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Answering Behavioral Questions

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Tell me about a time when you had to address an angry customer. What was the problem and how did you resolve it?

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TOP ANSWERS
OUR COACH SAYS
Example #1
"(Situation) Last year, I worked in a retail customer care center of a company with many service complaints. (Task) As a Customer Care Representative, I had to navigate angry customer experiences more times than I would have liked. (Action) To cope, I took the stance that people who are upset want to be heard and respected. I would listen, empathize, and reassure the customer that I am there to support them and resolve the matter. If I needed to check on an order or get back to the customer, I would set expectations to explain what I was doing and when they would hear back. (Result) I am proud to say that I successfully turned more detractors into promoters than anyone else in that organization."
Example #2
"(Situation) In my current role, I address angry customers daily. (Task) As an Administrative Assistant, I often encounter people who are upset about being asked to hold. (Action) When this happens, I 'kill them with kindness' by profusely thanking them for their patience and letting them know they now have my full attention. (Result) I would say this communication approach works 99% of the time."
Example #3
"(Situation) I once worked at a call center that took high volumes of client disputes. (Task) As the Call Centre Manager, I took many escalations from angry customers. (Action) I remember one instance quite well. The customers' order was missing items. When I told her that our policy was to send the order back for a refund, she blew up. She just wanted us to ship the missing pieces. I decided to comply, as it was not worth upsetting her further. (Result) The customer ended up getting a refund in the end and was satisfied. After this situation, I spoke with our corporate head office about the possibility of changing our return policies."
Example #4
"(Situation) Just last week, a customer called our design team because he was unhappy with a particular design we were creating for him. (Task) As the Marketing Manager, it was up to me to fix the situation. (Action) I called the client and reassured him that we would modify the design to his liking before finalizing the project. After we spoke further, I realized he was feeling uncomfortable, not being a part of the decision-making every step of the way. I remained patient, listened to his concerns, and reassure him that we would satisfy his requests. (Result) As a result of the conversation, we were back on track and delivered a stellar design in the end."
Example #5
"(Situation) One specific instance relates to the rollout of my current employers' new return policy. (Task) As a cashier, I had to request identification from any customer making a return without a receipt. (Action) One customer became irate after being asked for ID. She assumed it was a race issue. I took a step back and explained the 'why; of the new policy, and assured her it was a new company-wide policy. (Result) After taking the time to hear her concerns, validate why she would be upset, and explain it all in context, she handed over her ID and apologized for her explosion."
Example #6
"(Situation) Recently, a client was delivered a damaged piece of goods that we sold him. For a $30,000 piece of inventory, he was understandably agitated. (Task) As his Key Account Manager, it was up to me to turn the situation around. (Action) Within five minutes of receiving his angry email, I hopped on the phone with him to address the issue. I had my COO and Director of Operations in the room, so he would feel that the issue was being taken care of by upper management. (Result) Through a 10-minute conversation, we resolved his issue, bought back the piece of inventory, and had a pick-up arranged for that very afternoon. The client was so happy with our proactive approach that he committed to buying another five pieces of inventory that same week."
Example #7
"(Situation) Last year, I had a parent upset that their child experienced exclusion from Spanish class. (Task) As the primary Spanish teacher, the parent chose to come to me. (Action) I looked into the situation and found that the exclusion was due to the students' IEP and special services scheduling. The student went to speech and social work during my Spanish class. This fact didn't stop the parent from showing frustration with me, so I was sure to find time to sit down and speak with her, and show that I heard her frustration. I asked our principal to join us, as well. (Result) We were able to figure out a better schedule for the following semester that would allow her child to attend Spanish class. By showing that I understood her frustration and was willing to work with her, she softened and was thrilled that we were so receptive to her concerns."
Example #8
"I'm not bothered anymore by rude or angry passengers. My experience as a cab driver in a heavily-populated area has taught me how to deal with frustrations brought about by traffic, the rush hour, personal emergencies, or intoxication."
Example #9
"One time, there was a woman who was complaining that she didn't get her order yet and that she had been waiting for 40 minutes. She was really yelling at the top of her lungs, which naturally stressed me and my staff out. I stayed calm though and reminded myself that nobody should have to wait that long and that I wouldn't want my mother waiting that long.

I apologized to her and asked her what the problem was. I acknowledged that it should never have happened, and then I gave her what she needed. On top of that, I gave her a credit on her next order, that way she'll be encouraged to come back and give us another chance to give her good service."
Example #10
"As a nurse in the pain clinic, we had a patient in one day that was demanding more narcotics for her pain. She had walked into the clinic without an appointment to demand another prescription. As the only nurse in a small clinic that day, I sat the patient down to talk to them. I used a calm voice and listened to what they were asking for. After listening, I explained that I would need to check their records for their last prescription and speak with the attending physician in the clinic that day. After seeing that their last prescription was written many months ago and the patient had missed their last appointment, I was able to talk to the physician to get another prescription written. Once prescribed, I explained to the patient how it was important for them to keep their regularly scheduled appointments and she walked away happy."
Example #11
"I did a lot of research on different travel nurse companies and started
following some social media blogs for travel nurses. I was able to read other nurse's
Stories about their experiences. Many of them gave tips for getting started. I am so glad
I decided to become a travel nurse!"
Example #12
"One time, a customer was yelling and cursing about how it was taking too long for his turn to be accommodated. I knew that his behavior was due to frustration so I didn't take it personally. Instead, I apologized and gave him the opportunity to reschedule. He declined, so I offered him refreshments and books to read to keep his mind off waiting. He later apologized for his behavior and thanked me for being considerate. When it comes to handling unhappy customers, I believe it's always important to keep your cool, be friendly, and try to see things from the customer's perspective"
Example #13
"I would remain calm and professional as I must ensure to adequately represent the company at all times. I would calmly listen to the passenger so he/she has a chance to be heard, and then would do my very best to assist him/her in a timely fashion. Should I be unable to solve his/her issues, I would immediately get in touch with my superior, or a more experienced colleague should my supervisor be unavailable."
Example #14
"All companies have challenging associates and I have had my fair share. In my current role, we had one associate who behaved unprofessionally and it brought down the team. I partnered with their manager to implement a performance improvement plan and take measures for corrective behavioral action. We intended to guide and help the associate to turn their behavior around. It's important that we uphold company standards and ethics across the board. Unfortunately, this associate was unable to do so within our 30-day timeline, and arranged for the associate's termination."
Example #15
"I will first ask the parent to calm down. After the parent calms down, I shall ask for his/her concern so I can start addressing them. It is important that during the discussion, I empathize with them and tell them that I understand where they are coming from yet still making sure that all their concerns are addressed truthfully and accordingly. However, if the parent does not calm down, I will respectfully but sternly communicate that being angry will not solve anything and so he/she has to calm down so we can discuss the matter as how mature adults should."
Example #16
"When lines are long, I like to ensure that everyone on the teller line has a smile on their face and apologizes for the delay when the customer gets to the counter. Most of the time, a friendly greeting and recognition of the inconvenience are enough."
Example #17
"I would always calmly explain to them, in as simple language as possible, how the issue can be solved. To rectify the problem, I will need to evaluate their concerns and what went wrong. If the issue is beyond my control, I will not hesitate to ask those in authority to help the customer address the problem."
Example #18
"After a game when a parent approaches me that is clearly upset and is concerned about playing time, I generally ask them to set up a meeting with the player and myself for after practice. I like letting after one cool down prior to having the conversations because I believe it makes everyone more level-headed."
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