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."