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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

How would you handle a rude customer?

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Customer Service Interview Questions & Answers

  1. 1.

    How would you handle a rude customer?

      How to Answer

      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

      Rachelle's Answer

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Admin Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Manager Interview

      "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!"

      Rachelle's Answer for a Marketing Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Retail Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Sales Interview

      "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."

      Ryan's Answer for an Assistant Manager Interview

      "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."

      Rachelle's Answer for an Usher Interview

      "I do not recall such an experience, however in such a situation I would remain calm and professional as I must ensure to adequately represent the company at all times. I would calmly listen to the customer 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 superior be unavailable."

      Rachelle's Answer for a Baker Interview

      "I realize that not everyone can be pleased, however; I always do my best to keep my composure and treat everyone the same. If a customer is rude, I will ask them how I can make them happy. That will usually calm them down a bit. In some situations, I have suggested to very rude customers that they find another bakery who perhaps could meet their needs better. I am accommodating but also will not tolerate anyone abusing my staff."

      1 Community Answer

      Anonymous Answer

      "If a customer is angry or upset, I feel the best way to calm a customer is by making him feel important and heard. To do this, I make sure I have a smile on my face no matter what. I also try to address the customer by name whenever possible. I apologize to the customer and make sure the problem is solved quickly and efficiently to the best of my ability."

      Rachelle's Answer

      Smiling and remaining open/friendly are certainly good ways to curb a rude customer. If you have direct experience with this type of situation, it would be great to include a story-based example.

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