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Customer Service Interview Questions and Answers

Parashar Joshi
Contrary to what many people believe, customer servicing is quite a challenging field of work. It is an area of work which requires certain specific skill sets, professional qualities, and behavioral characteristics.
Customer service is often regarded as a cakewalk by many. But people do not realize that the assistance of a customer service executive proves vital in many situations and circumstances. Customer service personnel require tons of patience, politeness, the ability to think up impressive lines on the spur of the moment, good problem solving skills, and much more. If you already have these characteristics, then you need not worry about clinching the interview.
All of us get pretty nervous when appearing for an interview. Trust me, you're not alone, I row with you in the same boat. High-five to that! Jokes apart, here are some good questions and sample answers that are sure to benefit those preparing for an interview for a customer service job profile. There isn't one correct or ideal answer to these questions since each individual has a unique perspective and understanding about customer service. Yet these answers will surely create a good impression in the mind of the interviewer, as to how capable or suitable you are for a customer service position.

Sample Interview Questions and Answers

1. What does good customer service mean to you?
According to me, good customer service means ensuring that my customer leaves my office (or ends the conversation over the phone) satisfied with my service, without escalating the problem to my seniors.
2. How would you deal with an extremely irate customer?
I understand that the customer is irate because we didn't live up to our promise, so I would be very polite and ensure that he/she understands that I empathize with him/her, along with finding a quick solution to the problem.
3. Why do you think you are suitable for a customer service position?
I am suitable for this post because I understand that at times we may go back on our word, either intentionally or unintentionally, leading to mass customer dissatisfaction. I have been a part of that crowd too, which is why I would like to deliver one hundred percent customer satisfaction to those who come with their woes.
4. What kind of customer would you like to approach? A satisfied customer, a doubtful customer, or an irate customer?
I would like to approach the irate customer, because of the challenge the situation presents. Attending to a satisfied customer will not give me the chance to understand how good (or bad), I am at my job.
5. Under what circumstances would you escalate the customer's query or problem to your supervisor or boss?
I don't think there would be a need to escalate a matter, but considering dire straits, then it would be only in the case where the customer out-rightly refuses to speak to me, due to a prior bad experience while he/she was lodging a complaint with us.
6. If a customer shows up with a complicated problem five minutes before you are to leave for the day, what would you do?
I would politely tell the customer that we are closing for the day, and that he/she could visit/call us the next day. But if they insist on it being urgent, I would smile and say I am happy to help them, along with being firm with regard to the timings the next time they have a problem.
7. If you are faced with a technical product query or difficulty that you aren't well-versed with or confident about, what would you do?
I would ask the customer if he/she would be kind enough to hold the line while I transfer their call to a technical expert, since they would be able to help the customer better.
8. Do you think you have the ability to maintain your cool during a call where the customer is firing you with abusive language?
A customer chooses to abuse only when his/her needs have not been met by us, even after continued efforts to seek help in resolving the matter. Hence, the problem is ours. So I would totally understand their plight.
9. If a customer provides you with severely negative feedback or stinging criticism about your service or product, how would you take it?
I would take it with a positive attitude so that I can better myself for my next customer. After all, I am here to provide one hundred percent customer satisfaction. If I am not doing a good job, someone has to tell me, and who better than a customer to help me understand my raw attributes?
10. Do you believe in the statement that the 'Customer is the king'; what does it mean to you?
Yes, I do. If we don't derive feedback from our customers, there's no way we can analyze how good our product/company is doing. Our business would not evolve if we do not have customers catering to our field. In order to develop a good customer base, it would be my duty to give them all they want with regard to answers, services, and whatever else they would like to include in the list.

Tips to Remember While Appearing for an Interview

  • Be Punctual
  • Never sound over-confident
  • Do not talk about what your pay scale should be (unless asked)
  • Answer to the point
  • Smile
  • Appear confident
Don't indulge in sugary sweet talk just to emphasize on the politeness factor. At times, customer service personnel needs to be stern and firm. Be level-headed, calm, and composed when you answer the interviewer's questions.
Having a positive outlook is the most important need for the field, because in a day, you may have to deal with customers who may use profanity, get angry, or who may not understand your accent.
Prepare well, and be confident while answering. Also, never lie about your qualifications, as it reflects poorly on your part. Though people say a first impression is the best impression, personally, I believe that the last impression makes a lasting impression.