Career Job Interview

Top 12 Customer Service Interview Questions and Answers

customer support

People who work as representatives in customer service jobs support customers by providing product and service information, answering questions, and helping to solve problems. They may need to record and update account information, and gather and analyze customer information.

Good customer service representatives need outstanding communication skills. They may deal with clients face to face, by written correspondence or, most frequently, by telephone. Customer service is now increasingly being facilitated via live online chat or email queries. The applicant must be able to communicate with customers in a polite and empathetic way, but must also pursue to comply with specific company protocols.

They will also typically need basic computer and data entry skills. It is also important to prepare properly and make sure you represent yourself in a professional manner. This can apply to everything from the way you dress up to the way you talk during the interview.

When you apply for a job in customer service or retail, or for some other position where you have personal contact with customers or companies, the interviewer would be eager to learn how you will communicate and provide customer support. To this end, you should expect concerns about customer service.

Top Customer Service Interview Questions and  Sample Answers

You can also find tips below about how to prepare for an customer service interview questions, as well as a list of common interview questions. Practice answering these questions, so you’ll feel more relaxed and confident during your interview.

1. What is Customer Service?

The interviewer needs to know that you have a clear understanding of the field and the job you are applying for. The way you react can also tell them a lot about your communication skills, so react in a straightforward and concise way. They also want to know that you realize that customer service plays a major part in the reputation of the company.

How to answer: The simple response is that customer service offers assistance to the existing and future customer base of the company. If you want to take a step further (and you should), clarify that as a representative, people see you as the company’s face. Therefore, you have a direct impact on the conversion, satisfaction, and retention of customers. That means that you need to have strong communication skills, to be respectful and approachable.

Demonstrate your fluency by using the lingo (‘customer satisfaction,’ ‘knowledge base software’, and so on) as well as tying some keywords of the brand. Not only will this show that you’ve been researching them and are serious about the job, but the interviewer will also get the feeling that you’re already part of the company.

You should provide a simple, concise answer to that question. Consider the position that you are applying for, and make sure that what you say is important. In short, customer relations essentially offer assistance to the current customer base of a company.

2. What does good customer service mean to you?

Interviewers are eager to know what you consider to be high-quality customer service and how you would deliver it to customers. Another variation of this question is, “What is good customer service?” In your reply, be prepared to give specific examples of good customer service, either from your work experience or from your personal experience as a consumer.

How to answer: Good customer service ensures that every customer is satisfied. It is achieved by answering their questions, solving problems, and dealing with complaints. The goal is to make every customer feel good about the company. Further, give an example.

3. Why do you want to work in customer service?

Are you a person who likes to interact with others? Are you satisfied if problems can be resolved? Otherwise, do you truly believe in the company’s product or service? These are the qualities you are looking for in your answers to this question.

How to answer: Essentially, customer solutions are all about helping customers, so you should highlight any skills and personality traits you have that are aligned with the desired qualities of a customer support representative. Other than helping others, this position requires the kind of people who enjoy interacting and talking.

This can also be a very challenging-so show that you appreciate that and that you’re up to the task. Most importantly, make it clear in your interview that you feel a sense of satisfaction when you can support the customer.

Example: I am pleased to be able to find a customer’s perfect outfit and make them leave the store believing that they look their best. I am a big fan of the selling of clothing at Company ABC and particularly how it suits all sizes.

4. How have you dealt with upset or angry customers in the past?

It is one of the most popular customer service interview questions, so try to get the answer ready in advance. Problem-solving is an ability that can often be improved. The interviewer needs to see if you can take on tough challenges and learn from them, and also to see if you have the potential to come up with ideas independently.

How to answer: Give a real example, preferably. If you don’t have any direct experience yet, be honest about it and think about a related incident, such as helping to resolve a team dispute, a day-to-day dispute, or any other work-related situation. Show that you’re always open to step in and do your best to find a solution. This is also an opportunity for the interviewer to see whether you can think “out of the box” and be able to solve the issue without necessarily relying on your manager.

But it’s also understandable if you can’t always manage to do that-just be honest, don’t makeup, and be yourself. If you confided to a colleague to come up with a final answer for the customer, that’s all right, just try to show how you’re going to come up with an answer in another situation.

5. What Is Your Preferred Method of Communication?

Most of the customer service positions will focus on one (or at most two) communication methods. The most common ones are in-person support, phone support, email support, and chat support, but also gaining popularity in social media. This question evaluates how you will perform in whichever medium you focus on the role.

How to Answer: When answering this question, you should keep in mind the specific customer service job you have applied to. If you applied to a phone support job, for example, telling your interviewer that you prefer to communicate via email would be a red flag. Ideally, you have applied for a job where a medium you ‘re comfortable with would be used.

If you have past experience in delivering customer service over the same platform as the job for which you are interviewing, be sure to bring it up. If you don’t, talk about whatever other experience you’ve been prepared for. For example, at your last job, you might have answered the phones while working at the front desk or sent text messages (and responded to them) as a volunteer for a nonprofit group. If it’s a text-based communication role, be prepared to speak about your writing skills and take an assessment of the skills before the job is offered.

Example: While I enjoy communication in a variety of ways with people, I really feel I want to phone contact or help me to catch different nuances and tones in text-based communication. I have found in the past that when we communicate in real-time, it was easier for me to establish a connection with the customer than via email, social media, or even chat, which can all have lag times between responses.

6. What are your strengths and weaknesses when dealing with your customers?

Whether you’re working in a team or not, your personality is a crucial part of your job, seeing that you’re dealing with a lot of people. This question is a good way for the interviewer to get some insight into your character. As well as listening to your responses, they can be able to feel how truthful you are when you talk, to see if they are in line with your perception of yourself.

How to Answer: Ideally, you should be prepared for this question, so get ready. Whatever the weaknesses are, try to give them a positive spin. The acknowledgment of your own weaknesses is a sign of honesty and self-awareness. Everyone has a number of things they need to work on and improve, so just show that you’re willing to do what it takes, even if it’s a challenge.

You should try to relate your weaknesses to your position. For example, you might think that you can be over-empathetic to the customer and give them too much advice, and feel like you need to work on it. Your strengths may be that you are polite, a good listener, and you have a positive outlook.

7. What are you going to do if the customer asks a question you don’t know the answer to?

Your response to this question can show the interviewer some things about you-whether you are independent and are looking for answers yourself, or whether you are more comfortable reaching out for support to others. It will also demonstrate how much effort you will take and do to ensure satisfied customers do everything they need.

How to Answer: Once, honesty is the best way to answer this form of a question. You can’t always know the answer to everything, particularly because the products are constantly changing and developing. Even experienced representatives also need to be supported. The best way to do that is to respond calmly, honestly, and confidently.

If you have trouble solving a problem by yourself, it’s okay to say you’re going to look into it and get back to the customer. Then you can ask the team leader, other colleagues, or look through the internal knowledge base of your organization to find answers to this particular issue.

8. What Do You Know About (Our Company or Our Product)?

This question is being asked to determine how much research you have done before the interview and to see if you especially want this customer service job over any customer service job.

How to Answer: Spend time researching the company and its products before your interview, and be prepared to talk about them. That’s great if you’re using the product — and you can talk about it.

For example, you can talk about your passion for accessibility while the company is selling screen readers and software and are eager to know how people interact with these products in their daily lives as much as possible.

What’s really key here is to show that you’ve invested enough in this opportunity to learn about the company and do your homework before the interview. Again, this question is not about why you want a customer service job. It’s just why you want a job with this customer service.

9. What are your personal career goals?

This is a way to determine whether a candidate is being motivated or not. Most driven candidates have a sense of where they would like to be in the next few years. Less-driven candidates would say things like “I just want to work in a nice place,” or “I don’t know.”

How to Answer: It’s fine that people don’t know exactly where they want to be — many people don’t — but they should have researched different career paths or got some idea of where they might want to end up, and they should refer to a career path, industry, or set of skills that they want to add to their future careers.

10. Tell me about your previous customer service experience

Potential employers would like to know if you have experience in a similar job. You don’t have to explain every position you’ve had, instead, highlight the most important customer-oriented jobs you’ve had. Then, if you don’t have a lot of experience in customer service, think about the related skills you have, such as communication skills, empathy, then problem-solving. This can be helpful to provide an example of a moment when someone has made an impression on you through their outstanding customer service skills.

11. What are you going to do when your colleague behaves rudely with the customers?

You should say, “It depends on the case, including how long the co-worker has been working with the company. When anyone is new, you can speak to them and encourage them to have a more positive attitude. However, if you find that this is done repeatedly, you should tell the leader of your team.

12. What is the key role in retail? Is it the price, the value of the product, or the communication with the customer?

In most cases, the price and the value of the product decide if the customer can actually buy the product.

However, as an applicant for a CS job, you can certainly point out the communication and say that it plays a key role (or at least an important and significant role) – as it is the only thing you can control. You can not change the price of the product or the value it offers the customer. But you should speak to people about making a purchase, helping them see the benefits they will gain from buying.

Good customer service employees understand the value of their role, and they realize that they will help their employer to succeed. Show us that you are planning to do your best in this job.

13. What would you do if you did not know how to help a customer?

Interviewers want to see your problem-solving abilities as well as how you would communicate with customers and coworkers. In your response, emphasize those abilities. Remember that sharing an example is always beneficial!

Example Answer:

That would never happen in an ideal world! Of course, we all get stuck from time to time. In those cases, I double-check my work and then reach out to colleagues or my manager for additional assistance. I recall a customer calling to ask how to delete a program, which sounds simple enough, but following the standard instructions did not work.

I informed him that this was an unusual situation and apologized for the delay in devising a solution. I double-checked the manual, confirmed that I was following the instructions, and then contacted a colleague who was more knowledgeable about such issues. We were able to solve the problem as a group and then update the training manual to reflect our new knowledge.

See Also
Guide to Job Interview Questions and Answers
Guide to Long-Distance Job Search