I also ask for an example of a recent conflict and how it was resolved. Boilerplate questions don’t reflect the reality of support. I would also give them a timeline for a solution and make sure they felt valued by thanking them for their feedback.”. Customer Service Scenario 1: Angry customer An angry customer is something just about every seasoned business owner has witnessed. Granted, it can be a challenge to have a forthright conversation with a person who has been hand-picked to deliver a glowing review, but the right attitude (and some good questions) will go far. What to look for in an answer: “I would apologize, tell them I completely understand how they feel and assure the customer that my team is currently working to fix the problem. I encourage managers to take potential support hires out for coffee. Appeasing an irate customer is no easy task, but delighting them can be even more challenging. Reading between the lines, what do a candidate’s stories say about their penchant for patience, their willingness to help, or their talents as a team player? Ask this question to find out if a candidate knows how to respond calmly and efficiently in these situations. right. Are they always looking to learn new skills? That’s no good, because you’re searching for creativity; work isn’t a multiple choice test. You know what you consider to be great service; does your candidate have the same high expectations? By revisiting important areas, you give them the best chance to reveal their character and skills to you. Instead, complement your must-ask questions, your “zigs,” with a few questions that “zag.”. What do you think they could have done differently to make it better? Can you give an example of how you handled alerting a customer when your product/service caused a major problem? When responding to a customer, how do you decide what information to include and what to leave out? People who can talk about their interests and carry on a casual conversation typically perform well in a customer service role. What to look for in an answer: “Teamwork is essential for success as a customer service rep. At my last job, I worked closely with a cohesive team. Have you ever dealt with an unreasonable customer? Where do you see this role taking you? We regularly pooled our knowledge and resources to address tricky customer complaints and handle a large amount of incoming calls during peak times. Give a specific instance and explain how you handled it. Tell me about a time when you were trying to convince somebody to do something. I really like what you’re … When they’re new, they’ll face many questions in the queue that will leave them stumped. Help Scout alum Ivana Flodr has honed her technique down to a particularly revealing pair of questions. Most people will respond warmly (“A 9!”), but her follow-up coaches more candor into the dialogue: “How could they get to a 10?”. Describe a situation where you weren’t satisfied with your job. You need to find conversational side doors to draw these qualities out by asking questions that require a story to answer. Even a very junior candidate may have prior retail experience to draw from. Can you tell me about a situation with a customer when there wasn’t a clear policy to use and you needed to make a judgment call? Every company’s customer service stack is different, but it’s an added bonus if a candidate has past experience using ticketing systems, CRMs and collaboration tools, or has the desire to learn new technologies and systems. They surprise no one, they won’t surface an ability to thrive under pressure, and their limited framing begets limited answers. 23. If a candidate carefully addresses each point you’ve asked them to discuss, that means they’re an engaged and sincere listener. Usually, a senior member of your company (e.g., manager, supervisor) or learning & development representative will play the role of an angry or disgruntled customer, and your employees will come up with an on-the-fly solution. Situational interview questions focus on how you’ll handle real-life scenarios you may encounter in the workplace, and how you’ve handled similar situations in previous roles. *Indeed provides this information as a courtesy to users of this site. A person who can’t be bothered to say “please” and “thanks” is not a person who should be in the business of professionally making other people happy. Making effective decisions – example interview questions. What was the final outcome? It can give them time to formulate their thoughts, and it can also result in them revealing more than they initially intended. The question often lowers people’s guards and gets them talking about both a candidate’s shortcomings and their ability to improve. I’m closely paying attention to how they describe the actions of others; you don’t want them to harshly blame anyone else, but objectively assess the situation and how they tried to resolve it.”. 11. Why is that subtext so important? What interests you about customer service, in particular? The first five questions on our list help you find candidates who share your underlying beliefs about the role customer service plays in an organization. The best candidates will be able to walk you through their approach to situations where they didn’t immediately have an answer. 19. Give an Example/Role Play Questions. Good candidates will be able to explain why customer service matters to a business and give clear examples of good and bad service. I was voted Most Outgoing at my last job and small talk is one of my talents.”. How did you hear about our company? Can you tell me about a time when you received poor customer service? What to look for in an answer: “I have extensive experience using live chat software, JIRA for ticketing and Zendesk for customer relationship management. Company policy only allowed me to offer the customer store credit since he didn’t have a receipt. Get people to commit with one question (“What are you a perfectionist about?”) and then dig deeper with a second (“When has this created conflict between you and someone else?”). What to look for in an answer: “I’m definitely a people person! Ask this question to determine if a candidate is willing to go the extra mile for a customer, even in a tense situation. If so, how? What’s the last new skill you learned? The same answer can be packaged in wildly different ways according to a customer’s temperament, and it’s important to know if your future teammate can adapt their tone. 8. This section is an opportunity for your best candidates to stand out by explaining how they talk or write to customers. What was your approach, and how did it end up? In the answers, you need to hear specific, true stories of past service experiences. Look for people who show humility and take responsibility for their mistakes. Because you need to appraise their ability to break down complex ideas into relatable, easily understood steps; one of the most fundamental support skills. Observing how someone interacts with the outside world will speak volumes about their self-awareness and personal motivations. Can you describe a time when you had to say no to an important customer’s request? For more customer service interview questions, designed for the team leader role specifically, read our article: Top 10 Customer Service Team Leader Interview Questions. Exceptional customer service is all about maintaining a positive and friendly attitude that makes a good first impression and leaves a lasting one.”. Questions 16-18 are designed to measure candidates’ communication skills. Think creatively, establish a system, and then stick to it. 13. Customer service representatives are the first point of contact for your customers, acting as the face of your company and driving loyalty, retention and acquisition. What did you do with that feedback? Sarah Judd Welch employs this tactic by inquiring about advocacy: “I ask them to give an example of a time they advocated on behalf of someone else. How did you handle it, and how would you handle it today? Do all of their examples lead to someone else made a bad decision and that’s why didn’t work? Often, the best stories will come out when candidates have had a few minutes to think about an earlier question. What went wrong? 15. What do you think makes a good teammate? There’s no greater skill for customer service employees than the ability to communicate clearly and with the appropriate level of detail. Describe a negative interaction you had in a customer service situation with a different company. With Help Scout you can share email inboxes with your team, chat with customers, and create self-service content — all in one place. 12. Ask every candidate the 23 customer service interview questions below to get the information you need to hire top talent. Why did you choose that skill, and how did you learn it? Why? How would you define good customer service? What’s the next book I should read? Try not to rush to fill the silence; it’s okay to let your candidates sit quietly before they answer a question. Have you ever bent the rules in assisting a customer? Ask a question that has nothing to do with the product: “Who’s the most underappreciated hero/heroine in any story?
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