It is essential to a hiring company that you are someone who is willing to learn new skills. Being eager to add to your professional repertoire is an excellent way to stand out from the competition. Some new skills related to customer service can range from linguistic to communication, to software capabilities. If there is a skill that you want to learn, and have not yet taken advantage of, you can mention your interest.
"The last customer service skill that I learned included a course on dispute resolution management. I feel this course helped me a great deal when it comes to my confidence level, and working with disgruntled customers. I would like to take the advanced level of this course, as a follow-up."
"The last customer service skill that I learned was how to use the Oracle CRM for timely client follow up. Our company just moved to this software, and I am amazed at the difference it makes in our response time and customer personalization."
"I recently took a 'Communication for Managers' workshop and am thrilled with the outcome, and everything that I learned. Not only did I pick up some new customer resolution skills but I have added to my sales capabilities as well."
"Clear communication is everything so for that reason I recently attended a webinar on professional communication within marketing. I learned some excellent tips on ensuring clients are onboarded properly from the start."
"In my current position, I was given the opportunity to take a class in empathetic listening. This skill is one that everyone should have. I learned a lot about consistent and professional messaging when dealing with customer disputes."
"The last customer service skill that I have worked on is the use of positive language, through every situation. This mindset shift has allowed me to turn unhappy customers into customers who spend more, and also give valuable referrals."
Language barriers can be a challenge, primarily if you work in the customer service industry where delivery of expectations is everything. Here are a few ways that you can overcome a language barrier: - Use simple-to-understand language - Use visuals when communicating - Repeat the essential parts of the conversation - Remain patient and respectful Show the interviewer that you can remain professional, even when a situation may not be as simple or easy to get through, as you would like.
"If I had a customer who was challenging to understand I would make sure to repeat the most important parts of the conversation; whether that be one sentence or a single word. It's important to me that my customers clearly understand what I am offering, and that I clearly understand how I can meet their needs."
"I have taken many phone calls in my administration career and have spoken to many people whose native language is not my own. I like to slow the conversation down and then I will follow up with an email to ensure clarity and that we are on the same page. Sometimes reading an email is easier than a verbal conversation when a language barrier is present."
"When I have customers who do not speak the same language as I do or are culturally very different from me, I ask them questions and then carefully dig deep until I know that we are on the same page."
"If I have a customer who is challenging to understand I will send them our intake questionnaire for them to fill out at their own pace. By allowing someone room to think, I am giving them the space they need to be better communicators. This added time and less pressure can create a much clearer working relationship."
"I feel that visuals often help when the language barrier is strong. If a customer is looking for a specific garment, for instance, I will ask to see pictures, or I will bring pictures up on the store's directory or website. It's amazing what a simple nod of the head, yes or no, can do."
"Repeat, repeat, repeat! This rule is one that I live by when it comes to communicating with customers of all types. I will take the parts of our conversation and repeat them until I am 100% confident that we are communicating as well as possible."
Everyone has had a negative review from someone at one point in their career. What the interviewer would like to see is that you can bounce back professionally from a negative customer review. If the review was warranted, discuss what you were able to learn from the experience or the feedback that you received.
"I once received feedback that I am not as 'warm' as I could be when talking on the phone. That feedback came as a surprise to me but, I took it to heart, regardless. I worked on implementing more casual conversation in my client calls and remember to keep a smile on my face as well. I have not heard this feedback since."
"I had a client call my boss once because she felt I was not dressed professionally enough for my secretarial role. I admittedly was wearing a more casual outfit than normal. I am now always sure to beware of my appearance and will put a little extra effort in because of that feedback."
"I have received negative feedback from customers in the past, and always when the customer has not been delighted with the outcome of their dispute. The company that I have worked for, for the past ten years, has a very stringent return policy. Unfortunately, this means that I do disappoint more people than I would like. I am looking to join an organization that will allow for more flexible offerings when it comes to client dispute resolution."
"My agency as a whole has received very few negative client reviews. We did have an upset client a few months ago and, unfortunately, I was the project manager for that particular account. The client felt that we could have delivered our work faster, even though we did not miss a single deadline. I took this review into account and am now sure to outline client expectations at the start of each project."
"The store where I work allows customers to leave anonymous feedback at the till. I have received one negative review, commenting that I could 'smile more.' Apparently, when I concentrate, I can appear unhappy! I am glad that this trait was brought to my attention so that I could work on correcting it."
"Negative customer reviews are great learning opportunities. I had a client recently comment to my manager that I was too aggressive in my approach. To me, as a business development professional, I want to make sure that my approach is confident but never off-putting. I now know how to better interact with that client and clients of similar personalities."
It may seem like splitting hairs, but it is not. Customer support often requires more technical abilities, and customer service is more of a positive approach, helping your company to keep customers happy. Sometimes a customer service agent will be on the frontlines and will need to escalate a customer issue to the support team. Give the interviewer your best understanding of service versus support.
"I understand customer support to be a larger term than customer service. Someone can be a customer service agent without being able to offer ample support that a client may need. It's important to offer both; however, a member of the support team will likely be better trained with special technical skills."
"I offer customer service to everyone that walks into the office. This service includes helping them get where they need to go, offering them water, and making their next appointment. I view customer support as an additional offering. Support is a term I save for when a task is aimed at helping the client overcome a problem."
"Customer service and customer support are often confused. I have two teams. My service team will gather the data, and my support team will deploy the actual solution."
"I believe that customer service and customer support go hand in hand, but they are very different concepts. Support requires more technical based skills and service is based more on company values and delivery."
"I am very well versed in both customer support and customer service. Customer service is more issue related such as helping a customer who wants a refund or is upset about their experience. Customer support is more geared to rewards programs, add-ons, perks, and promos."
"In my experience, customer support is more related to services that offer ongoing support to the customer, such as technical solutions. Customer service is more the day-to-day interactions with a customer when they need a resolution to a specific situation."
This question is a simple one to answer if you have a good memory! Before your interview, you should jot down the names of all software and programs that you have used in your current, and previous roles. Be prepared to discuss the programs that you are most experienced with. Once you have this list, you can also add these details onto your resume. Some of the most popular CRM's include: - Zoho - Oracle - HubSpot - Salesforce - NetSuite - Microsoft Dynamics
"I have approximately two years of experience with Zoho CRM, and it's Google integration. I see in your job posting that you use Salesforce which I am confident that I can learn quickly."
"I have worked with a couple of different CRM programs in my career. Primarily, Salesforce and Oracle. The companies I have worked for have all been enterprise-level organizations, requiring higher levels of CRM support and options. Could you share with me which programs you use here?"
"In my current role, we use NetSuite, so I have approximately three years' experience in that program. In my previous companies, we used Microsoft Dynamics which is also a great CRM. Do you use either of these? I am a quick study and am confident I could learn to navigate your system quickly."
"We use a variety of systems in my current role, both in customer management and project management. I am best versed in Oracle and HubSpot. For other management software, I use Slack and Trello quite often."
"I am savvy on our point of sale systems but have not worked with a specific CRM in the past. If you would like to share with me the programs you use here, I would love to take the initiative and watch some online tutorials on the program."
"I primarily use Salesforce to document my client pipeline and managing the projects that I have on the go as well. Do you use Salesforce in your organization? Programs like this are lifesavers for all business development professionals."
The interviewer would like to ensure that you are set up for success, should you be the successful candidate. There are many tools that you could use excel in your job but remember - the most significant tool you possess is an excellent attitude and a great team backing you. Discuss with the interviewer what you think you will need to deliver exceptional service to their clients.
"The main thing that I will require, to deliver exceptional customer service, is great training. The better I know the products and systems within the organization, the more wholly I will be able to help my customers."
"To deliver excellent customer service all I truly need is a great attitude! Aside from that, I appreciate having a company that empowers me to make decisions that benefit the company and serve the client at the same time."
"Thank you for asking! To deliver the best customer service, I appreciate having solid customer guidelines to follow. I perform best when expectations are well laid out, for myself and my team."
"To deliver the best to my customers regarding service, I like to have a solid process in place for deliveries as well as firm deadlines and expectations in place before a project begins. The more organized, the better."
"In retail, strong delivery of customer service is incredibly important. For me, I can ensure that I deliver great service by possessing an excellent level of knowledge of our products, both their features and benefits."
"Excellent customer services is a must, and I am best prepared to deliver above my client's expectations when I have the right tracking and automation tools. The less I am bogged down by paperwork, the more I can sell and deliver expectations all around."
If you are in the customer service realm, you have likely heard it all! Although most people are lovely, you will come across the odd customer who seems to want to make your life miserable or take advantage of you and the company for which you work. Without turning the conversation to a negative, hypothetically discuss what you would do if a customer were lying.
"I believe that people are innately good and most customers would not lie to gain something for free. With that said, if I did catch a customer lying to me, I would ask questions in a way that let on I was aware of their strategy, without telling them outright that I was aware of the lie."
"It is important to me that I have a good working relationship with my customers. If they were lying to me, I would bring it up in a tactful way. I would let them know that a good working relationship is important and valuable."
"I have been through it all with my customers over the years and have learned that it's important to let things go unless they are going to hurt your company, reputation, or the client. If a customer will lie to me to get a discount, or if they found a loophole, I would work around that specific situation with them but would also try not to give the situation more energy than it was worth."
"For a project to run smoothly, it's important that we are always clear and transparent with our clients. I ask them the same of my clients in return. If they are lying to me, I do let them know that it will not do us any favors when it comes to the end product."
"I have been raised to believe that honesty is the most important virtue one can have. For that reason, I would hope that my customers would be as honest with me as I am with them. But, you cannot control how other people behave. If the situation were serious, I would bring it up with my manager and allow them to take action if required."
"Customers will often inflate numbers or other facts to get what they want. In sales, you see a lot of odd behavior. I do not let it bother me unless they are trying to run a detrimental scam, for instance. Otherwise, I am sure to take notes in our CRM, so my team is aware of the customers' past behavior."
You will want to approach this question as a hypothetical one. Hopefully, you have never become downright angry with a client! The interviewer would like to see that you possess self-control and professionalism, even during the most challenging situations. Give the interviewer an example of what may cause you to become upset but assure them that you would never lose your temper with a client on the job. You can also discuss the ways that you maintain your composure whether that be taking a quick break, going for a walk, or having a quick laugh with a coworker.
"Thank goodness I have never lost my temper with a customer. I am very easy going, but I would be more likely not to be if a customer were disrespecting a team member or becoming verbally abusive in any way."
"I cannot imagine losing my cool at work, but if anything pushed me to the edge, it would be a client with racist or misogynistic comments. I have zero tolerance for any behavior like that and would for sure say something to them. With that said, it would not be with a lost temper - it would be with a stern tone. If I am feeling a shorter fuse, in the workplace or at home, I will take a few deep breaths and remind myself that the situation is not as serious as it may feel in the moment."
"If I feel that my patience level with a client is reaching a breaking point, I will let them know that I need to run into a meeting and will call them back in 30 minutes. This time, and break, would give me the space that I needed to compose myself and come up with a better approach. I will always remain professional in the workplace."
"Losing my temper is something that I do not do very often at all. I am a calm and collected individual for the most part. With that said, if a customer were pushing me that hard I would find a way to get myself some distance and room to breathe so that I could come back to the situation with a fresh set of eyes and a better attitude."
"I have seen coworkers lose their temper on customers and it is always uncomfortable to witness. I have never lost my temper on a client. I do not like communicating with people who are aggressive and interrupt a lot, but I can always walk away from an uncomfortable situation, choosing not to engage with the customer."
"In sales, customers often make a lot of demands, wanting to negotiate terms, and sometimes in very rude or unreasonable ways. No matter the circumstances, it is never okay to lose your temper on a customer. If I felt that I was getting close to an unprofessional move, or comment, I would ask a co-worker or my boss to help me out with the situation. Asking for help can show maturity, and is not a sign of weakness."
Of course, you do not want to answer that you don't like people. That type of answer would be a nightmare for any interviewer to hear! Perhaps you are more of an introvert who does not feel energized after hanging out with large amounts of people. That is okay, and you do not need to pretend to be someone you are not. Share the types of people or situations that you enjoy. It's essential to maintain a positive angle when addressing this question.
"I like being around people who are positive and energetic. I find these types of individuals to be motivating and refreshing to be around."
"I find the right kind of people to be very energizing. I enjoy being around people who work hard and make very few excuses. Those who are accountable for the work and behavior are those that I enjoy being around."
"I would consider myself an extrovert, and I do love working closely with a team, and a variety of personalities. The more I can interact with my team in a day, the better. You will rarely find me hiding in my office. I like to be in the middle of the action, encouraging and leading my team."
"People with great personalities drive my creativity! A lot of marketing is psychology and understanding what makes people tick, and what causes them to take action. I am a social person in my personal life as well."
"I do like being around people. Now, those that are negative or grouchy - of course not. Those types of people are draining. However, those with awesome attitudes are wonderful to collaborate with."
"I am a people person, as are most sales professionals. I enjoy having a great conversation with someone and getting to know them. The art of conversation is how I build wonderful rapport levels with my clients as well."
The interviewer is looking for a specific answer that showcases your ability to deliver excellent customer service. You need to go beyond 'service with a smile' when answering this question. Make your reply memorable! This question offers you an excellent opportunity to be a stand-out candidate.
"I often look for opportunities to go over and above when it comes to customer service. One memorable time was when a senior woman was struggling to get her groceries into her car. I was on break but saw her through the window. I ran out and greeted her, asking if I could assist. She was so thankful that she ended up calling my manager that day to compliment my kindness."
"I used to work the front desk in a hotel where we were given a budget specifically to use for making a customers' experience better. I recall one couple in specific who left their phone and laptop chargers in the room after they checked out. I same-day couriered the items to them with a friendly note. It felt great to deliver that added touch."
"Everyone likes options, and after receiving consistent feedback from my customers that they felt limited when they had to choose our service packages, I decided to take the concern up with our corporate head office. Before doing so, I polled my clients to find out exactly what they wanted to see from our service menu. I made a compelling presentation to my senior leadership, and our company ended up agreeing to add these service options. We will be rolling out the first round of changes next month. It is important to listen to your customers and deliver what they ask."
"Many of our customers do not understand social media fully, which is why they come to us. I recently launched a private YouTube channel with video tutorials and how-tos. I sent the login information to all of our clients so that they could access the information on-demand. This effort saves them a phone call and email and also ensures that the information they need is at their fingertips, no matter the time of day or night. The response has been incredibly positive."
"Customer inquiries come through my desk at a rapid rate whether it be through email, voicemail, or social media. I make it my aim to never leave for the day until every inquiry has a response. This commitment may mean staying late an extra hour sometimes, but my valued customers are worth the added effort."
"When I worked in drillbit sales, I had a client with a drilling rig about one hour out of town from us. They were drilling incredibly challenging ground when they pushed the bit too far and destroyed the bit. My cell phone rang at 3 AM, and it was the driller, in a panic. I hopped out of bed and drove them the extra bit that they needed to keep operating smoothly. That particular account ended up being my biggest account to date, because of my willingness to go over and above."
The interviewer would like to hear a story regarding how you were able to take an uncomfortable, or hostile customer situation, and turn things around into a positive experience. Avoid speaking negatively about any customers, or supervisors. Use a recent example from your current role and keep it brief. You can use the Situation, Action, Result method to keep your story on track.
"I recently worked with a customer who was incredibly upset when they believed that we overcharged their account. I took the extra time required to walk the customer through every line item until they fully understood each item. The call was about one hour total, but it was worth the time to smooth over an important customer-related situation."
"I had a customer call in last week who was very upset that the technician did not show up to their appointment. We give our customers a 3-hour window for technician visits, and it had been 30 minutes past the given time frame. I apologized sincerely, tracked down the technician, and made new arrangements for the client. She was thankful for my willingness to take action and recognized the error. Upon permission from my manager, I offered her one free month of service."
"I have trained my team in customer resolution, but from time to time we will have a client who needs to be escalated up to management. This situation occurred last week where I had to step in because the client was verbally abusive to my team member. I need to make sure that I offer great service but protect my team at the same time. This client needed a more aggressive approach, so I asked them if they were interested in a resolution. They said yes, and so, I outlined everything I could offer them. Laying it out on the table, with a no bull approach, really helped in this situation."
"Our team recently delivered a clients' Facebook ad campaign which they did not like. Being the project manager, I was the person in charge of answering to our strategy and approach. Rather than answer the clients' questions over the phone, I asked for face time. I went to their office, with a new presentation, to justify our approach. I believe that the customer respected my willingness to be upfront and available. They agreed to move forward as planned and we had excellent results with high conversion rates."
"As a retail sales representative, I will often come across a customer who is unhappy with their product or an experience they had with a co-worker. Just the other day I had a customer actively complaining about my shift manager. The customer thought they were rude and handled unprofessionally. I asked the customer for exactly what I could do to make them happy again. She outlined what it was she needed, and I proceeded to deliver just that. It felt good to make a customer happy while restoring their faith in our company."
"I turned an angry customer around just yesterday. They were not happy with the pricing that we provided. I do not set the pricing, but I can ask for some flexibility when it comes to negotiating. I asked the client what they felt was fair and we began negotiations from there. I let them know that we are happy to be flexible to keep their business but do not offer steep discounts because our product is the best in the market. They were happy with the small amount of flexibility I was allowed to give."
The interviewer wants to know that your definition of excellent customer service exceeds minimal expectations. You could talk about a time when you calmed an upset customer or went above the expectations of your role to make a customer want to return. Perhaps you had a customer dispute and were able to smooth over the issue using your great instinct and friendly disposition. Be sure to close with how happy the customer was when they left. Include any feedback that you received from your supervisor or co-workers afterward. Here are some ways that you can deliver exceptional customer service: - Exercise endless patience with challenging customers. - Use positive verbiage at all times. For instance, instead of saying 'I don't know,' say 'I am happy to find out for you.' - Actively listen to your customers' needs and be able to repeat them back. - Have the ability to explain product pricing, so the customer knows what to expect on their bill or invoice. - Display exceptional product knowledge. - Ask the customer if you have met their expectations before they leave. - Smile and maintain positive body language. - Support your coworkers and encourage a positive workplace culture.
"In my last role, as a server, I went above the customer service expectations by introducing myself to each table when I sat them. Having that small personal touch made all the difference. Once the customers knew my name, and I knew theirs, they felt more confident in my capabilities. Over time, I would have customers coming in and requesting a table in my section. It felt nice to make that connection, and the increase in tips was a nice bonus too! After a few weeks, the restaurant manager made this a general practice across all serving staff."
"In my last position, I had a great deal of challenging customers who would call in nearly every day. Although my patience was often tested, I always remained level-headed, helpful, and positive. Becoming outwardly frustrated would have only made the customer feel bad or even upset them, which is something I would never want."
"I ensured the delivery of excellent customer service by training my team to be positive minded and encouraging to everyone around them. Customers can tell when someone wants to help them versus being forced to because it's their job. I created a friendly and welcoming environment which my customers greatly appreciated."
"Before I close up any client accounts, I will phone my client and ask them if there is anything more I can do to help, and if I exceeded their expectations. On a phone call, I can hear if they are truly excited about the service or seem emotionally flat about their experience. If they do not sound truly elated, I ask for feedback on what I could have done differently. I want to improve at all times and am very good at implementing feedback, which my clients like."
"I showed great customer service by having a great amount of product knowledge. I made sure that I was the product expert so that I could be a wealth of knowledge to my clients. I would never want to say "I don't know" to a customer. I will always find an answer if I don't already have one."
"I ensured excellent customer service in my last role by having regular conversations with my accounts on what they needed, where I was exceeding, where I could do better, and what services they felt they were missing. This active communication meant that I could quickly pivot if a client were not happy with the way their project was going."
In a customer service focused role you have likely come across some pretty crazy requests from customers! The interviewer is interested in knowing where you draw the line when it comes to outlandish requests or needs that you cannot deliver. Give an example of a time when you had to say no to a customer. Assure the interviewer that you are happy to accommodate anyone within reason!
"I once had a customer order something from our menu that we did not even have. We were a vegan restaurant, and she wanted a chicken breast added to her salad! She reasoned that she was not a vegan and simply there because her friend was vegan. Her friend and surrounding patron were appalled. I had to chuckle a bit at that one. I couldn't deliver on that one but did offer her some chickpeas instead!"
"If a customer has a request that is completely undeliverable, I have no problem letting them down gently. One example is that a customer wanted me to book him in with the CEO for a face to face meeting for the following day. The CEO was traveling to Europe and was not in the office. The customer was angry and threatened to complain to my boss. I offered him a meeting with the General Manager, but he refused. I was kind and tried to accommodate with alternatives, but you win some, you lose some."
"Naturally, as a senior manager, I want to say yes as often as I can. The odd time, I do have to say no to a client. I recently had a customer demand our product in a color that we do not produce. The request, to add color to the production line, would have cost our company $56,000 on a $1,000 product. As you can see, it made zero sense. I offered the customer the choice of our eight existing colors and let her know that I would bring the request up at our next board meeting to see if we could consider the addition down the line."
"Many of my marketing clients think that we perform miracles overnight, especially when it comes to social media followings and engagement. I once had a customer tell me they needed an absolute guarantee that they would gain 1,000 new followers on Instagram in the first 30 days. Of course, I could not promise anything like that. What I did do, in exchange, was offered them a few case studies of previous clients and the growth that they experienced."
"In retail, there will be customers who want you to deliver the impossible. I am down for a challenge; however, there are some things that I cannot do. I had a client demand that we extend our size range for the upcoming season. I explained to her that collections and production did not work that way, and were often multiple seasons in the works. She thought I could call the corporate head office and get it done."
"Clients who demand the impossible are not the ones that I try to attract or keep if I can be frank. I love when clients have special requests and innovative ideas that I can bring to the attention of my head office; however, demanding something unreasonable is a different story. I had a client once demand that I fly to their city for a face to face meeting the next day if I wanted to keep the account. They were a challenging account with minimal spend. My director said no, I could not. So, I let the client know that I was happy to Skype or book them in when I was in their city next. They refused and fired me. To be honest, they were not an ideal client, and I quickly recovered."
Breaking the rules, and bending them, CAN be different from each other. Often, organizations are okay with you bending the rules to keep a customer happy. You need to know your audience, though! If the company is very stringent when it comes to their policies and procedures, then approach this question with caution. If the organization is well known for being flexible, then you can indeed be more free with your answer.
"I have been trained to know that rules and policy are there for a reason. If I were not sure what to do or were asked to break or bend a rule, I would refer to my employee manual or ask a manager to assist."
"My current company is pretty strict with their policies, so I do not bend to make a customer happy, but I will escalate the issue to someone who has the seniority to decide that. I agree with your organization that it's important to offer some flex on policy, within reason of course."
"Policy and rules are not strictly enforced in my current company. It isn't for lack of caring but the opposite. Our CEO knows that if we needed to bend a rule, it was for a good reason. With that said, I am comfortable following your policies because they are more than reasonable."
"Marketing is all about ebb and flow, swaying, and flexing. I cannot work in an environment where consideration is not present in the changing or bending of a particular rule. So long as nobody gets hurt or the company isn't suffering, it's important to be flexible to meet the needs of a customer."
"In the store where I currently work there is no flexibility in the rules. If a customer is unhappy with the return policy, for instance, they have to go directly to corporate. There is nothing we are allowed to do at store level. Now, having zero regards for rules can be detrimental as well. I know that your company offers a great happy medium between the two which I certainly respect."
"I have been known to bend a rule or two, with the permission of my superiors of course. I believe it's important to cater to a client in every way possible, so long as it is not harmful to the company. Certain rules and deadlines do not necessarily work for some customers, as they do for others. I understand that your organization operates with a similar mentality."
The interviewer would like to know about any formal training you have received, related to customer service. This training could include a robust onboarding plan, on-the-job training, courses taken, or even books that you have read in your spare time. Show the interviewer that you have an interest in bettering your customer service delivery. This question is a great time to ask the interviewer about their company-specific customer service training and manuals.
"I am newer to my career so I cannot say that I have received any customer service-specific training. I would be happy to take any training that you recommend and would love to hear more about your specific training program."
"Near the beginning of my career, I did take a course on customer service basics as well as training on call center service. There are best practices that I still implement today, such as active listening, not interrupting, and repeating the problem back to the customer. Because much of my role is over the phone, I have to rely on my voice so keeping a pleasant tone is important."
"I have received and given, customer service training. In my current role, I teach my new employees the basics of customer service excellence including building rapport, active listening, identifying opportunities to exceed expectations, and service with a smile."
"I would love to know more about the customer service training that you offer. I have a great instinct when it comes to delivering the needs of my customers but cannot recall ever receiving formal training on the job."
"Being in retail for a few years, I have absorbed many materials related to customer service. I am well versed in building rapport, making clients feel comfortable, and dispute resolution. I would love to learn more about your specific job training, however."
"I took Quality Customer Service Training from the Dale Carnegie program recently. The program focused on amazing customers in every interaction and building rewarding customer relationships."
When you work in customer service, you will often come across rude individuals. It's the name of the customer service game, unfortunately. Seeing as it's unavoidable, the interviewer wants to know that you can handle such a situation with professionalism. Give an example of a time that you had to deal with a challenging customer situation. Be sure to include the positive outcome. Some ways that you can efficiently handle a rude customer: - Remain kind, polite, and pleasant - Actively listen to their grievances - Apologize for the situation - Maintain a neutral tone of voice - Avoid taking anything they say, personally
"When I was working as a bartender, I handled many rude customers who were also intoxicated, which always adds a challenging twist! I made sure to let anything rude they said to slide off my back like it was nothing. I just kept smiling, and doing my job! I still handle rude customers this way. Smile, and move on, disallowing any hurt feelings."
"When I have a rude customer, I am sure to listen until they are finished talking. It's important to hear someone out, especially when they are angry. I find that once someone feels heard, they are more likely to calm down and work towards a solution."
"I have thick skin when it comes to customers. This resilience to rude allows me to remain calm kind, and polite while they unload their feelings. Also, it's amazing what a warm smile will solve when a customer is rude to your face. Try it - it's nearly impossible to be mean to someone who is smiling at you!"
"I keep a very close eye on my customers, so I do not come across upset or upset individuals too often, but when it does, it's a doozy. My approach is to remain neutral, actively listen, and avoid interrupting in any way. When they conclude speaking, I will repeat to them saying, 'If I understand correctly, what is upsetting you most is A, B, and C.' Using this approach, they feel heard which is all most people want."
"Rude customers are a given in the retail industry, and I have faced my fair share of them. I will outright ask a customer if there is anything I can do to make them more comfortable, happier, or how I can deliver their expectations this time around. When the customer is aware that I am willing to rectify the situation they are much more likely to level with me."
"If a customer shows up to my office visibly annoyed, and acting rudely, I don't try to avoid the situation; rather I will face it head-on by asking them to tell me what is wrong. This forthright attitude is constructive as a sales professional, and in dealing with upset customers. I am fully aware that a rude customer is usually angry with the situation and not with me, specifically. I will always go out of my way to ensure that a customer is happy after they leave my office."
The interviewer wants to hear your excitement when it comes to being the recipient of excellent customer service. The way you answer this will show the interviewer that you are well aware of the difference between average and exceptional! Keep your answer brief, explain the situation, and what you did to express your thankfulness for the stand-out service.
"I was recently at a gas station where the pumps were both full service and self-serve. I accidentally went to the self-service bay and sat, waiting for service, silly enough. The gas attendant came running out and pumped my gas anyways. It was nice of him to do that, and so I tipped him a few extra bucks."
"I was at the mall recently, looking for a new shade of foundation because my skin had darkened from being on holidays recently. The employee took the time to walk me through a variety of makeup lines, and shades, asking questions about my skin type and other preferences. She is not on commission, I asked, but rather, just really passionate about her job. I called her manager later that day to give her kudos for a job well done."
"I had a new car shopping experience recently, and as you may already know, there is a considerable variety of approaches when it comes to car sales professionals. I was getting frustrated and finally landed at dealership ABC. I think the salesperson could see my frustration because she came outside with a latte for me, and asked if I wanted to chat or be left alone for a few minutes. She let me be to scan the lot, and when I was ready, she sat me down and got to know me and my needs. I bought my new SUV that day and will never go anywhere else. I have a handful of her business cards in my wallet and refer her anytime I have the chance."
"Last week I was grocery shopping and noticed a senior citizen who was struggling to cross the parking lot to where the cart return was. I noticed a young kid who worked in cart return run to help her. He gave her his arm, took a cart out of the return, and helped her into the store. It warmed my heart to see a teen kid already so aware of the needs of others. When I entered the store, I found the manager and told him what I had seen. Very impressive."
"Working in retail, I have seen all types of customer service nightmares. There is a store in the mall where I work that I like to go to when I am on a break. I went to look for a particular shirt that I saw in their online store, but they did not have my size. The sales person ordered it for me from another location and had it waiting for me the next time I went back. I didn't ask for that service, but it was cool that she took the initiative. Of course, I bought the shirt. I brought her a Starbucks latte later as a thank-you gesture."
"I received exceptional customer service just the other day when I was at the opening of Restaurant ABC. Before seating us, they offered appetizers and champagne. We received frequent updates from the hostess on the wait time and offered refills. Not once did we feel forgotten about, despite the one hour wait time. It's rare to find service this great in the restaurant industry, so I was sure to leave a great review on Yelp."
The interviewer would like a brief overview of your customer service experience. Avoid beginning at the VERY the start of your entire career. Your resume should touch on just the last ten years of your career, at most. Begin your reply with the oldest listed customer service job on your resume. Move up in time from there.
"I started my career in customer service as a cashier at the local grocery store. Eventually, I gained the promotion to assistant manager. After four years, that particular store closed down, and I found a new role with Company ABC. I have been there, as the deli manager, ever since. My role includes face to face customer service, customer complaint follow-ups, as well as attendance at some events such as food drives and other charitable efforts."
"I have been an administrative assistant for the past six years, ever since completing my business administration certificate. My first role was with Company ABC. They hired me as their receptionist after completing my 120 practicum hours with them. I was happy they were so impressed with my customer service skills right off the bat. When I relocated, I spent some time as a temp receptionist, working in a variety of corporate offices in downtown Denver. For the past three years, I have been with my current company, as an executive assistant. My day-to-day including working with vendors and customers, ensuring smooth events execution, travel plans, and overall scheduling for the executive whom I support."
"Customer service has been the core of my career all along. Starting with my earlier positions, you will see on my resume that I worked as a commissioned sales associate for Company ABC for two years. The customers were very loyal, and I loved helping them troubleshoot their tech-based needs. Once that company merged with a competitor, I stayed on and gained promotion to assistant manager. I stayed there for another five years. Currently, I manage a team of ten sales associates and train them in delivering excellent customer service. As the manager, I take care of any customer service disputes and escalated needs."
"In marketing, customer service is the most important part of successful campaign delivery. If I have a connection with my customers, I will better understand their needs and the voice of their business, therefore, offering a greater product. Customer service has been at the heart of every marketing role I have held in the past eight years. Not listed on my resume is the serving job I had at University. Also, a very highly customer-service driven role."
"I have worked in fashion retail for the past four years. First, at department store ABC where I worked at the customer service desk. I helped people with their inquiries, and returns. After staying in that role for one year, I moved to my current role as a customer service manager for Company ABC. I follow up on customer complaints and spend some time on the floor in direct sales as well."
"Sales and customer service go hand-in-hand. I have been in a sales-based role for the past eight years. As an Inside Sales Rep for Company ABC, I called on existing accounts which had not ordered for over 90 days. This lack of order was because they were unhappy about their last experience. It was entirely my job to turn them around by displaying impeccable customer care. I take that training and experience with me to work every day at Company XYZ by showing added care in all of my customer interactions."
To deliver excellent customer service you need first to recognize the skills that you have and play off of those. If you are naturally not a smiley person who give hugs, then being a smiley person may come off as fake. Think about your natural personality and how you can use those characteristics to deliver stellar service on the job. Some skills you may have are: - Patience - Empathy - Adaptability - Knowledge - Thick skin - Networking
"I believe that my networking skills truly add to the customer service that I deliver. If my client mentions another need, there is a good chance that I know somebody in the local market who can assist. It's great to help out other businesses through client referrals as well, and the client never forgets your willingness to step outside of your zone to help."
"I have a great amount of patience which has helped me an incredible amount when it comes to delivering customer service that exceeds expectations. My customers feel free to lay out their needs, pain points, and grievances, knowing that I am fully present and ready to help."
"I possess a lot of empathy for my clients and their particular situations. I deal primarily with CEO's and understand the immense pressure they are under when it comes to decision making and delivering expectations to their very own customers. This ability to see their side helps me to deliver extraordinary service."
"In marketing, to be effective in customer service, one must be ready to pivot and adapt at any given moment. When a customer is unsure about an approach, I will offer other suggestions until something feels right. I am rarely stuck on a single idea; yet, I present multiple options. These options give a perceived value that makes my customers come back again and again."
"As a retail sales associate, I believe in the importance of having thick skin. I come across a huge range of clients with varying needs in a day. Some are polite about approaching the situation, and others are not. This resistance to stress and poor attitudes is one of the reasons why I excel in the area of customer dispute resolution. I can put my feelings aside and get down to the basics of what my customers need from me to be satisfied."
"I have an incredible amount of knowledge in the area of software sales. This skill helps me to create unbeatable options for my clients while also showing them that they are in good hands with me. People will buy from those who know to help and the ability to service their every request."
Customer engagement means encouraging conversation, feedback, and shared experiences from your client base. Share with the interviewer the types of customer engagement you have experienced in, and which methods you prefer. Maybe you worked for a company who did customer engagement right. You can use that experience as an example.
"I started my career at a call center that made customer service their complete obsession. Everything was for the customer, and then the bottom line came second. They did not track call times, nor have major consequences for going off script. All they wanted was a happy customer in the end. This strategy worked well for me, and I appreciated their tenacity when it came to customer engagement."
"I am very hands-on when it comes to the customers in my current company. Often, I am the first voice that they hear when they make an inquiry, so it had better be a good one. Making a personal connection right off the bat is very rewarding. I will ask questions about them and get to know little tidbits that I can add to their file and bring up at a later date."
"Training my team to do whatever it takes to right any wrongs, and having that mantra public on our website, has done wonders for our customer engagement. Approaching our errors with humility and transparency is another very effective strategy for our business."
"I learned early on, in marketing school, that humanizing your brand was essential for customer engagement. Everyone wants to feel a connection, have fun with our brand, and feel that they know you and what to expect. I prefer a customer engagement strategy that is as hands-on and intimate as possible."
"I find that reading the feedback left by customers on social media, is the best way to pivot our service when needed. Whenever possible, I will contact them via direct message to let them know that we took their suggestion to heart and are making changes."
"The most effective customer engagement strategy that I have been a part of is the creating of useful content that our customers can download, in the form of guidebooks and PDF's. This added value is what makes customers come back, again and again."
Excellent customer service goes beyond doing precisely as your expected, and it's more than having a smile on your face when the customer is looking. Excellent customer service means that you actively seek out the opportunity to deliver more than the standard. It means thoroughly listening to your customers when they tell you what they need. Also, it equals offering support when your customer may be a little bit in over their head. Be sure to echo the jargon used on the company website and social media accounts when it comes to keywords related to their customer service mantra. Keep your answer brief but ensure that it packs a punch.
"I define good customer service as actively seeking out opportunities to give the customer a better experience than they expect, or perhaps had the last time."
"If I can change my customer's day, for the better, then I have done my job in delivering exceptional customer service."
"Kate Zabriskie, the author of Business Training Works, once said, "The customers' perception is your reality." To me, this means that if my clients think that my team does not care about them, they likely do not. Good customer service starts with proper training and setting high standards for my team from the get-go."
"Repeat business and referrals are what I am after when it comes to the satisfaction of my clients. When it is time to close out an account, I openly ask them what I could do better next time. This added step helps me to improve my service. Good customer service starts with the ability to take and implement feedback."
"Ensuring that my customers are satisfied with their experience every time. That is what good customer service means to me. This level of service may mean bending the rules a touch to deliver what they need. For instance, I will extend the return policy by a reasonable amount if it means a happy customer who will give a solid review."
"I define good customer service by not allowing any 'traffic jams' in the sales cycle. The moment a client feels there is a hiccup, the moment the sales process gets railroaded. Excellent customer service includes seeing potential pain points before they even happen."