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Customer Service Interview Questions

25 Questions and Answers by

Rachelle Enns is an interview coach and job search expert. She works with candidates to perform their best in employment, medical, and post-secondary admission interviews.

Customer Service was updated on August 17th, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 25

Have you ever broken company rules to make a customer happy?

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Customer Service Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    Have you ever broken company rules to make a customer happy?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Rachelle's 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."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Food Service Manager Interview

      "In the store where I currently work, there is very little flexibility when it comes to rules and policy. If a customer is unhappy with the return policy, for instance, they have to go directly to our corporate office. I do not have autonomy at the store level, which is something with which I disagree. Now, having zero regard 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 will lead my team to make decisions that are best for the company and good for the customer at the same time."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Associate Interview

      "In my current Sales Associate role at Car Dealership ABC, I face negotiations every day. Often, I have guidelines to follow, but there are also times when situations call for creative solutions to meet customer needs and budgets. Last week I had a customer come in who wanted to purchase a new truck. The ticket price was $36,000; however, their budget was only $29,000. We went back and forth many times, and it was clear that this person had formal negotiation training. We agreed to a partial cash downpayment and a final ticket price of $33,599. It was fun to have the challenge of negotiating with a knowledgable customer."

      Samantha's Answer for an Auditor Interview

      "I've never broken the auditing or SOX compliance rules knowingly because that would threaten my license. When struggling with an audit, I've made safe compromises with a client. I had one client who was in trouble with the audit and I helped them process some exemption forms before handing the documentation to the external auditors. This allowed them time to get their documentation in line but didn't break any rules."

      Ryan's Answer for a Property Manager Interview

      "No, I have never bent the rules for a tenant. I am committed to upholding all company rules and policies and I would not make an exception to appease a tenant. Rules, policies, laws, and ordinances are put into place to protect tenants, customers, and all parties involved. These must be upheld to ensure everyone's safety and fairness amongst tenants."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "I have not broken company rules to make a customer happy. But I have gone to my supervisor to request an exception. A student once said they were not happy with a workshop they purchased and wanted a refund. When signing up for the workshop, it did state no refunds. But the student was so unhappy with the workshop I offered to contact the Dean to see if there was a possibility of a refund. I indicated to the student this is not a guarantee, but I could advocate how disappointed you were with the workshop. The Dean did issue a one-time refund to the student."

      Marcie's Answer

      Excellent response! Not only does your example prove that you'll go above and beyond to make a customer happy, but it also shows that you won't flout company rules. You struck the perfect balance here with your answer. Great job!

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