- How important do you think it is to work collaboratively with other customer service representatives and teams across a company? See answer
- Would you describe yourself as a people person? See answer
- What customer service tools do you have experience with? See answer
- What tactics do you use to calm upset customers? See answer
- How would you describe what customer service means to you?
- Can you tell me about a time you turned an unhappy customer into a delighted customer?
- What do you do when you don't know how to help a customer?
- What would you do if a frustrated customer complained about a widely known problem with the company's products?
- Would you describe yourself as calm under pressure? If so, can you provide an example related to a customer interaction?
- How well do you receive constructive criticism? How do you use it to enhance your customer service skills?
- Can you provide two examples of your written and verbal communication skills from your customer service experience?
- What are three customer service traits you have to offer? Can you provide an example for each?
- Do you think it's important to purchase and use your company's products to best help customers?
- Can you name one of our products and describe its purpose?
- How do you feel about working nights, early mornings and possibly weekends to fulfill our 24-hour customer service policy? Do you have any conflicts?
- What is your experience working with customer service software and digital filing systems?
8 Customer Service Representative Interview Questions and Answers
Describe what customer service means to you.
Customer service representatives are the first point of contact for your customers, acting as the face of your company and driving loyalty, retention and acquisition. Ask this critical question to gauge a candidate’s commitment to the role and and gain insights about their customer service philosophy. What to look for in an answer:
- Approachable personality
- Understanding of the role
- Passion for customer service
“To me, customer service means identifying the root of a customer’s problem and working to find a solution that surpasses their expectations using in-depth knowledge of the company’s service or product. Exceptional customer service is all about maintaining a positive and friendly attitude that makes a good first impression and leaves a lasting one.”
Tell me about a time when you turned an unhappy customer into a delighted customer.
Appeasing an irate customer is no easy task, but delighting them can be even more challenging. Ask this question to determine if a candidate is willing to go the extra mile for a customer, even in a tense situation. What to look for in an answer:
- Conflict resolution skills
- Stress tolerance and resilience
- Ability to abide by company policies
“During my previous role, a customer was furious about not being able to return an item for a full refund. Company policy only allowed me to offer the customer store credit since he didn’t have a receipt. After letting him vent, listening intently to his concerns and apologizing for the inconvenience, I helped him find a gift for his wife for the same price so he wasn’t out any money. He thanked me for my patience and told me he would tell his friends about his experience.”
How important do you think it is to work collaboratively with other customer service representatives and teams across a company?
Providing exceptional customer service is a team effort that requires constant collaboration to build a strong, positive image of the company. This question will let you know if a candidate is willing to jump in and help their colleagues, and if they have the ability to relay customer feedback effectively to other departments. What to look for in an answer:
- Teamwork abilities
- Communication skills
- Desire to improve the company
“Teamwork is essential for success as a customer service rep. At my last job, I worked closely with a cohesive team. We regularly pooled our knowledge and resources to address tricky customer complaints and handle a large amount of incoming calls during peak times. I also collaborated cross-functionally by collecting customer feedback and communicating it to the product team.”
What do you do when you don’t know how to help a customer?
Even with extensive training and experience, customer service representatives won’t know how to help every customer. Ask this question to find out if a candidate knows how to respond calmly and efficiently in these situations. What to look for in an answer:
- Problem-solving skills
“I never pretend to know an answer if I don’t. If I’m unsure how to help a customer, I say, ‘Great question! Let me find out for you,’ and take steps to find a solution. At my previous job, I helped customers with complex software products and if I didn’t know an answer, I reached out to my co-workers for assistance, referred the customer to someone who could help or looked through my training manual for answers.”
Would you describe yourself as a people person?
To excel at providing thorough and enthusiastic customer service, customer service representatives must possess a talent for nurturing strong customer relationships. This question helps you determine whether a candidate enjoys talking to people and if they have the power to boost customer loyalty and engagement. What to look for in an answer:
- Passion for helping people
- Energetic personality
“I’m definitely a people person! I love talking to people from different backgrounds, finding out about their lives and helping them find solutions to their problems. I was voted Most Outgoing at my last job and small talk is one of my talents.”
What would you do if a frustrated customer complained about a widely known problem with the company’s product?
How a candidate handles a customer pointing out a well-known problem with a product or service can reveal their level of empathy and ability to communicate clearly and respectfully with an unsatisfied customer. What to look for in an answer:
- Problem-solving skills
“I would apologize, tell them I completely understand how they feel and assure the customer that my team is currently working to fix the problem. I would also give them a timeline for a solution and make sure they felt valued by thanking them for their feedback.”
What customer service tools do you have experience with?
Every company’s customer service stack is different, but it’s an added bonus if a candidate has past experience using ticketing systems, CRMs and collaboration tools, or has the desire to learn new technologies and systems. What to look for in an answer:
- Ability to learn quickly
- Past experience
- Specific tools and systems
“I have extensive experience using live chat software, JIRA for ticketing and Zendesk for customer relationship management. I’m also really interested in learning more about how automation can make the customer service process faster and more efficient.”
What tactics do you use to calm upset customers?
A candidate's answer to this question allows you to gauge their professional experience working in a customer service-related role. This is important as it helps you understand whether a candidate has the right skill set to provide valuable assistance to your customers and in doing so, promote the credibility of your company. A candidate's answer can also help you determine if they have the right personality and strategies to maintain customer loyalty.
What to look for in an answer:
- Positive language about the customer
- Adherence to maintaining composure and professionalism
- Detailed example from previous experience
Here's an example of a possible answer to this question:
"The first thing I do is allow the customer to finish speaking. I've discovered that customers often need to let their thoughts out and have someone to listen to them in order to calm down a bit more. I respond with an apology for what caused their emotions and assure them that I will do everything I can to help them find a solution. More times than not, I find that this helps ease their emotions considerably, as they know I am on their side and committed to helping them."