Despite the widespread demand, the position of a customer service rep can be difficult to screen for and fill. Above all, this person should have excellent interpersonal skills, patience, and a helping attitude. He or she should also have the ability to communicate effectively across spoken and written channels.
How do you ensure that you’re hiring a customer service rep that aligns culturally with your organization and has the right attitude and outlook to do the job? The communicative nature of customer service makes the interview portion of an application all the more important. We’ve created a list of customer service interview questions to help you get started. If you’re a candidate gearing up for an interview, these questions will also give you insight into what to expect and prepare for.
Here are 10 customer service interview questions to help identify the top candidates:
1. Define customer service and how you implement it in your job.
The most important aspect of this role is managing customer relations by solving problems and providing information. Referrals and repeat business are the cornerstone for a thriving business. That success starts with your customer service representatives and the way they can act as an ambassador for the company through their assistance.
2. What is more important to you: patience or efficiency?
This question doesn’t necessarily have to have a right or wrong answer, as customer service usually demands both simultaneously. Carefully understanding and listening to a customer’s needs is important, but you might be in a situation where other customers are waiting to be served as well. That is when a customer service rep must weigh speed and thoroughness.
3. Besides relying on policies and guidelines, how would you go about solving a customer’s problem?
Delivering a consistent brand message relies on defaulting to the same policies. However, not every customer’s inquiry will go by the book. How else will employees empower themselves? Will they resort to an ambiguous answer or ask and research?
4. What do you think the rep’s role is in the company?
This will vary from company to company, and candidate to candidate. But by now, your business no doubt has its model. See if your visions align. Your ideas don’t have to align, so think of this as a way to gauge what the candidate’s ideal role is. Whatever the answer, the important thing is that their overall thought process compliments yours.
5. Name a time you weren’t able to deliver at work and why.
Force the applicant to describe a time in a previous customer-facing role or any other position. We all have failed to meet goals. The important part is if the candidate is able to pinpoint the root cause and can take responsibility.
6. What is your strategy for making sure every customer leaves happy?
The candidate will give a revealing response about their communication strategy, and how they interact positively with various personalities.
7. Is there a skill or area of expertise that you feel you are lacking?
This questions helps identify a drive to learn and improve. We can always benefit from more practice or knowledge, regardless of past experience. Any new hire should exhibit positivity and patience, but it is particularly crucial for a customer serving role. Perseverance is important throughout a person’s career. Make sure this candidate understands that even on off days, a willingness to move forward and learn will pay off.
8. How do you decide when to close a ticket or keep trying?
Some customer cases are easy to identify and close. Others take a bit more investigation. With good intentions, a customer service rep may deem a case completed when the customer’s real answer remains unanswered. They will have to open a new case, only to have another rep spend time in assisting.
9. What does your ideal customer look like?
Asking for a candidate to describe their model customer could shed light on situations they respond most positively to. It will also reveal the customers who may pose a threat to long-term retention. What kind of customer does your service department most often encounter? Do these expectations align?
10. How do you maintain professionalism if you feel personally attacked?
This is the overarching customer service interview question that truly identifies their ability to stay on task and composed. The challenge of a customer-facing role is acting as an ambassador for a company, while remembering that complaints and hardships on the job aren’t personally geared.
The goal is to ask questions that force an applicant to think about their wider role of representing the company’s brand and being on the front line for customer relations. This includes a confident knowledge of company guidelines and policies and the demeanor to convey that information consistently and constantly.
Hopefully, these questions will help to identify the best customer service reps for your brand! Contact us to learn more about Corporate Job Bank’s personnel services for job seekers and employers.