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How to Answer Customer Service Interview Questions With Examples

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Before heading into an interview for any position, it is wise to prepare your answers to common interview questions. If you are interviewing for a position in customer service, you will want to showcase your communication skills and problem-solving abilities through your answers. This article will cover the most common customer service interview questions and how to effectively respond to them.

How to prepare for a customer service interview

To prepare for a customer service interview, ensure that you are fully aware of the job requirements. Compare the job requirements with your resume experiences and recognize those experiences that show your ability to meet those requirements. This will help you in answering questions that are behavioral and situational and for also giving examples.

Prior research on the company is also important. Familiarize yourself with the company’s mission, structure, culture and products. This will demonstrate that you are interested in the company and the job opportunity.

Frequently asked customer service questions and answers

Here are some of the commonly asked questions during customer service interviews:

How would you define customer service?

Interviewers ask this question just to measure your knowledge base on the job that you are applying for. It is usually asked to verify whether your definition of customer service matches their definition. The ultimate goal is to determine whether you are the best fit for the customer service position.

Example: ‘My definition of customer service is the act of taking care of all the needs of each customer as a representative of the company, and by providing helpful assistance to them during their interaction with the company.’

What is excellent customer service to you?

The interviewer seeks to understand your consideration of ideal customer service and how you plan on delivering it. You should provide specific examples of practices of excellent customer services either from your school activities or work experiences or from a customer’s point of view.

Example: ‘I consider the ultimate customer service as being knowledgeable of products being offered and having the ability to help customers make the best decisions about them. When I worked at Lake Orion Supply, I regularly familiarized myself with both the new and old products being offered to be fully aware of their performance, benefits and features to be able to make detailed recommendations to customers.’

Tell me of an instance you made an unhappy customer happy?

Sometimes, it is not an easy task to please a customer. This question is aimed to determine how far you would go to help a customer or solve their problem even in the worst situations while abiding by the policies of the company.

Example: ‘In my previous job, a customer was frustrated that they could not return a product and get a full refund. The policy of the company only allowed a refund when a product was brought back within 30 days after purchase, and the customer had extended this by three days. After calmly listening to the customer vent, I clearly explained to them how the policy worked and the reason for the strict 30-day margin. Since the customer had come all this way, I decided to help them out in their next purchase by offering a discount. The customer was grateful for my patience and the discount that went a long way to show that we cared.’

What would you do if you did not know how to help a customer?

The interviewer wants to recognize your ability to be resourceful, and how you communicate with the customer and colleagues when resolving an issue. A personal example is an added advantage. Even after undergoing extensive training and experience, there usually are unique circumstances that surpass your knowledge. The interviewer wants to know if you can calmly respond in such a situation, and how you would go about the situation.

Example: ‘If I don’t know an answer or am unsure about what to do, I don’t pretend to know more than I do. I would ask the customer to wait while I double-check my work or even ask for assistance from a coworker or manager. One time, a customer could not get their computer to start working, and after I walked them through the standard reboot steps, it still did not turn on. I apologized and asked for a few minutes to clarify some details. I went through my notes without finding a solution. Then I asked a more experienced colleague. With his help, the problem was quickly solved and I updated my notes.’

Typically, questions asked during a customer service interview include common questions, personality questions or those about customer service. Common questions could be about your educational background, skills or employment history, whereas personality questions are about your values and your work ethic. 

Tips for answering questions in a customer service interview

Here are some tips for answering customer service questions during a job interview:

  • Seek opportunities to show your understanding of excellent customer service and how to deliver effectively
  • Share appropriate examples with questions asked to make the response persuasive
  • Have a positive and enthusiastic outlook as these are qualities sought after in customer service positions
  • If possible, seek the help of a person working in customer service and consider following their advice

As the direct link of the company with a client, a customer service representative must be able to effectively communicate with clients and solve any problems brought forward. Employees in customer service positions are tasked with making sure each client is satisfied with the product as well as their experience with the company. It is critical for a customer service interviewee to showcase their communication and problem-solving skills as well as their ability to work under pressure when speaking with customers.