Monday, April 8, 2024

Client Success Manager Interview Questions

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How Do You Deliver Bad News To Customers

CUSTOMER SUCCESS MANAGER Interview Questions And Answers!

No one likes to deliver bad news, but very often its a necessity. Candidates who can strike the right balance in their response here will demonstrate three integral qualities:

  • Toughness. Theyre able to face the unpleasant consequence of upsetting or angering a customer. In other words, they’re honest. They dont pretend that everythings fine and that they can still deliver on something thats not realistic/feasible for the sake of an easy life.
  • Empathy. But honesty doesnt necessarily mean tactlessness. You have to be able to deliver bad news in a way that expresses remorse, as well as a genuine desire to serve the customers needs.
  • Accountability. Good customer success managers or managers in any field for that matter will demonstrate an ability to own and assume responsibility for tasks. This, of course, also means owning faults and mistakes. This is an absolutely essential quality, how can you expect to set targets for growth in new hires if were not aware of the mistakes that are being made?
  • During June 2021s Customer Success Festival, Corinne Goldberg , explained that one of the defining characteristics of a CSM is their commitment to ensuring realistic expectations between customer and business.

    Customer Success Manager Interview Tips

    The following tips will help you to prepare effectively for your Customer Success Manager interview. Read and absorb each of the tips carefully before implementing them during your interview!


    Read the job description very carefully and think of specific situations you have previously been in where you have demonstrated each aspect of the essential criteria. The hiring manager will be looking to see EVIDENCE of where you meet the criteria for this Customer Success Manager role.


    When responding to situational or behavioural CSM interview questions, be sure to use the STAR method for structuring your answers. This involves preparing your response in the format of situation, task, action and result. Be sure to end your answer with a POSITIVE result for the greatest impact!


    Be sure to research their company in detail before you attend the interview. You will have to answer the common Customer Success Manager interview question, why do you want to work for our company early on during your interview.


    The most effective way to get ready for your interview is to prepare answers to all of the twenty-seven questions listed on this page. Whilst this is a lot of work to undertake, by doing so you will undoubtedly be the best prepared candidate on the day!

    How Do You Look For Opportunities To Cross

    While many Customer Success Managers dont think that sales is part of their job, CSMs are actually in a unique position to spot cross-sales and upsells in ways that benefit both them and their clients. Because of this, its important to demonstrate that you have at least an interest in sales skills, or even better yet, direct experience.

    Here, interviewers are looking for signs that youre great at active listening, and that you have sales skills that will translate to Customer Success. You should demonstrate your desire to find ways to best serve your clients through appropriate expansions.

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    How Would You Tell A Customer Bad News Or Unfortunate Results

    Customer Success is all about helping customers achieve their goals with your product, but sometimes, Customer Success Managers dont quite hit the mark, or something doesnt go as planned. Customer Success Managers need to be able to skillfully navigate tricky situations like this, providing honesty to the client while also bringing new ideas and solutions to the table.

    Here, the interviewer is really asking if youre comfortable and calm during stressful situations, and is trying to gauge if you can keep control during unpredictable situations. Hiring managers want to see that youre able to practice open communication, and that you can deliver the news in a skillful way. They also are likely looking for a high level of emotional intelligence, to see that youre able to read the room when it comes to your customers, and shift your response based on their demeanor.

    A suggested way to answer is by explaining that you would address the issue in a timely manner, and preferably over video chat where you can see a customers response in real-time. Youd also do well to mention that youd come to the call prepared with a solution or next steps for moving forward and your commitment for following up.

    Which Type Of Interview Is Best When Asking Customer Success Manager Interview Questions

    Best Job Interview Question to Ask In Your Interview

    Structured interviews make it simpler to assess candidates responses, especially when using interview scorecards. Avoid unstructured interviews, because they can lead to a bad candidate experience and damage your employer brand.

    Unstructured interviews are also more time-consuming when compared to structured interviews. They are not as legally defensible because of the lack of structure and the fact that the interview questions may not all be related to the role youre looking to fill.

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    Customer Success Manager Job Interview Questions

  • How do you deliver bad news to customers?
  • How do you communicate with customers if you can’t resolve a problem right away?
  • What’s the toughest case you’ve ever handled?
  • How do you collaborate with sales and product teams in your current role?
  • Explain to me how works.
  • How would you explain Twitter to your grandparents?
  • How do you demonstrate value in the first phone call or email?
  • Pitch me on an upsell of our product’s next tier level.
  • How would you explain our product or service in a single sentence?
  • How would you change our product or service?
  • What skills are you hoping to develop in this role?
  • How do you measure success in your current role?
  • What would you add to our culture, or what would you change about it?
  • How would you prevent customer churn?
  • How would you de-escalate a frustrated customer?
  • Let’s say you have to complete multiple tasks, how would you determine their priority?
  • If you saw a customer using more seats than theyre paying for, how would you handle it?
  • How do you go about identifying and establishing rapport with individuals in various customer roles ?
  • What is your approach to uncovering and working towards customer expectations, values, and desired outcomes?
  • Tell me about a time where you reached a successful agreement with a customer in terms of goals, objectives, or timing?
  • Describe a time when you had to re-set a customers expectation and what was the outcome?
  • Tell Us About A Time That You Dealt With A Customer Conflict

    Hopefully youve already got that onetime in mind that customer that really kicked up a fuss.

    The best way to approach this question is to tell a story. Start with setting the scene: who is the customer? What was their problem? Why were you the one to resolve it?

    Next move on to your approach: what tactics did you use? How did you calm them down? How did you resolve their problem?

    Finally, talk about the end result: did the customer leave happy? Did you sell them your product? Did you alter your technique after this success?

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    Question #: Can You Describe How You Unlock Opportunities To Innovate And Solve Problems

    How to answer: It is important to show you can reflexively respond to problems as they arise while also anticipating your customer needs before they occur. Try to prove your skills through examples of how you would look ahead to their clients’ future problems, and then create innovative solutions to those issues that will ultimately expand the relationship.

    How Would You Change Our Product

    How to Answer Customer Success Manager Interview Questions (with examples!)

    While you shouldnt expect a candidate to know your product or customer intimately, they should have researched or explored your product enough to say something intelligent. Accept answers with caveats, like I dont know your customers well, but the onboarding felt slow.

    Be suspicious of any candidate who says the product is perfect and shouldnt be changed. In the SaaS world, those words are antithetical to everything we do.

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    What Do You Know About Our Products And Have You Ever Used Them If So Tell Us The Experience

    The interviewer wants to know whether you know the products that you are coming to promote. Tell them what products they are using and give them a review.

    Sample Answer

    First, I must say that your makeup foundations are just on point. I understand that you have used 95% herbal as the components of this product. It was introduced in the market in 2012. Yes. I use it and am proud to say that I used it today as I was coming for this interview. What a beauty indeed.

    Describe A Time When You Failed In This Role And The Lessons You Learned

    The interviewer knows that you might have made a mistake at some point and led to poor performance. They are asking you this to see how you can learn from making mistakes. Talk about a time when you made a mistake, and you could solve the error and the lesson you learned.

    Sample Answer

    As we all know, mistakes are there to be made. And we learn from our mistakes. As a customer success manager from my previous role, I used to get a lot of pressure from customers enquiring about product details. There would be thousands of emails flowing in and lots of website support service tickets. This was overwhelming us. Sometimes, customers would complain about late responses from the support team. However, we were able to solve this. We had to update all the information about the products we offered. Many customers could access any information they needed without emailing or booking a ticket with customer support. Lately, we have been getting a few emails just for follow-ups.

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    What Would You Do If A Customer Misused Our Product To Gain Profits In An Unethical Way

    Skill: Emotional intelligence

    This question is tricky and there is no right or wrong answer. But probably your candidates are not expecting it. Ask it to see what values they put first.

    Working with customers involves helping them with things you dont approve of personally. A real professional should be able to know when to hold their judgment and when to intervene and in what way.

    Example answer

    Do you mean like an online casino? It depends. If something was illegal, Id definitely inform the customer or consult our legal team. But as long as they are our customers and want to use our tool, I wouldnt try to moralize. Im there to serve our clients and help them achieve their goals. If they meet our terms and conditions, who am I to judge? On the other hand, it may also mean that maybe we should specify in what circumstances our products can be used or not. In some cases, it may harm our reputation and, in the long run, we should ban them from using our software.

    What you should pay attention to as a candidate: A professional employee of a customer success team knows that they should keep their personal opinions to themselves. Recruiters may be examining if you can take an adequate distance. Or intervene if the situation at hand calls for it.

    Extra follow-up question: Have you ever had a customer try to trick you into giving them a discount?

    How Would You Explain Our Product To Your Friends

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    This type of question, where the interviewer is asking you to explain their product, is used to gauge several things. Firstly, theyre again checking if you did your homework when it came to understanding their company and their product. But second, theyre seeing if youre able to deliver value and information effectively in a short amount of time. These skills come in handy in many aspects of Customer Success, including during customer onboarding.

    In order to answer this question effectively, you need to demonstrate your persuasion and influence skills when speaking about the product and your services as a CSM. You get the chance to showcase your general communication skills, and display that youre easily able to get to the meat of a subject and express it in an engaging way.

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    Describe A Really Good And Really Bad Experience Youve Had Working As Part Of A Team

    A great customer success manager doesnt just minimize customer issues. Because they work with so many departments, these managers also need to proactively solve problems with co-workers.

    Look for responses that reflect leadership and a positive attitude to check whether theyre able to work in teams.

    Would You Tell A Little Lie To A Customer If There Were An Unexpected Problem That Delayed Their Order Or An Error That Caused A Problem

    An HR manager is looking for an honest candidate, even if it means they must deliver difficult news to a client. This subject is one of the most common integrity interview questions because it really asks two questions: how far are you willing to go to please a customer, and are you willing to lie to protect your employer, even if theres a risk of being caught? A little lie may seem like the easy way to deal with a difficult client, but it could cause problems at a later time with that customer. From a larger perspective, a little lie could cause reputational damage to the company, which would have a negative impact for years to come.

    An honest candidate understands that while an employer appreciates employee loyalty, displaying real integrity is crucial. Its a trick question that requires a careful but well-prepared answer.

    Sample Answer:If I were faced with the moral decision of telling a small lie to a customer, I wouldnt feel right about it. I would rather handle the customers disappointment and look for a way to settle the matter, either with an alternative product, service, or discount. I would also acknowledge and empathize with the customer and reassure them that I would do everything I can to resolve the issue.

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    How Would You Value A Saas Business With $100k In Recurring Revenue

    Having a more engaging and interactive test case question in an interview process is so important because it allows you to see the candidate in action, and gives you the opportunity to test for team fit, problem-solving skills, and personality traits.

    And this is a question that will help to not only test their level of business acumen, but also their level of awareness and honesty.

    As far as personality, you will be able to see how this candidate handles stress. Are they willing to collaborate and ask further probing questions, or will they try to just come up with an answer on their own? If the candidate isnt completely sure of whats being asked, they should ask questions to make sure they are fully understanding the task at hand before diving in.

    During the test and after youll be able to see how the person reacts — does the candidate seem to enjoy the challenge and task or do they become a bit grumpy being put on the spot?

    This question will also give you an indicator of the candidates analytical skills. For example, there are some models that require some math, and there are certain cases where the valuation depends heavily on the product, other team members, the funding situation, etc. The way they reason the answer will show you their level of expertise in those areas.

    The candidate should be willing to collaborate, ask questions when they need to, and should consider multiple valuation models and approaches.

    How Did You Benefit From Consistent Performance And Resilience On The Job What Were The Results

    Top 20 Customer Success Manager Interview Questions and Answers for 2022

    For this question, the interviewer is looking to understand whether the candidate would be an essential part of the team over time and through a changing company environment. One way to demonstrate this, as well as the candidates commitment, is to discuss a time when they set and achieved milestones on the job despite setbacks or problems that may have challenged their efforts. When you bounce back from a problematic situation or help facilitate a turn-around by improving sales or customer service, this also demonstrates how you would be a critical long-term part of a team. When a company goes through a merger or a small business expands to include new services, adapting to a new work environment, going through a training program, and being flexible with changes to your job will all be critical elements to have.

    Sample Answer:In my previous role, I was transferred to a new department because the company merged and some positions became obsolete. The new job was challenging and required working with new coworkers. I also needed to master new software and procedures. I decided that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to keep my work ethic consistent, as I did previously. So, I asked my supervisor how I could learn more about the new procedures to improve my performance, and also asked for advice on goal-setting for my position. Because of my past success with goal-setting, I knew that a similar process would set me up for success in my new position, and it worked out well.

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    Top Customer Success Interview Questions

    1. Give me a ONE-minute elevator speech about what our product does.2. Have you tried our product? Do you have any suggestions for improvements?3. How would you adjust your success strategy for a recurring revenue model?4. Describe a time when you had to alter your normal approach with a customer to fix an issue.5. How do you incorporate upsells into your customer success work?6. What do you think is the key to developing long-term customer relationships?7. Do you consider yourself a people person? Can you give an example?8. If there were a server outage that affected multiple customers, what steps would you take to manage the problem?9. Describe a difficult relationship youve had with a co-worker in the past and how you handled it.10. Youre working with a client and realize one of your teammates gave them incorrect information. How do you handle the situation with the customer and your teammate?

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