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New enterprise and mid-market LexisNexis customers aren’t surprised to learn they’ll be interacting with a relationship manager. Someone on standby to answer any billing questions or discuss nitty gritty contractual details. Beyond that, any product support usually comes in the form of a live chat, support email, or phone line because, well, that’s just a typical vendor interaction.
What customers don’t expect, however, is a dedicated customer success manager (CSM). But that’s what they get at LexisNexis.
The CSM is the go-to contact point person for the individual LexisNexis users within a customer’s organization. But how exactly does a CSM differ from a relationship manager? When should a customer reach out to a CSM versus a relationship manager? And when is a customer better off reaching out to technical support?
This blog post looks at how the CSM team interacts with customers and the benefits of cultivating such a tightknit relationship with LexisNexis users.
What’s the difference between a customer success manager and a relationship manager?
“The main thing is that we do support the customers. Supporting the customer is number one,” says Susan Mortimer. She’s a US-based customer success manager that’s been with LexisNexis for 12 years (she describes herself as a newbie due to her team’s low turnover). During that time, she’s become a bona fide subject matter expert in media intelligence.
We sat down for a quick chat with her and fellow CSM Marlies Segers, who’s based in Europe. Marlies has been with LexisNexis for 15 years, and she shares Susan’s enthusiasm for helping customers get the best possible use out of their LexisNexis solutions.
“This is something that’s usually very surprising for customers,” says Marlies, after being asked about how customers react to the news that they have their own dedicated CSM. “Most of the vendors have an account manager but there’s not a go-to person for the users.”
“In addition to training, we do a lot of other things. Troubleshooting, ongoing support, bringing awareness of product enhancements and new content. If we do our job, it doesn’t really end,” says Susan, when asked to describe at a high level what the CSM team does. “Our job ranges from training the users to make sure they’re finding the best content and the best ways to use our solutions for their specific use case to helping them find the information they need for difficult research projects.”
A LexisNexis relationship manager handles typical administrative duties: addressing payment questions, negotiating contract renewals, answering account questions, etc. Meanwhile, a CSM ensures clients are getting the best possible use out of their LexisNexis solutions. And where a relationship manager communicates primarily with the main contact person on an account, the CSM is much more acquainted with individual users.
Interacting with LexisNexis customers
In the US, a dedicated onboarding team brings new enterprise and mid-market customers up to speed. Once onboarding is complete (after about 90 days), the customer is introduced to their CSM. From that moment on, the customer can go directly to the CSM for any training or research questions they have.
“If you do a good job as a customer success manager, you become a user’s trusted advisor,” says Susan. “They know that you’re not just out to sell a product. You’re there to make sure they’re getting the most out of their investment.”
As Marlies goes on to explain, things work similarly in Europe, save for a couple of key differences: “New customers are introduced to their CSM as soon as the contract is signed. A CSM sets up the new account, especially for a product like Nexis Newsdesk. We set up the newsletter, the template, the logo. We prepare the queries. After onboarding, we work closely with customers. We try to contact them at least once a year to see if they need to update queries or extra product, training, services, etc.”
It should be noted here that all enterprise and mid-market customers have their own dedicated CSM—but not small accounts. Typically, this is because small accounts have issues that are more readily addressed by either the relationship manager or the technical support channels. Large companies tend to have more complex research needs and often use multiple LexisNexis solutions making CSMs very important.
Still, clients of all sizes are encouraged to use the online chat, email, or phone support for technical issues (e.g., if a particular tab on a user’s interface disappears or they have difficulties logging into their account). Technical issues passed along via the CSM or relationship manager generally must be referred to IT support for resolution. So, taking technical IT issues directly to the general customer support team is likely to lead to a faster resolution.
And don’t think that relationship managers and CSMs work in separate vacuums. They stay in constant communication with each other to address customer questions and issues. “The good news is that the CSMs and relationship managers work very closely to manage accounts,” says Susan. While they serve distinctly different roles in serving the customer, both CSMs and relationship managers share the same goal. “The bottom line, our customers need to be happy with the products and how they’re using them.”
The benefits of a dedicated customer success manager
One of the main benefits of a CSM within LexisNexis, as Susan points out, is the knowledge building the CSM can do on a particular industry, company, and user over time. While other vendors out there can offer a dedicated success manager, Susan notes that the longevity of LexisNexis team members results in value for the client. “One of the things that’s most impressive , if you look the CSM team, is the tenure of it’s members. I’ve been here 12 years, and I’m kind of a newbie. That’s a huge differentiator for LexisNexis. When you call, I already have a pretty good idea of what the context is and what you assistance might need. I know your company. I know your market. I know your research needs.”
Not only does this mean CSMs are able to talk through a question or resolve an issue faster because they understand the context and the organization, this in depth customer understanding enables them to provide consistency when onboarding new team members. CSMs ensure that new users learn how their organization specifically uses their Nexis solutions and understand its research needs and goals.
“It happens from time to time, that a new hire with a client will reach out and I help them understand things about their organization,” says Marlies. “I know how to help them build a query based on my understanding of what the organization does, what its goals are, and how past queries were set up.”
Learn more about the people at LexisNexis, and how they work together to ensure customers achieve the greatest possible success with our products, here.