience. After you have completed this list, it’s time to research software companies (since most software organizations have a CS team) that are in an industry or function you have the most experience.

Being able to pivot your existing experience into your new role means you aren't starting completely from scratch, even in customer success is new to you. Find ways that you can demonstrate expertise in an area, and leverage that to get your first role.