You have a req for a new CSM (Customer Support Manager). Great! But wait: before you start hiring, answer 5 questions that will determine your approach.
Who are your customers?
Working with consumers, small businesses, or enterprise customers require different skills and a candidate who has plenty of enterprise experience, for instance, may not be so great with the other two audiences.
What do you expect your CSMs to do?
Some CSMs are mostly trainers. Others, mostly technical account managers. Others, support engineers. And some seem to be pretty much sales reps for the installed base. Of course each of those roles will require different person: clarify the role first (and be honest with your recruiter, if you are working with one).
How much of the process is already in place?
If you already have a customer lifecycle defined and a structured CSM calendar with templates and activities, you can take a chance on someone less experienced. Otherwise, look for someone who has successfully implemented a new customer success process.
Who is already successful (or not) in the role ?
I’m not suggesting to hire clones –diversity is good for CSMs as with any other role– but identifying critical success factors for the role helps a lot. In general, companies are overly focused on finding hires that have worked with the very same type of products, when often it is knowledge of the overall industry that matters.
When did you hire last?
If you hired in the last six months (and the hire was successful) you can probably use the same criteria and techniques. If not, the landscape probably changed: be open to adapting your approach.
Want more help? The Smarter Customer Success Hiring e-book has over 300 questions to inspire you — plus recruiting and screening techniques.
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