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Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult or angry customer and how you handled the situation?

Answer examples and advice for how to answer this interview question for a Costco interview

How to Answer
Begin by telling the interviewer that thankfully the majority of customers are pleasant to work with, and the rude customer situations are typically few and far between. Next, tell the interviewer that you understand customer service means always having a smile on your face, cheerful attitude, and pleasant demeanor. Tell the interviewer a brief overview of why the customer was angry or upset, and share how you politely made eye contact with the customer apologizing for the situation. Tell the interviewer how you took the appropriate action to rectify the situation such as offering a coupon for the next visit, and be sure to mention how the customer left feeling better about the situation.

View user-submitted Answers

Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult or angry customer and how you handled the situation?
1.
I had a lady that was upset that the bag she had purchased was bigger than she expected. I apologized and showed he bags that were similar but smaller.
2.
I would try to calm down the customer and find out what the problem is and try to help them with the problem.
3.
I had a customer one day when I was working on the service desk that was returning a budget drill. You could see it was well used and I could tell by the guys shirt he was in the building industry. He was very upset that he was sold junk as he called it. I told him that I just needed to speak to a supervisor in relation to what we should do. I phoned the coordinator relayed all the information and in the end I was advised to give him an exchange or refund as he was a potential customer that would spend a lot more money with us in future years.I kept calm and sympathized with him and he calmed down and exchanged his drill.
4.
At my other job I wouldnt sell beer to someone so I stayed calm and called a manager.
5.
I had a customer call me not knowing how to work the item he just purchased, I had him pick up the instructions and re- read them.
6.
I would understand the situation, try to calm the customer and keep him at cool. Then I would look into solving the issue first and if its beyond my control I would request help from my manager.
7.
One customer was never satisfied with any of the food she had received, so I made sure I listened to what exactly she wanted, I went inside, and I asked the kitchen to remake an order for me. I made sure I stayed there when she got the correct order. She was disappointed with the extra cost, but she was happy that her order was fixed and made with her special requests.
8.
I smiled and remained calm and listen to the complaint . I fixed the mistake and the customer let happy.
9.
I listened to the problem and apologized figured out a solution and fixed it. Then thanked them.
10.
Listened, asked questions, explained gave my full attention.
11.
Well working at sobeys and being in retail for 19yrs, Ive dealt with alot of angry customers, from something not on the self to not liking a cake orker, I would deal w.
12.
A customer was not happy with a cake order they received. So I offered to redo the cake and management gave them a discount.
13.
I remained calm, and then politely asked the customer to explain the situation, and did my best to help resolve the situation- and if I couldn’t help, then I would make sure I could locate another employee that could.
14.
First, by listening exactly what the issue is without interrupting, and apologise for creating their unpleasant experience and resolve the situation quickly.
15.
I let them know that they have been heard and addressed them directly which defused the situation.
16.
Working in the grocery department the most common angry customer situation would come when we were out of a product, especially around the holidays. Pumpkin pie filling was always in high demand so we ran out if it more often than we would like to admit. When customers would get angry, I would show them on our PDA that we were out and offer to call them when more product came it.
17.
I calmed the customer down and then straightned out the situation to the best of my ability.
18.
There was a time when I was a unit secretary I was sitting with a patient in his room he was irritable and a little violent, he even tried to hit one of the nurses. I went over to the bedside and held his hand calmly and tried to de-escalate the situation by being real calm and talking him down of being agitated.
19.
I try to calm the customer down and speak with my superviser.
20.
First you would keep calm give the member full attention and when customer finish venting you show empathy and you use words like sorry that you are upset then you would repeat beach to customer to show you were listening then come up with a solution by telling customer you will get back to him and give the member your contact information and giving a time you would get back.
21.
Listen first, think for a moment & solve the problem at hand to customers satisfaction.
22.
This one time, I had a customer who was angry because we did not have an item that she was looking for. I apologized for the inconvenience and told her that I could have one of my supervisors check and see if we would be getting the item in. I also suggested trying a different store that might have what she needed.
23.
Identify the problem and reassure the customer and try to resolve the problem so we keep that customer coming back.
24.
Get the full history of problem and figure out a way to resolve the problem so the customer is happy and comes back.
25.
The time when I deal with an angry customer I tried to stay calm, I tried not to take it personally, I used my listening skills I apologized gracefully and I found a solution to fix the problem and make the client happy and good impression for the company.
26.
Patience is always important. I would of course do my best to do what the customer needs.
27.
In a calm and patient manner.
28.
I have never had a problem with a customer. If I had one I would ask another worker to help me with the customer.
29.
I have never worked in retail but I have encountered a time when I had an angry coach when I was umping. The coach did not agree with my call, so I then ask what the issue was and explained what the rules were and how it was supposed to be.
30.
First, I apologized for the problem they felt occured, asked them if they would express what had been unsatisfactory to them as a member, reinterate what they had explained so as to thouroughly understand what their experience was, then ask if they would accept a possible resolution they would be satified with. I would also ask them if they would like to speak with a manager or submit a complaint. I would keep them the sole focus throughout.
31.
When dealing with an angry customer, I smiled as to not appear offended, I apologized to the customer, and I informed the customer that I will get a manager for additional assistance.
32.
I had a customer that was very upset when one of my co workers send our customer to the wrong aisle, he started to yell at me and I apologized for the wrong direction and told him I will take to the right aisle to the item he was looking for. He then apologized and thank me for being helpful instead of just sending him to another aisle.
33.
An experience I encountered working as a part time merchandise stocker at Coles, a customer who was caught shoplifting was stopped as he attempted to leave the store without paying. He became irrate and threatened employees, security was immediately called, in the mean time we talked to him calmly and assured him that we the police would not be called (which they were).
34.
As a CSM for CROSSMARK; Listen, restate what you heard from the customer and ask what they need.
35.
Serving foreign people can have it ups and downs. I accidentally booked to rvs for the same spot and the man came in livid at me. I was empathetic, and very respectful. I told him I would pay for a canoe ride in the morning on the lake to apologize for my mistake.
36.
I took them aside and agreed to make the situation right with them, customer satisfaction is very important.
37.
When I worked as a chef. Even though the customer was wrong, I still put in my smiling face and told the customer we are sorry, and fix the problem.
38.
When I was a chef, and I handled it wisely without making the customers more upset.
39.
Listen to their problem and try to solved it.
40.
So far I never have had an angry customer.
41.
In situations like that I stay Calm and always be nice and polite to them.
42.
43.
Asked them what the problem was and if I can help the resolve it. If I could not I would direct them to my store manager.
44.
If I cant help I take the customer to the manegar.
45.
A time I had to deal with a angry customer and how I solved the situation was by listening and understand there situation and coming up with a plan to solve it.
46.
I have not been employed before, but I have had someone very angry at me. My friend was disappointed for something I do not remember what it was, but I listened carefully to everything he had to say. I then proceeded to try and reason with him and cool him down. I listened and made sure to stay reasonable and keep him from doing anything rash. I was successful in calming my friend down by listening and being respectful.
47.
Apologize for the inconvenience, try to help them and make sure they leave happy.
48.
I would try to figure out why they are upset and try to serve them. If they refuse I would direct them to my boss or manager.
49.
When there were to flat beds and no assistant member got fustrated and after few calls assistant came.
50.
There were a time a customer had a service done by one of my co worker, and she wasnt happy with the service and she was quite upset. And she wanted someone else to fix it, and I came over gave her a smile and introduced myself, and I told her dont worry I will fix it for you, and she got happy after all.
51.
First try to calm the customer down, find out what's wrong then offer my help to solve the problem.
52.
I had a lady buy a quilting machine from me, it wasn't long after that the manufacture of the machines made new upgrades to new models coming out in the new year (like cars) She was angry at me for not telling her that the new machines had "XYZ" & I should have told her about the upgrades. I had no knowledge that these upcoming upgrades were on the rise. I offered to take her machine (at my expense) & in turn she could have a new machine for the same price she paid originally for the older model. I offered her free education in operating her machine in private lessons with me one on one. She was taken back by all of this & said " oh no I couldn't do that to you, I just wanted to let you know I felt misinformed, but now I see that you honestly strive to make customers happy & that you are trustworthy. I offered her my cell phone number & told her any time she wanted to contact me for any reason, I was available to her. A year or so later, she purchased a computer system for her machine from me because she liked how I did business. She also recommended me to a friend in selling her a machine.
53.
Well first I tried to stay calm and listen to the customer. Hear them out, try to empathize and find a solution to their problem.
54.
While I work produce, I did have to handle floral sales when no one was present in that department. Once a woman came in for a pick up for some very specific roses, carnations, and for lack of a better term, fluff, like baby's breath. She was livid that the white roses she ordered were a slightly-yellow color, that her pink roses were a salmon color, and that their was not enough of the fluff. I first tried to work with her and meet her eye-to-eye on the issue, that yes, the flowers were not perfectly the colors she asked for but I can look in back and see if we have anything closer to what she needed. Unfortunately, we did not. The next way to offer a solution I offered to try getting the manager on the line even though she was home. The manager did not pick up. Finally, I directed them to the service desk on the off-chance they could contact another jewel and see if they have the flowers she wanted on hand, either to deliver to our store tomorrow or so that she could pick them up tonight.
55.
I have never dealt with an angry costumer before, but if I had to deal with one I would calmly address the situation and reason with them and if they were still causing the scene I would ask them to leave.
56.
I would assure the customer the problem would be resolved and stay calm so the customer feels more at ease that the situation will be resoved.
57.
My experience has been if you are attentive and listen and let them unburden themselves they will eventually calm down. Then resolve the issue.
58.
Keep calm, handle things as professionally as possible. If this doesn't help diffuse the situation then seek advice from supervisor or manager.
59.
Above all I remained calm while the client was raging after the phone went dead I called him and apologized for being disconnected.

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