1. Tell me what is CRM?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a strategy and practices that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.

2. Tell us what are the most important modules in CRM?

The most important modules in CRM include:

☛ Marketing
☛ Inventory
☛ Sales
☛ Service Desk

3. Tell me what would be your strategy for turning around a non-responsive customer?

Here, the interviewer is looking to gauge your engagement skills. What lengths would you go to to make sure that you leave no stone un-turned to retain a customer. I usually pick a live situation and elaborate on that. Make sure you talk about the size of the deal, it's impact on your overall base of accounts, and the exact steps you took to turn the account around.

4. Explain me about a customer service policy that you have developed and implemented?

Talk the interviewer through a policy you developed, structuring your answer around these recognized steps.

☛ Clearly identify the goals for the policy
☛ Ensure correlation between the customer service goals and the company mission and objectives
☛ Identify the specific processes that will result in goal accomplishment
☛ Develop standard operating procedures and guidelines for the processes
☛ Train your staff in the implementation of the new customer service policy

5. Tell us what have you done to improve work processes in the customer service division?

In your answer describe receiving feedback from customers to identify areas for improvement, looking at every touch-point in the customer life-cycle and implementing actions to improve the process.

"I identified that customer satisfaction with our email support was not what it should be. The rule of thumb has been providing a response within 24 hours. However with the pace of everything increasing online I understood that we needed to achieve more impressive response times. I instituted a response time of 4 to 8 hours as the standard. This has set us apart from our competitors and improved customer satisfaction"

6. Please explain as a customer relationship manager, what is your management style?

In my experience delegating responsibility and authority is crucial. A team needs to be able to develop and grow as individuals and a whole, not be held back by low expectations or ego.
I believe in building a team. Each member of the team should be clear on their role, know where they fit in and feel as though they can depend on one another. I also believe in real-time feedback. If you do something wrong you should know it immediately. Regardless of right or wrong, the further removed feedback is in time, the less effective it is.

7. What are your strengths as Customer Relationship Officer?

While this question is an invitation to do some chest pounding, remember to illustrate strengths that will benefit the employer and are relative to the position. For example:

☛ being a problem solver
☛ being a motivator
☛ being a natural leader
☛ the ability to perform under pressure
☛ a positive attitude
☛ loyalty

Are typically all solid strengths, but again, consider the position. For example, mentioning you are an excellent “team player” in a job where you largely work alone suddenly becomes irrelevant to the employer and demonstrates a genuine lack of self awareness.

8. Explain me what is good customer service?

Good customer service is ensuring that every customer is satisfied. This is done by answering their questions, resolving problems and dealing with complaints. The goal is that each customer leaves with a positive impression of the company.

9. Explain me about your ability to work under pressure as Customer Relationship Officer?

Pressure is actually a catalyst to my work. When there is an imperative deadline, I refocus my energy into my work which in fact, has helped me to produce some of my best works. (Give examples) I guess you can say I thrive under pressure.

10. Explain me some technical benefits of incorporating CRM into an organization?

The benefits of incorporating CRM into an organization includes

☛ Manage customer contact information
☛ Measure success of campaigns
☛ Organize customer interactions in a central location
☛ Track organization trends
☛ Help to understand customer preferences, habits and actions
☛ Managing customer service requests
☛ Weaken expense and business risk

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11. Tell me what are some of the challenges that an organization might have to face while incorporating CRM?

Some of the challenges that organization has to face are

☛ Database cleansing to ensure that client information is in correct state
☛ Integrating with other systems , new or existing
☛ Sometimes system is more complicated and requires trainer to train external trainers
☛ Expecting the vendor to manage all elements of your project

12. Suppose a relatively small customer asks you to deliver some new features within a very short time. How would you respond to such a situation?

In such a situation, it's critical to look at a couple of things:

1. The current size of the customer vs. it's growth potential going forward.
2. The brand value that this customer brings to your organization.
3. The level of commitment that this customer has shown towards your organization since they've been on-board.

With these points in mind, one could argue the ROI of such a request with the internal Product Management teams. Internally, you'd need to evaluate the long term implications of developing such a feature. Does this feature have widespread requirement? Would this enable your sales team to close more deals? How well does this new ability resonate with your other customers? and finally, is this feature a logical extension of your company's vision for the product?

There's no Yes or No answer to such a situation. It'll all depend on the outcome of all the above mentioned scenarios.

13. Suppose a customer is willing to commit a greater amount of revenue for you if you develop certain features / enhancements for them. As an industry and a solution expert, you know that this new enhancement would be a waste of time and money for the customer, but easy money for your company. How do you approach this situation?

This is a tricky situation. While on one hand, this might seem like easy money. Your team wouldn't have to spend too much time making this happen, but you know for a fact that this won't be helpful for the customer in the long run. Here's how I choose to answer this question:

It's critical to understand the end goal that the customer is trying to achieve. At times, the goal itself may be irrelevant and you as an RM would have to politely educate the customer of the long term implications of such a goal. Contrarily, you could leverage this opportunity to prove to the customer that you're not just in it for the money, but for a long term partnership based on trust and ethics. You'd have to give the customer the complete picture of why you think this wouldn't be a wise investment of their money. Here, it's very important to suggest alternatives to your customer, if you think that their need is genuine, but the solution approach needs to be changed.

Remember, you might gain this extra money today, but potentially lose your customer in the long run.

14. Tell me how have you motivated your team to achieve demanding performance standards?

Provide examples of the types of motivation you have used and their effectiveness. Examples include cash incentives, training programs, career development, time off, recognition. Focus on identifying and meeting individual motivations with specific rewards tied to the employee's interests and needs.

Other factors to discuss in your interview answer include providing the right resources for the team to do their job including skills, knowledge, support and equipment. A team that is not armed with the right resources will find it difficult to do their job and stay motivated.

Time spent individually with each team member listening to them and developing them is another strong motivational tool. Taking the time to encourage them in their work and providing constructive, factual and sincere feedback are motivating factors.

15. Tell us what metrics do you consider the most important factor in measuring customer satisfaction?

Describe the metrics you use and why. Common metrics include:

☛ first response time
☛ first contact resolution
☛ problem resolution time
☛ resolution rates
☛ escalation rates
☛ customer retention
☛ referrals
☛ call volumes

16. Tell me what do you see yourself doing in five years as Customer Relationship Officer?

This one is all about job commitment.

Some people make job hopping a career in of itself, and your answer here can be telling. Here, your interviewer is determining if you are:

☛ someone who sets goals
☛ someone who has a vision
☛ someone who is reliable
☛ someone who demonstrates commitment
☛ someone who is loyal

While no interviewer expects someone to stay at a company forever, try and craft your response in such a way that shows progression in your career, and alignment with the Company's needs and future. Again, self awareness is key – your employer doesn't want to send you down an unwanted path, resulting in wasted time and energy for everyone.

17. Explain about a time that you helped resolve a particularly difficult customer issue?

Hopefully, you can speak from experience. If you do not already have any direct experience you should be honest and say so before going on to describe a related incident, such as helping to resolve a disagreement in a team sport, at school or with a family dispute. Show that you are always ready to step in and help to resolve a problem.

18. I don't expect you to go into too much detail – but why are you leaving your last job as Customer Relationship Officer?

An innocent question. But a question that if answered improperly, can be a deal breaker. While many individuals will be looking to a new job as a means of increasing their salary, “not being paid well enough at your last job” is not something you want to mention to your interviewer. After all, are you not likely to leave this particular job if you found you could make more down the street?

If you're currently employed and leaving of your own accord, craft your response around enhancing your career development and a seeking out of new challenges.

If your current employer is downsizing, be honest about it, remain positive, but keep it brief. If your employer fired you or let you go for cause, be prepared to give a brief – but honest – reply. No matter how tempting it may be, or how “unfair it was that they let you go” steer clear away from any and all drama and negativity. Any experienced employer understands that sometimes things happen. Staying positive is key here.

19. Tell me what experience do you have with respects to this particular CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER position?

Ever since my first paper route at age 10 I've been doing something to keep myself busy and earn money. Back then, it was obviously about earning some spending money. What I didn't realize was that I was actually starting the journey of establishing what I liked to do and how I fit in to the grand scheme of things. I then worked as a junior computer tech in my last 2 summers of high school. It was here that I discovered what I was passionate about and what I wanted to do. I enrolled in college to get my degree in computer sciences, and I have been working around technology ever since.

20. Explain me what do you consider the core criteria for a successful customer service department?

Key factors include a good understanding of the needs of the customer and having the right skills, resources and processes in place to meet these needs.

From a customer service management perspective criteria include clear communication of objectives and expectations to staff, consistent performance management, empowering staff to meet customer demands, ensuring staff are sufficiently engaged, listening to feedback from staff and customers and effectively acting on it.

21. Explain me what are some of the most common engagement techniques you'd adopt to manage your client relationships?

Here are some of the ways that I've experimented with:

1. A bi-monthly newsletter highlighting some specific features of your solution. The audience would be the end users.
2. Sharing a new release video with your end users.
3. Creating a custom video for your users talking about the overall benefits of using your solution.
4. Usage analysis to gauge end user adoption of your product. Identify the power users and encourage them to work with their un-adopting peers. Offer a small reward or recognition in return for helping you.
5. Offer quick training on specific features.
6. Engage with both the top level management, and the end users, all the time. Make sure you're all on the same page.
7. Keep an eye for growing the footprint, and any other competitor lurking in the background. Make friends with the end users who wouldn't hesitate to give you some of the internal details of conversations.

22. Suppose a customer is getting ready to cancel their services with your company. They're convinced that they don't need your services. How would you approach this scenario and try to retain the customer?

Having a senior management level sponsorship between the two companies from the very beginning always helps alleviate issues like this. It's normal to bend over backwards in such cases and offer price discounts, free training sessions, and complimentary consulting services to retain such accounts. It's important that you engage with both the top level and mid level management in such cases. This becomes a selling opportunity and not a retention opportunity. You'd need to resell the value of your product all over again. It's important to re-evaluate the problem points you're trying to solve, and then present the solution again. Identifying new sponsors within the customer account also helps.

23. Explain me factors that can be an obstacle for CRM (Customer Relationship Management/ Manager) success to an organization?

The obstacle for CRM success to an organization include

☛ Absence of a clear transitional process
☛ The main focus is on product sale and geographical segmentation of market
☛ Key performance measurements are not tracked
☛ Weak functional organization of a company
☛ Lack of response to customers feedback and recommendations
☛ Introducing other technology without implementing the necessary framework

24. Basic Customer Relationship Officer Job Interview Questions:

☛ What would you do if you where given 10 tasks but only have time for 8?
☛ Tell me what you know about a ticketing system.
☛ What do you know about a ticketing system?
☛ How well do you work under pressure?
☛ Do you work well within a team?
☛ What would you do if you had to deal with a problem last minute?
☛ How would you deal with an angry client/customer?
☛ Give me an example of when you went the extra mile for a customer?
☛ How would you solve a problem creatively or in a creative way?
☛ If you had to decline an urgent request from a client what would you do?
☛ What targets did you deal with in the past and what where their results?
☛ Why should we hire you for this Customer Service Role?

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25. Behavioral Customer Relationship Officer Job Interview Questions:

☛ Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult client. How did you manage to keep the client happy?
☛ Have you ever made a decision that cost you a client? What happened and what did you learn from that experience?
☛ What do you value more: high work quality or meeting tight deadlines? Why?
☛ How do you prefer to contact clients, through email or phone? Why?
☛ Describe your most challenging sales project so far. What were the problems you faced and how did you overcome them?