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14 Powerful Customer Success Manager Interview Questions

Are you about to hire a new Customer Success Manager but not sure what interview questions to ask them? This article will share the most important and eye-opening Customer Success Manager interview questions you should be asking every candidate.

It is a critical role, requiring good soft skills, project management chops, and technical know-how, so you must get it right.

14 Customer Success Interview Questions

#1 How did you prepare for this customer success manager interview?

Why is this a good question to ask?

Customer success professionals need to be prepared if they expect to be good at their jobs.

The only wrong answer to this question is that they did nothing to prepare.

#2 Why should we hire you as a CSM?

Why is this a good question to ask?

If they have prepared and understand your business, the candidate should come to the interview process with a clear picture of your needs and the ability to articulate why they are the perfect fit.

We are looking for the candidate’s ability to demonstrate confidence in their abilities, understanding of your needs, and emotional intelligence to show how they mesh.

#3 What are the five most essential skills a customer success manager should have?

Why is this a good question to ask?

Will the candidate identify the skills that align with your needs for this customer success role?

You should hear answers like:

  • Problem Solving Skills
  • A focus on client success and value realization
  • Strong communication skills
  • Technical acumen
  • Relationship building skills
  • Ability to prioritize and complete multiple tasks on short deadlines
#4 What does excellent customer service look like to you?

Why is this a good question to ask?

These customer success manager interview questions help you to understand if their expectations are the same as yours for this role.

The customer success manager’s job varies across businesses, so experience at a previous company may not be as much of a factor as expected.

Dig in.

#5 What do you think are the three most important metrics for a customer success manager to track?

Why is this a good question to ask?

While hiring managers must find customer success specialists with people skills, they also want to find data-driven or at least data-aware individuals.

What metrics have they used in previous roles?

What did they pull from the customer relationship management (CRM) system?

Did they use a customer success platform? Which one and what metrics did they use?

#6 Tell me about the best QBR you ever held.

Why is this a good question to ask?

The quarterly business review is a great time to demonstrate that you are meeting, or exceeding, the customer’s expectation of your solution.

Have the candidate discuss how the meeting was structured, what other team members were involved, and ideally, use numerous examples of QBRs that went well and those that did not.

#7 What does a good customer success plan include?

Why is this a good question to ask?

When onboarding customers, many teams will develop a robust customer plan to ensure everyone is focused on achieving the desired business goals, aligned on how you will measure success, and ultimately, prevent customer churn.

Does this candidate have experience with success plans?

#8 What customer success interview questions would you ask a candidate for this job?

Why is this a good question to ask?

There is no right or wrong answer, but have the customer success specialist candidate demonstrate they understand the job well enough to come up with a question or two on their own.

#9 What tips do you have for dealing with a frustrated customer?

Why is this a good question to ask?

The customer’s expectations are not always achieved perfectly.

And unfortunately, an angry customer or two is par for the course.

How do they handle it?

#10 What are your thoughts on using Net Promoter Score (NPS)?

Why is this a good question to ask?

Customer Satisfaction scores, Net Promoter Scores, and similar are used to identify at-risk customers.

During this customer success manager interview, get their thoughts on using these surveys, pros and cons, and alternatives they may have used in the past.

#11 In your opinion, should a customer success manager be required to identify upsell opportunities? Cross-sells? Why?

Why is this a good question to ask?

Who owns cross-selling and upselling? The CSM? The AE? The AM?

Get a sense of their thinking and how it aligns with your expectations.

This is one of the most critical customer success manager interview questions as it’s a hot topic.

#12 Our customer success team has a lot going on — how do you prioritize tasks?

Why is this a good question to ask?

Every great customer success manager knows there are always many customer queries coming their way.

How do they deal with them?

#13 In your opinion, what’s the most important thing a customer success manager can do to ensure customer retention?

Why is this a good question to ask?

Every customer has a specific value to the business.

How you prevent customer churn for one customer may differ from the path for another.

#14 What are some of the challenges you have faced in your previous roles?

Why is this a good question to ask?

Customer success managers live with challenges.

You may be surprised by customer feedback that doesn’t align with your view.

You may find out that the AE working with that customer needs the monthly recurring revenue (MRR) to go up to make their quota and deal with that pressure.

The CSM may not understand a new market the company is shifting into and struggle with the appropriate path for professional development to keep up with new customers in this sector.

Different companies will have other challenges. What has this candidate experienced, and how did they overcome the challenge?

Final thoughts

While we will come back and add more customer success manager interview questions in time, that’s all the customer success hiring goodness for now.

If you are hiring customer success managers in your role, what customer success interview questions do you use?

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