Customer Service is a very essential and integral part of any business. Without proper customer service, the company stands a chance of falling head over heels. This is why every business owner desires good customer care and a good customer service representative who can act responsibly and be the business’s caretakers with their communication, quick thinking, and diplomatic approach. If you fit these parameters and are interested in working tight schedules and continuous calling, apply for those daily job vacancies and leave the customer service job interview preparation strategy on us.
A person’s approach to work, communication style, interest in the field, and technical know-how of the field are four important aspects for clearing a customer service manager interview with the preparation of just some basic knowledge of customer service interview questions that we will discuss later in the article.
1. Approach to Work
Customers want all their work done for them. They expect a complete dependency solution to get everything they want with minimum effort on their side. This increases the workload on the customer service representative who has to literally stand in the shoes of the customer and guide them through their needs without getting worked up. This means a continuous positive approach to work with the intent to put into action the most necessary actions after properly prioritizing requirements. This includes:
a) Team Work
b) Situational Understanding
c) Attitude Check
d) Quick Thinking
e) Task Structuring
f) Work Prioritization
2. Technical Know-how
This profile requires some pre-conceived set of answers or a format or a template of working which provides very little room for deviation or creativity in a set format. The creative aspect arises with a new case set that is not covered or partially covered in the template book. With such fixed rules of thumb, there are some routine technical requirements that need adherence to while providing justice to requirements. Also, the new queries and problems need a solution set within a particular frameset only and only if the customer service representative knows what they are dealing with, with sound background technical knowledge to provide a good human touch, then only a proper solution can be derived at the spur of the moment. Yes..!! Creative thinking also needs a template just like one for a quick template.
Now, each aspect captures some statistical data and emotions that need to be pre-determined for maximum efficiency. For the same, there are some customer service interview questions set to capture every aspect in great detail and understand the level of understanding of the applicant. So when you are asked any customer service interview questions in a customer service manager interview, it is not because they want to know whether to hire you or not, but also to know which customer service department can benefit from your skills. So what we are going to learn here are two things:
a) How to answer the customer service interview questions posed for customer service manager posts in an interview?
b) Which type of customer service interview questions capture what kind of aspects?
We will also learn the strict Don’ts with examples if applicable.
Also Read : Quality Engineer Interview Questions
Customer Service Interview Questions with answers
1. Explain customer service in your own words.
What is expected: These customer service interview questions aim at understanding if you are aware of the difference between customer service and customer support and if your technical base about this profile is clear.
How to answer: A basic understanding of the job profile with some excerpts from previous customer service work done by self or someone else will give an idea of what to speak here. A recommended way to answer this customer service interview questions is to tell a story in the first person (even if it is not your story, make it sound like you were affected by it in some aspect) and try to make a point in a really brief while not missing out on the most important element this customer service interview questions demands conviction that you know about this field.
A good answer would be “I believe understanding the point of view of the customer and then guiding them to the most easily accepted way to a solution to their problem is customer service. It is different from customer support in two ways, one, customer support is purely technical and requires only a pre-set method of approaching the problem and, two, customer support deals with finishing the work while customer service requires the customer’s satisfaction as well. This does not mean customer support is not mandatory, but customer service is the field I am interested in.”
This answer also suits if the same customer service interview questions are twisted to “What is the difference between customer support and customer service?” or “Which is more important: customer support or customer service?”
2. Has there been an incident when you have faced poor customer service? If yes, share the experience. If not, have you ever come across any such instances from your friends, relatives, or close friends? Share the experience.
What is expected: These customer service interview questions are to delve into your thinking process. If you are on the receiving end, the method with which you behave with the customer service representative is going to evaluate how you will deal with the customer once you are on the other side.
How to answer: These customer service interview questions need an anecdote from your life or your known one’s life. An ideal person can say that they never had to face something like this before and they have no knowledge about their close ones having anything such as well, but consider this. There is nothing 100% fault-proof, which means there are some loopholes and these loopholes are bound to create some unrest somewhere. A better method will be to be prepared with an anecdote, however small it is, and weave it properly to explain the scenario. Do not try to lie here or add something not required. But make the entire scene short and yet believable. If you don’t have a story, ask your friends, research the internet or just call the customer service of any brand yourself. The aim is to get a good story and then the art of making it believable lies on your shoulders.
3. Have you any experience as a customer service representative? If yes, what was it like? What skills have you mastered from there? If not, what skills are you looking to acquire from this job?
What is expected: As the customer service interview questions are straightforward, this also is about an anecdote from your previous experience. These customer service interview questions want to map your technical understanding if you have experience in this job profile and behavioural and expectation level knowledge if you don’t have experience.
How to answer: While answering these customer service interview questions, make sure to provide relevant cases from your previous work experience. Try covering up details from your work experience. Communication skills, problem-solving ideas, anything new that you had suggested, something new that you had tried and it made a good impact, all these accounts for development and learning. If you don’t have any experience and you are appearing for a customer service job interview, you need to be clear about why you want this job. It could be building up communication skills, or learning a new profile, or earning a substantial amount, or anything that you want to change in the pre-existing methodology of delivering service. These answers serve as a platter for your selection or rejection because no one wants a liability who wouldn’t want to progress from the starting point. Also, a person who has some experience and has some knowledge can pass on the same knowledge to other people in the team in case the need arises.
4. If there is a case which requires you to work on the lines where you are not trained well or have less experience, what will you do?
What is expected: Generally, this is a trick for customer service interview questions. The interviewer is not interested in knowing if you know everything or not. They are interested in knowing that even if you have limited knowledge about the profile, still do you have the spirit to work or not. This is also aimed at finding out if you can work in a team or not. This is a customer service interview questions of interest, passion, and behaviour determination more than understanding your skills.
How to answer: These customer service interview questions need the most rapidly spoken answers on the lines of your commitment to learning new things and your spirit to incorporate those new learning in the working spectrum. Try speaking things like “I will try to learn from my peers and more experienced colleagues who might have an idea about the situation. If the process is long and time-taking, I will respectfully ask the customer if they are okay with an added person assisting in the solution process. I will also make sure that I learn about the whole scenario so that this instance does not keep me on the back foot if these situations arise again.”
This answer can be given as it is for customer service interview questions like “What if you don’t know anything about customer problems?” or “What will you do if the customer asks you to handle a situation you have never handled before?” or “What if you need the assistance of any other team member in working for a customer?” or “What would you do if multiple agents are required to work together for a job?”
Also Read : Hirevue Interview questions
5. What if the customer has had previous bad experiences with customer service and thus is being uselessly rude towards you with no mistake at your end?
What is expected: In general, the interviewer wants to know if you can handle a stressful and bad situation tactfully or not. The outcome of the call is not asked here. They want you to tell them that whatsoever be the case, all communications are always monitored and if the customer behaves unparliamentary, the supervising authority will handle the scenario but if the customer is angry due to previous experiences and is being rude, the answer is to talk normally to them and make sure they don’t feel offended. This will help the customer calm down and lay down all his problems and the customer service representative can solve them.
How to answer: The customer cannot be asked to shut up or not talk rudely. However, if the customer is angry beyond bounds, you can say that you will ask them to speak normally so that their concern could be heard. Also, you will make accurate measures to make sure the customer is comfortable first and then only can share all the details. You need to convince the interviewer that you will not lose your calm even if the customer fails to understand the same thing. A more compelling answer would be a related story that highlights when you just held your poise and helped someone in a similar situation and how you dealt with all of it. Also, if you don’t have work experience, gather up a story from your school/ college days when you had faced someone with a bad temper who needed you and how you handled the situation without losing patience. This is a virtue and if portrayed well, can always end up with fruitful results.
6. What will you do if you make an error in judgment or commit a mistake while attempting a customer query? How will you handle this situation?
What is expected: This is another trick for customer service interview questions. The only aim here is to see what mistake the candidate will make on being alleged of making a mistake they haven’t committed. Also, the interviewer wants to know that at a minor level, will the candidate take the offensive route and make a blunder or take a defensive side and try to play safe. The funny fact is that however weird it sounds, the truth is both ways are neither completely right nor completely wrong.
How to answer: The interviewer is expecting you to say something like “I will admit my mistake and make required amends,” which will make the customer very angry or might cause loss of the customer also. Also, anything like “I will try to make amends but not accept my mistake” will make things worse because the customer might know you have messed up, making them angry. A better method will be to say, “I will analyze the situation and see what went wrong. Rather than giving reasons to the customer for being angry, I will find out the best and fastest possible method to rectify the mistake. This will make the customer satisfied, and my mistake will also be corrected. Later, after we are done with the work, I will humbly apologize so that there is no loss to the company and no loss to the customer.” This is an intelligent way to dodge these customer service interview questions because direct admission of mistakes will do no good, and no access will cause a blame game which is the last thing desired at any job role. This answer though will need some rephrasing with different situations, but a plain “I will admit my mistake” or “I will say I wasn’t wrong” will never handle the situation effectively. Also, if you have a story that can speak about any such incident in the past, it will add more conviction.
7. Where do you see yourself in upcoming years?
What is expected: This is a classic where you see yourself five years down the line type customer service interview questions. It just is aimed to know if you want to progress and learn with stability or will you be a liability paid for by the company with little to no productivity and negligible efficiency. The communication and passion of the applicant are tested here.
How to answer: Speaking on the lines like “I aim at learning with my maximum potential and try to be at a higher position from the viewpoint of the capability to handle tasks and a position of being able to disseminate knowledge to my peers, colleagues, seniors, and juniors with more focus on continuous learning and development of my methodologies in a way that I can give back to my profile in a more interesting manner. I would also like to try and inspire some people to opt for this profession willfully and not out of boredom and a method of earning some quick money.” This sounds like a perfect answer covering the five-year plan but avoiding too much diversion into the unwanted territory.
These are a few quick and common customer service interview questions. Maximum iterations that can be made from these customer service interview questions have been covered and answers from different questions can be merged together to make for customer service interview questions. The most important thing that matters here is the attitude to make the interview count. Having said that, customer service is not an easy option, but with passion and dedication, this task also becomes achievable.