Don’t Hire a Head of Customer Success without these 5 Traits

Hiring a Head of Customer Success is often one of the most complicated searches a company can make. For many companies, it's such a complicated hire due to the fact that depending on the organization there are so many different outcomes a Head of Customer Success must achieve. And often what separates a GOOD Customer Success hire from a GREAT one are traits the individual possesses, not just tactical skills gained from previous experiences.  

To help those CEO/Founders looking to hire a Head of Customer Success we’ve outlined the top 5 traits to look for when trying to decipher those good from great candidates:

Active Listener

Active listening is the foundational skill that makes a good CS leader great. Engaging with external customers may solve an immediate problem, but active listening enables the thoughtful curiosity needed to identify new opportunities that add value to a customer’s investment ensuring happy customers and ROI


A customer’s digital footprint provides an objective view of the bigger narrative. It communicates whether or not the customer is getting value from their investment. Usage, billing, website behaviour, searches… the data can be overwhelming! A strong Head of CS needs to be instrumental in teaching their teams to have a quantitative mindset and seek to understand the bigger picture of customer behaviour. By doing this, they teach the Customer Service team what data triggers proactive engagement to help ensure each customer is successful and realizes ROI.

Emotional Intelligence

While you can definitely improve your skills, having a candidate with an already high EQ helps to ensure both the customers and other departments feel heard and valued. Being relational in nature and able to tactically build trust and engagement allows for more stable, honest, and open communication that cements more long-term relationships (aka less churn and more interdepartmental collaboration.) 

Quick Learner

Being a quick learner is so important because customer success is an integration point between multiple functions within a tech company: sales, marketing, professional services, and support/help desk. The ability to quickly learn about the broader business and be able to pull levers in partnership with the other functions while ensuring the desired outcome for customers is what will foster support for the Customer Success function. 


The name of this role confirms the importance of this trait! Customer Success differs from a role with a similar title - Customer Service - because that role reacts to a problem, while Customer Success is a proactive role that ensures the customer achieves success for their investment. Being solution-oriented and leveraging everything we’ve discussed: data, active listening, ability to learn and leverage EQ in a relational proactive way will contribute to a solution-oriented outcome.

Not sure where to begin when trying to differentiate those good vs great Customer Success candidates? Book a consultation with Heidi Ram to discuss the current customer success marketplace.