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13 Customer Service Manager Interview Questions + Answers

Learn all about customer service manager interview questions and how to answer them (sample answers and tips included).
13 Customer Service Manager Interview Questions + Answers

As a customer service manager, you’re standing between the company and its most important stakeholders: customers.

Customer service manager is one of the key roles in any company. It’s an important factor that has a deep influence on the fate of a brand.

So you’ll need to prepare for this interview, have a perfect answer for all customer service manager interview questions, and prove you have what it takes to thrive in this demanding role.

In this blog post, we’ll share:

  • What makes customer service management interviews unique
  • General customer service interview questions
  • Behavioral interview questions for customer service managers
  • Sample answers and tips for answering general and behavioral questions
  • Questions to ask your interviewer at the end of the interview
  • Extra tips to ace your customer service manager interview

What Makes Customer Service Management Interviews Unique

As a customer service manager, your duties will encompass not only customer success but also:

  • Strategic vision
  • Leadership
  • Process optimization
  • Data analysis
  • Hiring and firing
  • Training and development
  • Reporting
  • Crisis management
  • Budget management

Pretty serious, huh?

And the stakes are high, as key areas of business depend on customer service, like customer satisfaction, competitive advantage, product development, revenue, customer retention, and brand reputation.

We’re here to help you be sharp in your interview to prove you have what it takes for this role and that you can be trusted with a brand’s reputation.

Let’s walk you through the list of customer service manager interview questions and help you create answers for each.

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General Customer Service Manager Interview Questions and How to Answer Them

These are questions aimed to uncover more about your general experience and outlook on customer service.

How would you handle a difficult customer?

Tips for answering

  • Stick to examples from your experience, not to hypothetical situations (whenever possible).
  • Describe your actions step-by-step.
  • Highlight skills like problem-solving, communication, and empathy.

Sample answer: General

Throughout my customer service experience, I’ve had many difficult clients. I always start by focusing on my approach: remaining calm and patient, carefully listening, gathering information, and staying positive. Then I focus on the customer: their problem, potential solutions, finding the best solution for their situation, apologizing for the inconvenience, and fixing the problem ASAP. I always make sure I follow company policies and stay transparent both with the customer and the company. Finally, I usually follow up with the customer to show my commitment and try to learn something new from each complaint.

Can you share an experience of de-escalating a potentially volatile customer situation?

Tips for answering

Sample answer: Retail

One time, a customer was visibly frustrated because they misunderstood a sale promotion. They picked an item that was not discounted, but discovered that only at the cashier register when they were ready to pay. They started raising their voice and being mean to our staff. I tried to de-escalate and fix the situation without breaking our company policy. I let the customer vent and spoke to them calmly, explaining the promotion terms and how the discount was applied. I found another, very similar item to which the discount was applied and offered it as a replacement, which they accepted. They softened when they saw I took their complaint seriously and thanked me for my assistance. Funny thing: whenever I was cold with some of the customers, the situation got worse. But whenever I remained calm and friendly, no matter how furious they got, we managed to find a solution beneficial to both of us.

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How do you motivate your team to provide excellent customer service?

Tips for answering

  • Define what excellent customer service means and highlight the KPIs you focus on.
  • Focus on leadership skills and display leading by example.
  • Talk about your processes for setting expectations, reviewing performance, and rewarding accordingly.

Sample answer: Hospitality

I put a lot of emphasis on growth and recognition. Each achievement is acknowledged and each major achievement is celebrated and awarded. To really motivate them, I go through our customer reviews every week and send the top reviews to our team and top management. This inspires my team to be even better. I also value personal development and provide training to help them improve their skills — each month, we cover a new area of customer development. New people shadow our veterans and veterans get to collaborate with other departments so the work doesn’t get boring. Finally, I encourage failures. This creates a friendly atmosphere that allows the team to do their best work and accept occasional failures as valuable lessons, not catastrophic events. It’s been going great so far.

How do you handle the performance evaluation process for your team members?

Tips for answering

  • Define the main KPIs and describe why you chose to focus on them.
  • Describe the evaluation process.
  • Describe how you handle outstanding vs. poor performance.

Sample answer: B2C SaaS

At the beginning of each quarter, I lay down the plan, the targets, and performance expectations so that everyone is clear on what we want to achieve. Each month we track progress and I provide feedback on areas of improvement. At the end of the quarter, during formal evaluations, I extract the data for each team member and compare it to the targets. But I also like to recognize their qualitative achievements, positive feedback from a customer or from other team members. I also encourage self-assessment so that we can be sure our insights align. Outstanding performances are always awarded and those who lag behind are encouraged and motivated to be better. I recognize poor performance but focus on development plans and finding the right fit for each employee.

What strategies do you use to ensure your team provides the highest level of customer service?

Tips for answering

  • Talk about how you hire and train team members.
  • Highlight your dedication to adaptation and innovation.
  • Focus on key values you uphold in your team (customer-centric culture, clear standards and procedures, feedback as learning opportunities…).

Sample answer: Call center

First and foremost, I’m heavily focused on onboarding, training, and constantly developing employees. As a part of the onboarding process, employees spend a month working with the product team to equip them with thorough product knowledge. Secondly, I foster a customer-centric culture, both through a careful approach to each individual customer and through analyzing customer feedback to identify strong areas and areas of improvement for both the customer service team and the product in general. Lastly, I like to lead by example, demonstrating outstanding service and working with the remainder of the team as much as possible, and being present in day-to-day matters and operations. I also try to excite the team by challenging them to give examples of good and bad customer service experiences they’ve had. It really helps them see what it’s like on the other side, how they like to be treated as a customer.

How do you respond to feedback from customers about your team or the company’s service?

Tips for answering

  • Display how feedback about the team helps you develop as a team and individuals.
  • Talk about how feedback about the product or service helps you develop it further.
  • Describe the procedure and communication between your team and other relevant teams working on customer feedback (product team, sales/marketing, accounts, housekeeping, guest services, IT…).

Sample answer: General

Any feedback is welcome. I believe feedback is the best teacher and the perfect opportunity for the entire team to see where they stand and to improve quickly. I always thank customers for taking the time to be transparent with us and I never get defensive. If there’s a valid reason for a certain action or reaction by my team, I make sure to kindly communicate that and justify it by referring to the company policy. But if not, I always assure the customer we’ll work on the issue and resolve it as soon as possible. I keep track of such things and carefully update our knowledge base and procedures, so that we minimize the risk of incidents occurring in the future.

Can you describe your strategy for improving customer service within a company?

  • List your ideas, be it constant process improvement, communication streamlining, gathering feedback, or similar.
  • If possible, highlight what strategies you used in the past and provide achievements (quantifiable).
  • Take into consideration the type of company and the industry and adjust your answer to suit them, emphasize that there’s not a one-size-fits-all approach.

Sample answer: General

I can’t give you a clear, one-size-fits-all strategy because different customer service teams struggle with different things in different companies and industries. I would start by examining the general context of the company and how customer service fits into that picture. Then I’d speak to relevant people and the customer service team to uncover unique pain points and areas of improvement. I’d pair it with the goals that need to be achieved and then create a strategy. Depending on the situation, it can be improving communication channels or measuring success differently, introducing more collaboration across departments, modifying the monitoring and feedback loops, or something else.

Pro tip: In addition to these questions, you might get asked some of the standard customer service interview questions, common for those that apply to Customer Service Representative roles. Here’s our full guide to get you covered: 13+ Customer Service Interview Questions and Sample Answers.

And here are detailed guides to help you answer some standard, common interview questions:

Behavioral Interview Questions for Customer Service Managers and How to Answer Them

Behavioral interview questions are the main group of questions you’ll hear in any management level interview.

These questions ask for particular instances from your past in which you displayed specific skills and behaviors — and recruiters ask them to discover how you’ll perform in similar situations in the future.

Here’s a detailed review of behavioral interview questions and how to answer them:

The most effective way to answer them is by using the STAR method:

  • Situation you found yourself in.
  • Task that was ahead of you.
  • Action you took to make it happen.
  • Results that followed.

Prepare answers using this framework in advance, as it will allow you to anticipate them and have a ready, well-practiced, informative answer with confident delivery.

Our Answer Builder will help you think of appropriate situations you could turn into stories. You’ll get quick tips to help you craft an answer, along with sample answers that might help you get inspired.

Having built your answer, you’ll be ready for practice.

Big Interview's Answer Builder

Describe a time when you implemented a creative solution to a customer problem.

Tips for answering

  • Showcase your problem-solving skills.
  • Emphasize your ability to think outside the box.
  • Show what motivates you.

Sample answer: B2B SaaS

In my previous company, one of our clients experienced constant technical glitches that made them miss their deadlines. Someone from their team reached out and was very frustrated. Because it was a big client, as a Customer Service Manager, I took over the case. I had to not only resolve their technical issue but also make them believe in our product again, as I saw that they were very close to canceling their subscription. Once we pinpointed the exact problems, instead of merely fixing them, I proposed another solution. We assigned one of our best tech specialists to collaborate closely with their team for the next month. He would be there to provide assistance and create a root cause analysis. He also provided personalized training to their team, which was a major win. The client renewed their contract for another year after that and thanked me for helping them. It showed me how much finding creative solutions pays off, even if it means more work occasionally.

Tell me about an instance when you had to take a leadership initiative in a difficult situation.

Tips for answering

  • Demonstrate your leadership style and skills.
  • Ideally, choose an example where you saved the company some money or resolved an issue with the team you were leading.
  • Talk about why you like leadership in the first place.

Sample answer: Retail

During a busy holiday sale, our store’s POS system crashed. Soon after, there was a long line of customers waiting to pay and getting frustrated by the time it took us to resolve the issue. I recognized how urgent the situation was so I decided to take the lead to try and resolve the problem. I grouped our available staff into two teams. One team was focused on assisting customers and processing payments manually. The other, smaller team was restarting the POS system and trying to find the solution to the technical issue. We kept the checkout line moving and quickly resolved the issue. I realized how important quick thinking is, as well as taking leadership initiative in high-pressure situations like this.

Tell me about a time when you introduced a change to the customer service process. What was the outcome?

Tips for answering

  • Demonstrate your talent for spotting bottlenecks and making innovative changes to counter them.
  • Prove you’re welcoming the changes and resisting the “This is how we’ve always done it” attitude.
  • Include quantifiable results as the consequence of tweaking processes.

Sample answer: B2C SaaS

We were struggling to allocate customer tickets in an efficient and timely way. It caused delays and a lot of frustration among our team. So I spoke to the IT team and asked if we could create some sort of an automated ticket-assigning system. They implemented an AI system that analyzed ticket content and our teammates’ individual skills and assigned tickets to the most suitable people. It was chaotic at first, as the majority of tickets went to only a handful of people while others had a lot of free time on their hands. But after several iterations, we got it just right. This made us much more efficient — within the first month, there was an average of 27% increase in response time. I think that as a team we demonstrated our adaptability and the willingness to accept change. It made us better at what we do and it enhanced customer experience.

Describe a situation where you had to manage a conflict within your team.

Tips for answering

  • Display your communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Prove you’re able to constructively end a conflict.
  • Say what you did to prevent the situation from happening again.

Sample answer: Hospitality

I worked as a front desk supervisor at a busy hotel and this one time, two of my coworkers had a conflict around who should handle a request from the guest. It was a minor disagreement and an insignificant thing to fight over, but it affected them and caused bad energy in the team. I scheduled a private meeting and listened to both sides of the story. I reminded them that we had the same goal and that’s to provide excellent service to our clients. I told them they need to take turns handling clients and created a schedule for the next week that evenly split duties between them. They agreed to my solution and the tension between them slowly disappeared. The experience taught me to act quickly if I see that my teammates are having a conflict. The longer you wait, the bigger the problem it might become.

Share an instance where you had to make a difficult decision that benefited the customer, even if it meant compromising something else.

Tips for answering

  • Choose a story that proves you’re an energetic problem-solver.
  • Clarify and provide arguments for why you made certain decisions.
  • Emphasize commitment to customers and how you balanced the short-term setback with the long-term benefits of customer satisfaction.

Sample answer: E-commerce

A few months ago, our customer received a damaged item. They were frustrated and wanted a replacement or a refund. Our standard policy requires that the customer returns the damaged item before we can ship a new one or return the money. But I noticed this will have a negative impact on customer satisfaction, as the customer told me in an email they’ll be traveling soon and bought the item as a present. Waiting for them to return the item and shipping a new one would take too much time which they did not have. So I decided to go against the company policy and sent a replacement right away, without waiting for the damaged item to be returned first. The customer appreciated my quick reaction and even left a positive review. I usually follow the rules but this experience taught me that it’s ok to break them occasionally — if it’s for the greater good.

Tell me about a time when you turned a negative customer interaction into a positive one.

Tips for answering

  • This is a general, broad question: use it to best display your past achievements, skills, and points of view.
  • Include your unique view on customer service.
  • If possible, quantify your achievements and highlight what you learned from the experience.

Sample answer

Last holiday season, a customer reached out to me. They waited for much longer than usual to receive their package. I wanted to do something nice and turn this negative experience into a positive one. So I sincerely apologized for the inconvenience and kindly explained why their package was late. And in order to make up for it, I gave them a small discount on their next purchase with us. Soon afterward, the customer got in touch to let me know they received their package and to thank me for my help and the discount. Overall, it was a nice story which highlights why I like working in customer service. If I can, I will always make someone’s day better.

To see more behavioral questions and sample answers, all tailored to CS roles, see: Behavioral Interview Questions for Customer Service

Questions to Ask Your Interviewer After the Customer Service Management Interview

To quote Michael Scott: The Office US

Seriously though, when you answer all customer service manager interview questions, the tables will turn and you’ll get the chance to ask the interviewer a few questions.

It’s important that you play it right and ask relevant, interesting questions, as that will show them that you understand the bigger picture, are curious, and researched the company and the industry before the interview.

It’ll also help you get to know the company and stand out from 90% of other candidates.

Interesting questions you could ask:

✅ How are you currently measuring customer service success? Are there any specific metrics or customer feedback processes that are particularly important?

✅ Can you tell me about a recent challenge the customer service team faced? How was it solved?

✅ Why is this position open and what did you like (or not like) that was done in the past?

✅What would you say are the key skills a successful Customer Service Manager should have?

✅ A year from now when you’re looking back on this hire, what would I have done to exceed every expectation?

✅ How is the company fostering a positive work environment in the Customer Service sector? Can you introduce me to the team’s dynamics and how collaboration is encouraged?

For more interesting questions you could ask, head here: 40+ Smart Questions to Ask at the End of Any Job Interview.

Extra Tips to Ace Your Customer Service Manager Interview

Research the company and the industry

Before the interview, you need to get as much context about the company and the industry it operates in as possible.

Research the company on Google, social media, Glassdoor, and forums to check the first-hand experience people had with them. Finding any relevant news or events related to the company will be useful, as you’ll be in touch with their recent activities.

This will help you realize what they possibly want from this role, gain the niche knowledge of the industry, address specific problems, needs, and possibilities, and adapt your approach.

You’ll also be able to ask interesting, relevant questions at the end of the interview and get a boost of confidence in general.

Tailor your answers to the job description

This will show them you’re precisely what they are looking for and that you have the exact experience and skills needed to thrive in that position and solve their problems.

You can do this by focusing on the job ad and tailor your answers to the job description.

We’re not saying you should lie just so that it looks like you’re a fit. But focusing on the keywords in a job ad will give you insight into what this role will be like and what they want from it.

Highlight transferable skills from past experience

This will prove that the skills you currently have can be successfully applied in the future in this new role — especially if you don’t have enough relevant experience. Highlighting transferable skills will help you to prove:

  • You’re relevant to the role
  • You can bring value to the employer
  • You’re adaptable and thrive in new environments
  • You have versatile experience
  • You have long-term potential

Useful transferable skills for a Customer Service Manager to have:

✅ Experience working with people

✅ Conflict resolution

✅ Customer focus

✅ Feedback reception

✅ Quality control

✅ Motivation

✅ Negotiation

✅ Analytical thinking

✅ Problem-solving

Emphasize leadership experience

Customer service manager interview questions are all about your customer service and leadership skills.

Having superb leadership skills is important for this role, as you’ll be leading a team that is constantly in high-pressure situations.

To prove you’ve got what it takes, you need to emphasize your leadership skills and experience:

  • Draw inspiration from real situations
  • Emphasize what you learned from them
  • Prepare answers in advance
  • Quantify your achievements
  • Have examples prepared for creating new strategies, updating procedures, hiring and developing people, letting people go, resolving a conflict between people, reporting to the top management
  • Talk about how you foster a safe, friendly, collaborative environment in a team
  • Bring up your take on leadership styles
  • Mention major challenges you and your previous teams faced (and how you overcame them) as well as some major wins

By sharing compelling stories, you’ll leave a strong impression, prove you’re a top-notch professional, and increase your chances of landing a job.

If you don’t have leadership experience, focus on transferable skills that come in handy in leadership roles: communication, interpersonal skills, team building, an eye for spotting people’s strengths and weaknesses, and similar.

Recall a story from your personal life, educational background, or existing experience when you took the lead (resolved a conflict or showed leadership potential by going above and beyond).

Key Points

  • As a Customer Service Manager, your duties will involve customer success, strategic vision, process improvement, people development, data analysis, crisis management, budgeting, and more.
  • Recruiters will ask you interview questions for customer service managers in order to check if you have the relevant skills and experience to be trusted with the company’s reputation.
  • Some of these questions will focus on customer service per se, but a lot will focus on your leadership skills too.
  • Be as detailed as possible and base your answers on real situations from your past.
  • Using the STAR method will help you create and practice your answers for confident delivery.
  • To really nail the interview, research the company beforehand and tailor your answers to the job ad to prove you’ve got relevant experience.
  • Practice! It’s the only way to ensure the quality of your answer and a strong delivery.


Need a hand? There are 3 ways we can help you:

  1. Tired of interviewing and not landing the job? Discover actionable lessons and interview practice here (Rated with 4.9/5 by 1,000,000 users).
  2. Discover 9 ways to sell yourself in an interview.
  3. Learn about 30+ common job interview mistakes to avoid.


What should I do in preparation for my CS management interview?

Think about your key customer service and leadership skills and the best way to combine them in your answers. Anticipate common customer service manager interview questions and prepare answers in advance using the STAR method. Research the company you’re applying for, it’ll give you niche knowledge and help you be specific in an interview.

What are the toughest interview questions for managerial positions in customer service?

Behavioral questions are probably the hardest part, especially if you haven’t prepared in advance and you don’t have the examples to base your story on. You can easily prepare by researching common behavioral questions and creating answers in advance using the STAR format. It won’t take up much of your time and you’ll come to the interview relaxed, knowing that you did your research and can’t be caught off-guard.

What makes customer service manager interviews different from interviews for non-managerial roles?

For non-managerial roles, you’ll be asked about your customer service skills only: customer focus, problem-solving, interpersonal skills, communication, negotiation, quick thinking, and similar. Interview questions for a customer service manager will assess all of those skills, plus leadership skills, your ability to spot bottlenecks and improve processes, motivate your team and help them develop, foster a positive work environment, develop strategies, and successfully report to the higher-ups.

What if I’m interviewing for my first managerial position in customer service and have little leadership experience?

Focus on your strong customer service skills. Provide qualitative and quantitative achievements. Provide examples of when you displayed leadership potential and went the extra mile to fix a problem. If applying from another industry, highlight your key transferable skills.

What to do if I only have customer service experience in a different industry?

Focus on transferable skills as they’ll prove that the experience you have can be applied in a new position too. Draw examples from particular situations in your past when you displayed key skills like problem-solving, active listening, communication, patience, empathy, platform knowledge, or de-escalating a high-pressure situation, and similar. Additionally, emphasize your ability to learn and adjust quickly, as this will prove to recruiters you’ll quickly adjust to the new industry.

Maja Stojanovic
A writer specialized in interview preparation and resume building. Spent 5+ years tirelessly seeking a meaningful, rewarding job. Which is exactly what I’ll help you find.
Edited By:
Briana Dilworth
Briana Dilworth
Fact Checked By:
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Bojana Krstic
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