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7 Best Practices to Hire a Customer Success Manager (CSM)!

Have your customer’s been engaging a lot with your business? That customer experience has a lot of impact on customer engagement. And you’d want a customer success team to bring this experience to them. For that to happen, you must hire the best Customer Success Manager (CSM).

Lately, has this domain been evolving, and in such circumstances expecting an experienced candidate is a tougher task, although there might still be countable ones with that profile. Regardless of which you’d still want to consider a candidate with no prior experience in customer success and to hire them, you’d need to consider a few factors. 

Are you on the hunt for talented folks on the team? Let’s figure out the best practices to hire a CSM!

Grow your multi million dollar portfolio with the best Customer Success Software!

7 best Practices to hire a Customer Success Manager (CSM)

Plan their responsibility!

Every business has different processes and the expectation from a CSM may vary. Hence it can’t be generalized but rather described specifically to run the business operations accordingly. 

For instance, a CSM may be expected to take care of sales by cross-selling and upselling and on the other hand, it may also be expected to look after the support tickets. It is just a maybe, but what you define is what they do and hence that has to be described well before you approach. 

Pick the right job sites

There is a need to pick the right site to look for a candidate and it can’t be just anywhere. Linkedin is exponentially growing and is transparent. Of all there exist the candidates from all the niches and it isn’t hard looking for one. 

Although the alternative would be to explore those sites that have candidates looking for similar openings. Glassdoor, and Indeed are one such site that has accumulated people looking for this particular niche!

Suggested Read: What to look for in early Client Success Manager hires?

How the candidate must be?

There is no reason to be disappointed to have not gotten the candidate from the experience of customer success manager for this role. Even a person from backgrounds such as sales,  customer support, account management, and marketing has the potential. 

But do they have what it takes? That always goes by gut reasoning. Remember like AI we can’t predict, although we are super-intelligent beings. So get around it with relevant questions that explain their relevant experience of what is being expected. 

What they majorly need to know is, to understand the customer’s needs and to solve their query to get the success your sales team promised!

Customer Success Interview Template

Are they good at communication?

What are the CSMs even doing? They are making business communications with the customers and of all, they must have good communication skills be it speaking or writing. 

Because mainly they are representing the customers and they can’t mess it up at any cost! And you have to make sure they are communicating well with them.

Perspective varies, so keep others in the loop as well!

CSMs regularly, deal with a lot of internal teams, and gain perspective from different teams can help find a good fit. 

It necessarily doesn’t mean, it has to be a group of interviewers but rather two individuals if it’s just one interview and different individuals if there are a series of interviews. 

Throw questions intelligently!

You don’t want to seem like a tough interviewer but rather an individual looking for a potential candidate with the skills the role may need. So don’t overwhelm the interviewee with tough questions. 

Go about it in two ways. One: Throw questions that you think they should be able to solve and, Two: Ask them about their experience in the relevant scenario rather than asking them to enact a scenario upfront. 

There is a difference when you ask, “Sell a product to me”.and “Tell me your experience in selling a product in your previous company”. So, wisely pick what best suits your way of hiring. 

Bonus resource: Ten Interview Questions to hire the best Customer Success Manager (CSM)

The skills that are a perfect fit.

Relationship building skills

They need to be on good terms with the customers and that develops their relationship with the customers to be able to keep them loyal to our business and the product. 

Collaborative efforts

Is the candidate a person who has collaboratively worked with different teams such as sales, marketing, and account managers?  This means they need to be able to deal with all the team members to get to the solution!

Strategic thinking

It’s not just proposing the product to the customers but also helping them in adopting the product and achieving success. You are being in the entire journey of their association with your product unlike the sales and marketing teams 

One needs to be strategically thinking about how to solve their needs and be a step ahead to gain their trust. 

Proactiveness skills 

As known, this role isn’t just limited to reactiveness but rather being ahead to identify customers’ dilemmas before they react to them! That’s the level of effectiveness needed in the role. So how proactively answerable they are? 

Ability to gain expertise in the domain

Coincidently one can’t expect to have relevance in the industry you are working in or there are. Either way, do they have the potential to grasp the expertise needed to survive in your industry? Also, the customer’s industry varies a lot! It matters because, to be able to get to a solution to customer’s dilemmas, it needs extra miles to have grasped how the customer’s industry works and how your company’s product works to be in sync!

Willingness to learn a software

When this is a candidate from a different industry, they must have a willingness to learn customer success software and undergo training. The grasping skills should be such that they don’t find it hard but rather interesting to explore more!

What’s in it for the best team?

No matter what it is, the zeal or the curiosity in the role, gets them to achieve everything that is expected of a candidate. If this doesn’t lie anywhere in the candidature, then they are losing track in no time. With all the pointers in consideration make sure this is a sure deal for the business!

Amitha is a content writer at CustomerSuccesBox. She is a structural engineer by qualification but has a passion for writing..An avid learner in the morning and an explorer in the night. At present, she is exploring the Customer Success domain. Loves baking, dancing and drawing when she is not writing!