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How would you handle a rude customer?

1 of 25 Customer Service Interview Questions and Answers Written by Rachelle Enns

Updated on June 29th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
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

Professional Answer Examples
Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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!"

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Answer example

"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."

Written by:

Ryan Brown
Ryan Brown, is the creator of MockQuestions. He has over ten years experience creating interview questions. His website has helped over 10 million job seekers in their interview preparation.
Rachelle Enns
Rachelle Enns is a job search expert, executive headhunter, career catalyst, and interview coach. Utilized by top talent from Fortune companies like Microsoft, General Electric, and Nestle, she helps professionals position themselves in today's competitive digital marketplace. Rachelle founded Renovate My Resume and Executive Resume Solutions, two companies focused on helping job seekers get their edge back. She helps everyone from new graduates looking for their first placement, to CEO's who want more out of their career. Rachelle coaches students to executives on how to master the toughest interview questions and how to handle the most bizarre interview situations; all with confidence and poise. Rachelle trains other career coaches, recruiters, and resume writers, globally. A big part of her job is also spent coaching HR professionals on how to bring the human touch back into their interview and hiring process.
First written on: 03/31/2018
Last modified on: 06/29/2018
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