A company or its solution is not going to be perfect at all times, or at least not a perfect fit for everyone. It is essential that you can get out in front of the issue and address the shortcoming with your customer to build loyalty and trust. In an age of hiding behind text and email, it's so important to demonstrate to the customer, and in this case, the interviewer, that you aren't afraid to face an uncomfortable situation head-on, own up to the problem and get creative in your solution to keep your customer happy.
"My customer recently purchased inventory in the price range of $30,000, and it arrived on his lot damaged. I received an irate email with photos of the damage and an estimated price tag for repairs. Rather than respond by email, I got in a conference room with the Director of Operations. We called the client immediately to not only apologize but to come up with a plan to get the inventory off of his lot and with assurances to secure him new, quality inventory by the end of the week. By taking ownership and apologizing over the phone for our shortcoming, we restored his faith in our company. Later, he doubled down on his investment in our services, becoming one of the top customers for the company as a whole."
"Over the years, I've had many unhappy restaurant customers. I listen to why they're unhappy, validate their concern or disappointment, and inform them of the steps I am taking to remedy the situation for them. An example is when we were offering gluten-free crusts, and then suddenly we stopped because the product was too expensive and only good for those who were gluten sensitive, not celiac. I had customers come in specifically for this offering and had to explain to them why we couldn't offer the GF product anymore. I apologized, validated how frustrated they must feel, and offer some other solutions of things they COULD eat. These customer resolution skills will be constructive in my sales career as I listen, validate, and correct. A recipe to please most any customer with most any problem."
"My current company had a pre-launch for a product, for which many of my customers were very excited. I gathered hundreds of pre-orders and spent the good part of a year hyping it up. Once the time came for us to begin production, our manufacturing partner folded, and we were back at square one. I had to call many disappointed customers and explain the situation. Some wanted a refund while others wanted to know when we found a new manufacturer. I was disappointed because it was obvious that my company did not perform proper due diligence, but I stood by them anyways and worked hard to help them save face as much as possible."