Customer Relationship Managers maintain key engagements with customers. They build trusting relationships and maintain the brand reputation and image. This position requires a degree in business administration or in any related field.
Check out the list below of 20 questions that will help you prepare for an interview in this role.
1. Why are You Interested in This Role?
The interviewer needs to establish why you have applied for a particular role. Explain in detail why you were drawn to this particular position.
“Having looked at the job description, I noticed that my skills, qualities, and qualifications closely match the job requirements. In my experience, I have engaged with many customers which has developed my experience and made me a good communicator. In addition, I am a great problem solver and crisis manager. This attributes will enable me create a good customer experience for the clients. In my research about the company, I got drawn to the mission and vision that the organization holds. I would love an opportunity to work at realizing it.”
2. What are the Roles of a Customer Relationship Manager?
What do you expect to do in this role? Share with the interviewer your expectations.
“I expect to build and maintain profitable relationships with the organization’s customers. I will also foresee the relationships with customers handled by the team. I also hope to resolve customer complains effectively and quickly. I also expect to increase the customer base by cross selling and up selling. I will strive on understanding the key customers and addressing their needs. I also expect to be in meetings with management to plan strategically on the customer needs of the organization. I will also review reports made by the team on a regular basis to establish he issues that need to be sorted fast.”
3. What are the Qualities That a Customer Relationship Manager Need to Be Successful?
This position requires unique skills in handling people. Share what qualities you need to have to succeed in this role.
“A successful Customer Relationship Manager should be confident in dealing with people from all walks of life. You should possess great communication skills both in writing and speaking. You should also possess strong negotiation and influencing skills to be able to speak to the hearts of customers. You should be self-motivated as you may encounter situations that stress you. Also, having a creative flair will ensure that the interactions with customers is memorable. These are qualities I have worked hard over the years to develop and I believe if I join the team, I will be an asset.”
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4. What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You manage Them?
As with any position that requires a lot of interaction with people, you are bound to run into challenges from time to time. Share how you were able to overcome a challenging situation in the past.
“In my previous role, I joined the organization when it was still in its infancy. As a result, most strategies were not clearly set out. In particular, there were unclear strategies on client relationship management. It was a challenge working with unstructured goals. I steered the department to develop goals to work with. We developed the goals and asked for the management input. They reviewed and gave a go ahead. My team successfully implemented the strategies. In the end our customer interactions improved and we were able to steer the organization forward.”
5. Describe Your Daily Routine as a Customer Relationship Manager?
There are day to day tasks that are repetitive that you are expected to handle. Share with the interviewer how you plan to structure your day.
“Daily, I expect to handle the following duties:
· Following up on existing clients to ensure they are satisfied
· Scouting for new clients and finding out how we can meet their needs.
· Giving presentations to potential clients on how we can do business together.
· Following up on complaints and working on resolving them.
· Understanding the targets and working towards meeting and surpassing them. In addition, I expect to review reports from my team members to see the areas we need to work on as a team.”
6. Describe Briefly About Your Experience
Experience is good is good for this role. It assures the interviewer that you will perform well. Share details of the skills you have gained so far and how this will make you succeed.
“I have six years’ experience gained in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector. This role helped me hone my skills in communication, negotiation and interpersonal relationships. I have also developed my leadership skills to be able to lead my team effectively. The experience has also enabled me to refine my planning and organizational skills which I see was a requirement for this position. In addition, I have a bachelor’s degree in Business Management that has prepared me to excel in this role.”
7. What Kind of Strategies and Mindset is Required for This Role?
To succeed in this role, you have to display a particular mindset that the interviewer is interested to know. Share the mindset that will make you excel as a Customer Relationship Manager.
“Mindsets are key in this role as it determines how the message is received by the audience. As a Communication Specialist, you need to be confident, resilient, and flexible. You need to deliver information that will not be misunderstood because of the message differing from the body language. You will need to be strategic in your thinking and a go-getter who will get results. The position requires a persistent attitude where customer satisfaction is considered key.”
8. What Is the Biggest Challenge That You Foresee in This Job?
Challenges are bound to arise in any role. What matters is how well you overcome them. Share a challenge you expect to encounter and how you will solve it.
“This organization sells consumer products and therefore deals with many clients and as such there are bound to be few who will be dissatisfied. With this era of social media that information spreads like wildfire, I will always be on the lookout for such issues and ensure that the information shared by our customers does not display the brand as a failure. I will ensure to interact with the customers with issues so that it is solved amicably and does not result in bad press reports. I will work at knowing every client under me well so that I can anticipate when issues may arise. This way, damage will not be made to the brand reputation as they are sorted early.”
9. How Do You Stay Motivated in Your Work?
As with any role, some factors can demotivate you. To be an effective employee, you will need to know what helps you keep your motivation at work. The interviewer wants to establish your strategies for this. Explain what motivates you.
“Individually, I set career goals and always endeavor to achieve them. Meeting my daily career goals gives me motivation to strive for more. As this position entails handling a lot of customers daily, my motivation comes from ensuring each has been assisted adequately. At the end of the day, when I review the reports and realize that our clients’ needs were met, I gain motivation to continue.”
10. Describe a Time When You Failed in This Role and The Lesson You Learnt?
The interviewer wants to know if you can get lessons from your failure and if you are able to take the failures positively. Give them an account of a failure that you have encountered and what you learned from it.
“One time I encountered a client who kept having issues and most were not genuine. He used to be an attention seeker and the whole team branded him as such. We didn’t take his issues seriously as they were not real issues most times. We wrote him off as just a stubborn client with no basis and hence we stopped taking his complaints seriously. One time he encountered a real problem. We assumed he was seeking attention as always and therefore did not take the matter with the seriousness it deserved. This issue was escalated to management. From this issue, I learn that it is good to always listen to the client’s needs however irrelevant they may seem.
11. Why Do You Feel You Are the Most Suited for This Role?
You need to stand out from other candidates and therefore the interviewer wants to establish if you are the right one. Share how a combination of your experience and skills makes you stand out.
“Based on my experience and academic background in Business Management I can do the work and deliver exceptional results to the organization. I will fit in beautifully and be a great addition to the team. From my track record of running successful customer experience strategies, I believe this will be a great asset to the organization and the customer base at large.”
12. Share with Us Your Greatest Achievement.
The interviewer wants to know if you are a performer. Share the awards you are proudest of.
“My biggest achievement was during my tenure at Universal Goods. I was instrumental in providing direction on customer service for the department. I joined the organization when there was no customer service strategy in place. I emphasized on the need for one. I sat down with the team and agreed on a way forward. We worked as a team in the implementation and the improvement in customer service was immense. We gained more customers as a result and the organization’s reputation grew.”
13.What Do You Consider to be Good Customer Service?
This position requires someone very good at handling customers. Share what you consider great customer service.
“Good customer service is when you are able to provide attentive and timely service to a customer that leads to a great reputation for the organization. A customer should be fully satisfied by the service offered. Customer service should have three qualities to be effective. These are referred to as the three P’s of customer service. They include a people-first-attitude, Professionalism and Patience. Customer service requires putting people first before any other business. It requires a patient attitude to be able to effectively handle the challenges. While serving the customer, everything should be kept professional.”
14. Can You Tell Me About a Time When You Went the Extra Mile for a Client?
Going the extra mile is good for maintaining loyalty. Share what you did that made that customer satisfied.
“In my previous role, I once made a follow up on a regular customer that had stopped making purchases abruptly. The customer was shocked that we had noticed he was no longer purchasing yet we were serving very many customers. He was elated that he made a difference to our business. He explained that his business had been affected by a fire and that was the reason he didn’t make any purchases at that time. He assured us that he would be back once the insurance company sorts out his payment. True to his word, he came back.”
15. Have You Ever Had to Say “NO” to a Client? How Did You Handle the Situation?
The interviewer is assessing your problem solving skills. Give a situation that you refused the client’s request and share how it worked out.
“Some clients may have unrealistic expectations. One time I had a client whose purchases are infrequent and of low volumes. He requested for a huge discount on the purchases which would not be sustainable based on the volume of business he used to give us. He threatened to leave and source for his supplies from a competitor. I had to firmly refuse his request. I explained to him the implication of the discount percentage he was asking for on our business. He understood my reasons and did not move to the competition.”
16. How Do You Handle an Unreasonable Client?
The interviewer is interested on how you can handle an unreasonable client. Share a plan of action.
“First, I believe clients are not unreasonable. It could be a challenge in how they present their complain or they could be misinformed. I would work at ensuring that they have the correct information. This will ensure that the information we are working with are in tandem. Once that is achieved, I will be able to meet their needs.”
17.What Would You Do if a Client Had a Problem That You Weren’t Sure How to Resolve?
Clients may present challenging situations that may be hard to solve. The interviewer is interested in how you can solve such an issue. Present a case of how you will handle this.
“Problems that arise may be unique but there must be a way to solve it. I will consult my seniors on how to solve the issue. I also have access to top Customer relationship managers in the industry who I can consult on such matters.”
18. Why Do You Want to Work for Us, and Not One of Our Competitors?
The interviewer wants to know why you chose just this particular organization. Show your enthusiasm for this particular organization and why they stood out in the company culture.
“I narrowed my job search to a few companies whose vision and mission aligned with my goals. This company’s mission stood out for me. In particular, I enjoy how the company has focused on delivering top notch customer experience compared to the other organizations. I feel that working here will expand my knowledge and skills in handling customers.”
19. A Long-Term Customer Complains to You About Product Prices and Wants to End Your Business Relationship. What Will You Do?
The interviewer wants to see if you can go an extra mile to keep a loyal customer. Share what you would do in such an instance.
“I value customer loyalty. A long-term customer is worth working hard to ensure that you maintain them. In this instance I will consult with Finance for an appropriate discount for the client to ensure we maintain him. It will not be worth losing loyalty to main gains in profits.”
20. Do You Create Any Reports to Keep Track of Your Work? Do You Work with Any Software Products While Managing Customer Relationships?
Technology is important in every profession in the current world. The interviewer wants to know if you are well versed in technological issues. Share details of the systems you have worked with.
“I have experience working with Client Relationship Management (CRM). This system is able to track each and every issue or need raised by a client. This way anyone can see the progress of how they have been assisted. This also streamlined the process since issues can be anticipated before they arise. I am also proficient in the use of Google Workspace and Microsoft Office. These skills have been instrumental in making me work faster and efficiently.”
This role involves fostering relationships with clients and ensuring maximum satisfaction. The above questions will help you prepare for your interview. Prepare answers tailored to your specific industry for the above questions and you will ace the interview.