Signing up a client is only the first goal of each business relationship, though typically the most difficult one. Once they are onboard, someone has to communicate with them, keeping them engaged in the development of the project.
Sending updates, invoices, and new offers, and of course addressing any issues they may have during the cooperation with the company, Engagement Manager tries to maximize the value of each client. It is not an easy job, especially if you do not identify many opportunities for cross-selling or up-selling, and struggle to meet your monthly targets.
On the other hand, earning fifty or sixty thousand annually for communicating with the client you didn’t acquire, is not a bad proposition indeed… Let’s have a look at the questions the hiring managers may ask while interviewing you for this interesting position.
Why do you want to work as an Engagement Manager?
You decided to apply because you have excellent communication and negotiation skills. A client feels like the king, or at least a minister, while talking to you. You know how to make them engaged, not only in the communication about the ongoing projects, but also in the discussion of new business opportunities.
Having an ability to work effectively with different personalities, and feeling like a fish in the water while trying to cross-sell or up-sell someone, you have all it takes to achieve excellent results as their new engagement manager. That’s why you decided to apply.
What’s more, you have experience in sales or customer service, know how to react to most common situations, how to address the problems that may occur in the communication with the client.
Can you walk us through your resume?
Try not dwelling much on things that do not really matter for the hiring managers. Focus on one or two things that really matter, such as a relevant role you had in the past–anything related to sales, customer service, relationship management.
Explain what you did, and how it relates to the role of an engagement manager. Point out one or two achievements, such as managing to bag a big client, or improving the level of customer satisfaction, or retention in the given segment of customers.
When you have no relevant experience, your best bet is finding at least some connection of your former jobs with the role of an engagement manager, and explain it to the hiring managers. At the end of the day, in (almost) each role you talk to people, experience both good and bad moments, deal with conflicts. Briefly pointing out these things, you can convince them that your experience is more relevant than it seems on the first glance.
How do you imagine a typical day in work of an Engagement Manager?
You should focus on two things in your answer: proactive approach, and spending a lot of time on the call. Ensure them that you do not imagine sitting in a comfy chair, drinking coffee, waiting for a phone call from a customer, who demands some new business with the company…
On the contrary, you will actively research new business opportunities, call the customers regularly to update them on the progress (and using this opportunity to try to generate new business), and of course you will monitor everything and address any issue.
The exact proportion of time you spend on the computer, on the call, and out of office really depends on the segment of business you will work in. As long as you show proactive approach and willingness to spend a lot of time calling (or meeting) the customers, the hiring managers will be satisfied with your answer.
Imagine that a big client complains about the level of customer service and wants to leave and work with one of our competitors. What will you do in this situation?
As an engagement manager, your main task is to ensuring the client that the company is actively engaged in solving their problem. If it’s a big client (with a big value for the business), you can suggest visiting them in person, instead of just calling or sending emails–that’s the next level of customer service.
You will patiently listen to them, trying to understand exactly what they do not like about the customer service they are getting. And you will assure them, several times, that you will promptly address the issues, and they won’t repeat again.
Then, once you are back in the office, you will meet the responsible managers from customer service or sales department, and present them your findings. You may contact the big client regularly while things are addressed, updating them on the progress, keeping them engaged, and onboard, buying some time for the other employees while they try to address the issues…
We work with free trials in this business. One of the common issues we face is that customers do not subscribe to paid services when their free trial expires. What can you do about this as an engagement manager?
This is indeed a tricky question, because many clients sign up for free trial and already know that they won’t subscribe to paid services. They just want to benefit from the freebie. Anyway, putting this group aside, you can definitely try to do something.
I’d suggest focusing on individual approach to each client. Certainly you will have access to analytical tools, and know what they did in the interface. You may send questionnaires to them, three days before the end of the trial period, asking whether they want to upgrade to paid service, and if not, what the reason is (giving them options to choose from).
Once you know their reasoning, you can work with them, perhaps offering discount (if they complain that the price is too high), or something else, depending on their answers. You can once again suggest making a phone call–which is more personal and definitely gives you more options to retain the client.
But this is just one idea, and I am sure you have many others. The most important thing is to show the hiring managers that you won’t give up. You will experiment with different methods, trying to improve the percentage of customers who eventually opt for paid subscription.
In your opinion, what are the most effective engagement techniques in this business?
The right answer depends a lot on your target customer. If the company works with young people, individuals (not companies), you can refer to posting engaging content on social media platforms and online communication (polls, questionnaires, thought provoking updates, etc). This is true especially if the value of an average client isn’t high enough to justify individual approach.
When we talk about B2B segment and big deals, personalizing your communication is the right answer. You will try to gather as much data as possible about each client, benefiting from the analytics the company runs, but also from your phone calls and emails with the clients, and info from the sales team.
Then you will personalize your communication, trying to do exactly what the given client likes, sending fitting updates and offers, with the right periodicity and on the most fitting medium for the given client.
You will work with many (dozens, hundreds, thousands) clients in this job. How do you prioritize whom you should contact on any given day in work?
The key here is to show them that you have some system in your work. One option is referring to a master database of clients–can be in a form of an MS Excel document, or in some more elaborate form.
Basically you will have a database of clients, with a lot of notes and dates in it–this can be run internally by someone else in the company. For example when you contacted them the last time, what offers you sent out, what their reply was (if any), etc. The document will also show when their subscription ends.
Working with your database, and of course also with the actual daily data (getting an email from this or that client, or a notification from someone in the CS team), you will always choose the right clients to contact on any given day…
Other questions for Engagement Manager job interviews
- How do you feel about cold calling a client? Have you made cold calls before?
- How can you tell when a client wants to end a business relationship?
- Describe the biggest failure of your professional career, sales related.
- Tell me about a time you had to work hard to please a client.
- Describe a time when you had to deal with an angry or upset client.
- Describe a situation when you went above and beyond with your service (for the customer, for the colleague).
- Tell me about a time you had to deal with ambiguity.
- Tell me about a time you stepped up into a leadership role.
- Why should we hire you, and not one of the many other applicants who try to get this job?
- Describe a situation when you showed initiative at work.
- Tell us about a time when you had to use logic to solve a problem.
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Conclusion, next steps
Engagement manager is a popular job title. If you apply for it in a big company, you have to count with dozens other job seekers competing with you.
What’s more, you will typically face some tricky situational and behavioral questions, and occasionally even a role play (the hiring manager will play a client, and you will “play” an engagement manager, trying to deal with the complaint, or up-sell them).
Summarized and underlined, this is definitely a difficult interview. Try to learn as much as you can about the prospective employer, and think for a while about each question from our list. Prepare an answer and practice with a friend before the start of your interview. It may still not be enough, but at least you will know that you tried your best. I wish you good luck!
May also interest you:
- Relationship Manager interview questions – Similar position and some interview questions are also similar.
- Leadership interview questions – Each good manager is also a good leader. Learn how they may test your leadership skills in an interview.
- Salary negotiation tips – You may get forty five thousand annually, but also fifty five thousand. How much they will eventually pay you depends a lot on your ability to negotiate a better offer in an interview…