5 Interview Questions for Customer Success Managers and How to Answer Them
We’ve all been on the job hunt at some point in our lives, and it’s never precisely an enjoyable experience. Whether you’re interviewing for a Customer Success Manager role or a job as a Customer Success Manager, there are always some questions you can expect to encounter and a few that might take you by surprise. To help prepare you for what may come your way, we rounded up five (5) common questions often asked in Customer Success interviews (and how to answer them).
- What’s the most challenging situation you’ve handled?In this question, the interviewer is asking about how much experience you have and what strategies you utilize to resolve issues with the customers. It aims to assess whether you have good communication and conflict resolution skills. An ideal answer may include your real experience focusing on customer interaction as the CSMs’ role is to manage the customers towards value realization. State the problem, how you connected with the customer, what you did to solve the issue, and most importantly, how did you make the customer get excited to continue working with you and your company’s products or services. With this, you have made the customer happy and prevented churn.
- How would you go about building relationships with customers?The first step in building relationships with your customers is to communicate effectively. Customer success managers need to deliver the right information at the right time, and this is something you can do through email and other channels.It’s important to proactively connect with your customers rather than only when they have issues or questions with your company’s products or services. It also helps if you have empathy—the ability to feel what others are feeling—to know when they may not understand something you’re saying or doing. You might ask yourself: What would I want if I were this customer? Would I be confused by our message? If so, how would we fix it?
- Why are you interested in transitioning to Customer Success?The Customer Success field is ripe for growth, so it’s no surprise that there are many career opportunities in this area. According to a 2018 International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) study, 90% of organizations plan to increase their customer success spending over the next year. As a result, Customer Success Managers are in high demand across industries, and if you want to join this growing industry, now is an excellent time to do so.
- As a Customer Success Manager, what metrics will you look at over the first month/quarter?Customer success metrics are essential to understanding how your customers are doing. Metrics can help you know if you’re meeting your customer’s goals and if you’re meeting yours.In a customer success role, it’s vital that you listen to the feedback from your customers and constantly ask yourself: How are their experiences? What challenges do they face or may face? And are they achieving the value they expected?
- How do you approach and handle negative feedback or an angry customer?Customers aren’t all good with handling negative news, especially since they are paying for it and expect the best from your company’s products or services. With your promise to be the exact solution they needed, the customers have a right to be frustrated. In these situations, a Customer Success Manager plays a crucial role in de-escalating an angry customer. An ideal answer includes focusing on the customer and truly understanding the reason they were upset. Show that you, the CSM, are on their side and would stand up for them but to do so, you should first let the customer realize you empathize with them.Once you have aligned with the customer, talk about: what happened, what they wish to accomplish, the problem between them and their goals, and how you can help them move forward. Understand their point of view and needs. This will make it easier for you to solve the problem for them or find a solution that works best for them.
If you’re applying for a job in customer success, it’s essential to be prepared. The questions you’ll be asked are likely to be more complex than those of other positions because, most of the time, candidates have little experience with customer success. To help you prepare for your interview and land that dream job, check out our How to Get a Job in Customer Success Course here: https://practicalcsm.com/how-to-get-a-job-in-customer-success-course/.
You can also check out the 7 Worst Mistakes When Applying for Customer Success Jobs… and How to Avoid Them here: https://practicalcsm.com/7-worst-mistakes/.