5 Best Practices for Hiring a Customer Success Manager


Following best practices for hiring a customer success manager can make a critical difference in the quality of your customer relationships. Customer success managers serve as the face of your company in dealing with clients, playing a key role in ensuring satisfying experiences of your brand. This can determine whether customers renew or churn and whether they become loyal ambassadors for your brand. Adhering to good hiring practices when recruiting customer success managers can improve the quality of your customer relationships and increase client retention rates. In this blog we’ll share five of the most important best practices for hiring a customer success manager.

What Is a Customer Success Manager?

Customer success managers are representatives assigned the task of helping customers achieve satisfying outcomes consistent with their goals. By performing this function, customer success managers help promote customer satisfaction, laying the groundwork for retention and brand ambassadorship.

To help customers achieve desired outcomes, success managers may perform duties such as:

Customer success managers may handle different volumes of customers. While the conventional approach has been to assign one customer success manager per customer account, digital customer success platforms now make it possible for teams to administer success at scale by leveraging automation to deliver one-to-many success management. Totango’s dynamic assignment feature lets you scale your customer success management by automatically matching team members to customers who need assistance based on fit, skill and availability.

Why Is Following Best Practices for Hiring a Customer Success Manager Important?

Customer success managers play a pivotal role in delivering satisfying experiences which promote retention and referrals. Customers rely on success managers to unlock the value your product offers and guide them through challenges obstructing that value. A skilled success manager can help transform a distressed customer into a satisfied brand ambassador. On the other hand, a poor experience with a customer success manager can be the final straw for a customer struggling with a support issue. Selecting the right success managers for your team is critical for retaining your customers and motivating them to promote your product.

Finding the Right Representatives: Top Best Practices for Hiring a Customer Success Manager

You can improve your ability to attract top managers by following best practices for hiring a customer success manager. These include:

  1. Creating a customized job description
  2. Promoting your position in the right places
  3. Developing meaningful interview questions
  4. Conducting meetings with multiple team members
  5. Testing customer success skills

Here are some guidelines for implementing these strategies.

1. Create a Customized Job Description

To recruit the right candidates, you need the right job description. Identify which qualities you seek in a customer success manager and rank them in terms of priority so you can place the right emphasis in your job posting. Consider qualities such as organizational and presentation skills as well as soft skills needed for interacting with customers, such as communication skills. Research what types of job descriptions competitors are posting to help you refine your job listing.

2. Promote Your Position in the Right Places

Once you’ve crafted a well-designed job description, the next step is to promote it in the right places. Start within your own company and referral network. You may find that candidates with the right qualifications are already in your organization or in touch with colleagues. From here, you can widen the net to include online recruiting platforms, including:

Consider hiring a recruiting company that can put you in touch with qualified candidates quickly, shortening your talent search.

3. Develop Meaningful Interview Questions

The interview process forms a crucial step in screening candidates, and the quality of your interview questions helps determine the quality of your hires. Generic questions can only elicit limited information about how well a candidate fits the specific needs of your team. To make your interview questions more meaningful, research current trends in problems your customers are experiencing so that you can better articulate what types of situations you expect successful candidates to be able to manage. In addition, ask candidates to share an example of how they’ve handled a similar situation in the past.

4. Conduct Meetings with Multiple Team Members

While customer success managers play a leading role in delivering customer success, successful outcomes often involve support from other personnel or other areas of your company. Some customer success teams may have multiple supervisors. Some customer issues may require an assist from tech support or other areas of your company. If your customer success members need to interact frequently with other team members or other areas of your company, you might consider including multiple meetings or a panel interview in your process.

5. Test Customer Success Skills

While interviews can help you assess candidates to an extent, seeing them perform in action gives you a better gauge of their capability. Having candidates perform some type of challenge as a test can provide proof of their skills in a simulated situation. For example, consider asking the candidate to prepare a presentation or conduct a mock quarterly business review to see how the candidate would respond to a customer and coach the client through the review.

Follow Best Practices for Hiring a Customer Success Manager to Keep More Clients

Customer success managers bear responsibility for helping your clients achieve satisfying outcomes which promote subscription renewals and brand ambassadorship. This makes choosing the right representatives critical for promoting customer retention and minimizing churn. You can improve your hiring procedures by crafting well-designed job descriptions, promoting them efficiently, developing good interview questions, using a multi-member interview process and testing candidates on customer success skills.

Hiring good customer success managers is only one ingredient in the recipe for optimized customer success management. Choosing the right customer success technology can maximize your efficiency, enabling you to serve more customers in less time for scaled efficiency with a personalized touch. The Totango Spark platform is designed to help you leverage customer data through key performance indicators and automatically triggered workflows that let you implement customer success best practices at any scale with customized personalization. Try it free to experience firsthand how automation can help you deliver successful results to your customers.

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