Building a successful business almost always depends on how good your relationship with your customer is. And there is no wonder that various companies are now hiring dedicated specialists for dealing with clients. Their main task is to ensure that the clients are given the possibility to grow and develop while collaborating with the company.
You might have guessed that I am talking about a Customer Success Manager (CSM).
If you are thinking about hiring a CSM, you have to understand their main responsibilities and what to ask them during an interview. This will help you hire a perfect CSM who is going to completely suit the goals and purpose of your business. So, what exactly do you need in a Customer Success Manager?
Customer Success as a driving force
Technically, a Customer Success Manager is to foresee what their clients may require and figure out the best and the fastest ways to deal with the requests or better yet, have the solution ready even before the customer comes with a certain problem or question.
This way of thinking and dealing with the client is going to confirm that the company, providing the services, is never going to fall behind on responding to the client. This, no doubt, is going to make the business even more attractive for the client, decreasing the chances of them leaving to look for a similar service elsewhere.
What exactly does a Customer Success Manager do?
Basically, knowing the importance of customer success, it is easy to understand what a CSM does. A Customer Success Manager works with clients to make sure that they have everything they need to achieve their goals and secure their growth. They are also responsible for successful onboarding and integration of new clients.
To understand whether you require a CSM at all, you are to understand what their main duties are.
Key responsibilities of Customer Success Manager
1. Being a cheerleader for the company.
Given that CSMs communicate with customers directly, they have a unique opportunity to promote and advocate for the company. They are setting a certain reputation for the company, serving as the company’s face in some sense.
2. Onboarding and adapting new customers.
Successful onboarding ensures that the customer knows and understands the product and your workflow from the get-go. It is the time when they learn and try to understand even the smallest details of your product. And who will make sure that this process is successfully completed and that they are all set for further collaboration? That’s right! Your CSM.
3. Follow every client’s progress and track issues.
When a company has hundreds of clients, it is almost impossible to track progress and issues for each of them. Well, it is impossible if you do not have a Customer Success Manager. One of their main responsibilities is to track expiration dates and make sure that the client is up to date with all of the renewals and updates.
4. Be the link between a customer and a support team.
If you want to hire a professional in this field, you need to make sure that your applicants have excellent communication skills. After all, one of their main responsibilities is to be the voice for the client and to be the link between the client and the support team. They are to know the product and the manner of the service provided. Creating good customer-support team relations will guarantee that all the issues and all the requests will be dealt with in a smooth and effective manner.
5. Laying the ground for up- and cross-selling.
Making sure that the client is successful is not the only goal of CSM (even though it is in the name). They also need to make sure that the company itself is delivering the best service possible. Choosing the best time for upselling and providing top-notch services will surely mean the client is going to get growth opportunities with nothing standing in their way.
Customer Success Manager interview questions
Surely, you as an employer have to make sure that you find out as much as possible about your potential future CSM during interview process. And in order to conduct a perfect interview, make sure that some of these questions are on your list (not necessarily in the given order):
- What do you know about our product?
Right from the start you have to establish whether the candidate has read anything about your company, your product and your services. After all, if the candidate comes to the interview having no clue what you do, will they be attentive enough to satisfy the needs of your clients?
- Do you go the extra mile for the client? Ask to give examples.
You need to understand — all of your clients want to feel special. And that is impossible if all your CSM does is just acting according to a certain ‘script’. You have to know whether the candidate for the job is going to be prepared to give a bit of extra time and extra attention to make sure that the client is satisfied.
It is also pretty easy to just answer ‘yes’ here. Ask additional questions. Ask to provide an example and ask what results were reached thanks to the actions of the candidate. Even though it might take more time than you initially intended for the answer, you are going to get the entire spectrum of information you need.
- How do you manage your time?
Successful and effective time management is a must in a modern business world. Ask what time management tools your candidate is using and what actions they take to ensure that the team is sticking to their schedules. This will help you understand how efficient the work of this Customer Success Manager will be.
- When is it better to upsell?
As we have already mentioned, seeing the time for upselling and using this moment for successful upgrade of client’s plan is one of the key tasks of Customer Success Manager. That is why you need to understand what time your candidate finds perfect for upselling. How do they identify such a moment? How long do they wait to actually upsell? Try and see whether their vision coincides with the policies of your company.
- Do you prefer working alone?
Some people work better alone, some prefer being a member of a team. And Customer Success Manager is a person who usually works alone. They need to be able to identify the problem, find the solution and talk to the customer about it all by themselves. That is why it is crucial to understand – will your CSM need supervision?
- What do you do when the customer is angry?
Sadly, too often Customer Success Managers need to deal with customers who are more than dissatisfied with the services. Such customers will be very difficult to talk to and most likely are going to be very angry. How will your candidate behave in such situations? What will their main strategy be? Here you can also ask for examples.
- How do you communicate with the support team?
Keeping a support team motivated and encouraged, so that they can keep up the good work. Does that seem important to you? Well, if it does, then you are absolutely right! How does the future Customer Success Manager establish connection with the support team? Will they be friendly? How do they encourage successes and deal with mistakes? Determine all of this and you are going to be prepared for everything.
Surely, there are many more questions that you might want to ask your potential Customer Success Manager. For example:
- Why did you choose this profession?
- How do you deliver bad news to the customer or to the team?
- Do you function well under stress?
- How do you prevent churn?
- What would you change in our product or in our approach to the market?
- What do you want to achieve in this position?
- How long does it usually take you to learn everything about the product?
- How do you foresee a client’s needs?
These or variations of these questions will make sure that you will get the full scale of information about the potential Customer Success Manager. They will also guarantee that you are not going to hire a specialist, not suitable for the job and that you are going to have a full understanding of the skills of potential candidates.
And as promised, here’s our template you can use to find the best candidates for your CSM openings. Feel free to copy.
Customer Success Manager Job Description Template
We are looking for an experienced Customer Success Manager to lead the team of Customer Service Representatives for a leading customer support outsourcing company. If you know how to ensure customer’s great experience when using advanced technology, and empower the team on that mission, we might be looking for YOU!
What You Will Do
- Lead and manage a support team
- Keep ahead of industry’s developments and apply best practices to areas of improvement
- Control resources and utilize assets to achieve qualitative and quantitative targets
- Prepare internal and external reports on demand
- Ensure compliance to the project’s KPIs and set goals
- And many more 🙂
- Proven working experience in Customer Service
- Working knowledge of customer service software, databases and tools
- Awareness of the industry’s latest technology trends and applications
- Ability to think strategically and to lead
- Strong client-facing and communication skills
- Advanced troubleshooting and multi-tasking skills
- Customer service mindset
- Exceptional command of English (both written and spoken)
Would Be a Plus
- Experience of team management or supervision
- Fixed schedule
- State-of-the-art offices. It is considered to be the best workspace in June 2019, according to «The Village».
- Financial and professional growth
- Paid intensive training and trial period
- Great management with no bureaucracy
- Good bonuses for referring friends (referral program)
- SupportYourApp Medical Policy
- Coffee, tea, candy, season fruit, and vegetables
- Various sports events and team-building
- Partial compensation for SportLife membership
- Corporate library
- Occasional business trips
Who are we?
SupportYourApp is a leading customer support outsourcing company. We work with 25 countries and provide BPO solutions to IT companies in 23 languages. There are amazing startups as well as leaders of the IT industry among our clients.
Grab your chance to join them, and send us your CV in English pointing out your outstanding skills.