Hiring Guide

Customer Success Manager

Specific duties of a Customer Success Manager can vary from business to business — along with factors like company culture, work environment, and team dynamics — it’s vital to tailor any job description and interview content to your company’s needs and expectations.

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Why you should hire a Customer Success Manager

Customer Success Managers help companies achieve success by working with their customer base to ensure they are maximizing the value they can receive from the company's offerings (goods/products/services). You should hire Customer Success Managers to ensure you are pursuing a customer-first strategy across the business.

In this hiring guide, we'll provide everything you need to hire a great Customer Success Manager.

Top 12 skills for Customer Success Managers

Service Focus

Customer-centric
Attentiveness to Others
Active Listening

Fostering Client Relationships

Customer Relationship Management
Verbal Communication
Empathy

Driving Customer Value

Strategic Thinking
Critical/Analytical Thinking
Business Acumen

Cross-functional Collaboration

Teamwork/Collaboration
Adaptability
Initiative/Proactivity

Sample Customer Success Manager job description

Customer Success Managers promote the transition of prospects and the retention of customers by providing an overall positive experience with the brand. Their success depends on their ability to build strong relationships with customers while efficiently managing tasks on the customer-facing side of operations. Performing this role requires deep knowledge of the organization’s products or services to best support customers and meet their specific needs. A Customer Success Manager can sometimes be a middle-management position in customer service departments indicating a need for effective leadership and strategic planning abilities.

Sample questions for Customer Success Managers

Question 1

Tell me about a customer you worked with in the past where you were really able to deliver them value because you understood their business objectives. What were their objectives? How did you identify them, and how did you align your company’s offering to deliver them value?

Ross Carvalho
Director, Customer Success - 15 years experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to understand customer needs/pain points and align offerings accordingly

Answer tips

  • Clearly identifies the customer’s business objectives (macro, executive-level objectives)
  • Shares their approach for identifying objectives (e.g. asks specific questions, consults public information to understand company) 
  • Explains how they developed a success plan where their offering mapped onto the business objectives
  • Identifies success metrics as evidence of delivering customer value

Question 2

What do you consider when deciding which accounts to prioritize, and how have you managed a high priority account differently than a lower priority account in the past?

Cameron Tait
Senior Customer Success Manager - 10 years experience

What does this question reveal?

Candidate has the ability to tailor approach to different customers/segments appropriately

Answer tips

  • Considers monetary value of account, direction from management, and external visibility of customer
  • Proactively schedules check-ins for high priority accounts to monitor needs and consider likelihood of increasing contract value
  • Proactively provides suggestions, based on the account’s business needs, to offer additional products/features 
  • Takes initiative by offering tailored value/resources to all customers and adapts approach accordingly
  • Works with accounts who are receptive to working together; Cut losses and time investment once thresholds have been reached

Question 3

Tell me about the customer experience you’ve delivered that you’re most proud of.

Brooke Lesner
Recruiting Director, Customer Success - 8 years experience

What does this question reveal?

Reveals the level of personalization, attentiveness, and care that the candidate provides to each customer

Answer tips

  • Speaks to a discernible passion for customer experience 
  • Describes not only the experience itself, but why the candidate is most proud of it
  • Shares context in terms of the “who,” “what,” and “how” - appropriately sets the scene
  • Addresses any impact that the positive experience had on business outcome - includes metrics + data in response