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Good Customer Service Examples For Interviews

Examples for good customer service for interview

When it comes to good customer service examples for interviews, the business world is competitive, and one excellent differentiator that can help bring customers back to you over and over is excellent customer service. As a result, being able to identify and demonstrate the right skills, attitudes and knowledge to help your customers is a key part of the interview for these roles.

Read on for some of the nuances of customer service, real life examples and interviewing strategies that can help to identify outstanding customer service professionals in your next hiring spree.

What Is Customer Service?

Customer service is the delivery of skills, support and actions to a customer that takes place before, during and after they purchase something from you. It’s essentially the sum of the touch points in the customer/business relationship and the overall impact this leaves. Customer service can leave a great or negative view of your business on your customers so it’s such an important element to get right.

Customer service can take lots of forms. From assisting somebody carrying a shopping basket, to answering a support email query promptly, to web chat, phone lines, and greeting people during their shopping experience.

Simple, meaningful connections with consumers as they interact with your brand form the basis of customer service.

How To Assess Interviewees For Customer Service Roles

When interviewing candidates for customer services roles, you should have a framework to assess them by. This helps to ensure fair comparisons and scoring when evaluating candidates against each other and part of this framework could be their use of examples for delivering great customer service.

If the candidate is able to provide examples where they supported customers in a way that aligns with your great customer service expectations, it’s a good indication that the person in front of you is capable of delivering in this role.

Some great ways to find this information out is to ask ‘Can you give me an example of how you dealt with a complaint from a customer’ or ‘Can you tell me about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer’.

Do their examples make you feel like they’re personable, approachable and friendly whilst also being competent and capable?

The candidate should be able to give examples of how they overcame difficult situations, managed customer expectations and shown they have excellent communication skills to be able to converse and interact with people from all walks of life.

Here are some examples to look out for in their answers that could demonstrate these key qualities. 

Example Answer For A Candidate With Customer Service Experience

This answer would demonstrate the person has good problem solving skills:

In my experience as a customer service representative, success lies in ensuring the customer feels supported, as well as making sure a positive solution is found. In order to find that solution, it is vital to listen attentively to the customer’s needs and have in-depth knowledge about whatever your company is selling.

For example, in my previous role selling electronics, I was approached by a customer who wanted to purchase a laptop. He was nervous about spending a lot of money without having much knowledge about the products. I had the technical knowledge to explain the features and benefits of each model, as well as how it might suit their individual requirements – this enabled me to provide an excellent customer service experience, ensuring the customer felt confident in their choice.”

This answer would demonstrate how they can manage complaints effectively:

When faced with a customer complaint, I stayed calm and wrote down all of the information that the customer wanted to share. I was aware of the complaints policy of my company, so was able to share the timelines that the customer could expect to hear back from the management team regarding their complaint. In the meantime, I was able to offer a short term resolution by providing them with a discount code that could be redeemed on their next purchase.” 

interview mistakes to avoid

What Would Poor Customer Service Examples Look Like?

Just like there are some tell-tale ‘good customer service’ examples to look out for, if candidates share these types of examples, phrases or attitudes, it could be a sign that they’re not as well equipped for the role as they think.

  • “I strive for excellence” – this doesn’t mean anything. You would want them to provide examples of how they deliver excellence. A better example would be “In my last role, I found opportunities to answer customers FAQs proactively by creating a database for employees to access when helping customers”

This example also shows they’re analytical and have great problem solving skills.

Example Answer for a Candidate Without Customer Service Experience

Even if somebody interviewing for a customer service role hasn’t had previous experience, they can still possess the right mindset and attitude for the job. Here’s what to look out for:

For me, the most memorable experiences I have had with a company or business is where the customer service representative went above and beyond my expectations, surprising me with little touches that I had not anticipated.

For example, I recently ordered a product online, but when it arrived, it was broken. While this was probably not the store’s fault, they immediately sent a new product (which was what I expected)), but on top of that, they also sent a beautiful mug as a gift. When conversing with the customer service representative, they made me feel heard, they used my name when talking with me, expressed empathy, apologised and surprised me with a gift.

Experiencing this great service stayed in my mind, and I will now always return to shop with this store.”

This clearly demonstrates that they understand what good customer service looks and feels like, meaning they’re more likely to be able to replicate this for others in their role providing customer service.

Questions to Ask When Interviewing for a Customer Service Role

Here are some questions that can be used in customer service role interviews. They provide a chance for candidates to answer in a way that demonstrates their experience, commitment and expertise for the job on offer.

  • Tell me about your experience in dealing with difficult customer enquiries?
  • Have you ever resolved a customer issue before?
  • How would you deal with an angry customer?
  • How would you deal with a customer who you know is wrong?
  • How do you think customer loyalty is built?
  • If customers ask you questions you don’t know the answer to, how would you respond?
  • Can you give me an example of how good customer service has positively impacted your own life?
  • How can you identity a customers needs or expectations
  • What skills or traits do you think a customer service representative should have?

These kinds of detailed questions that are relevant to the role they’re interviewing for will help interviewers to establish if they are suitable for the role or not.

Why is Good Customer Service Important?

Good customer service can help to leave positive and memorable experiences in the minds of customers and when customers have a positive experience with an organisation, they’re much more likely to return again or recommend the company to others with a similar need in the future.

This kind of free word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable for sharing your business with a wider audience as it comes from a trusted and authentic source rather than an obvious advertisement.

When more customers find you or keep coming back, this can lead to high profits over time – so really, good customer service should be the backbone of any business that wants to succeed.

What Types of Jobs Require Good Customer Service?

Customer service spans all kinds of roles and industries – it’s not just for people sitting in call centres!

Occupations like retail, hospitality, healthcare and food delivery all require excellent customer service day-to-day but corporate environments also need to keep service levels high too.

Every time somebody enters your shop, office, or showroom, the interactions they receive shape their opinion of your customer service. From reception to management, every single customer facing interaction is key.

Top 4 Qualities a Customer Service Representative Needs

There are plenty of skills and qualities needed to be an ideal customer service representative, but we’ve narrowed it down to our top four below:

  • Communication skills: This has to be the number one quality for anyone dealing with customers. Simply being able to convey empathy, listen properly and give timely updates on solutions available can all go a long way in a customer’s eyes.
  • Politeness is key: Being polite and respectful to the customer is key in building a rapport. Patience allows you to stay calm under pressure and handle situations in a friendly manner.
  • Conscientiousness: Paying attention to the small details, wanting to go the extra mile, and being effective at planning and organisation can all aid the handling of customer needs.
  • Loyalty to both the company and its customers ensures the right moral character needed to build long-term relationships and excellent service delivery.

All together, these attributes combined form an outstanding customer service representative who will work hard towards helping others achieve satisfaction from their experience with the business.

Tips for conducting a return to work interview

How To Improve Your Customer Service Skills

If your customer service skills are being rated poorly by customers, it’s time to step up and help your staff to learn the simple techniques they can use to improve those day-to-day interactions between your staff and the public.

To thrive in customer service they must be able to:

  • Demonstrate empathy, patience and respect, regardless of your own personal views on the matter in hand.
  • Remain composed, polite, respectful even in challenging interactions
  • Listen first, then evaluate what has been said, and respond appropriately.
  • Help customers to feel heard and respected.
  • Go above and beyond expectation. Employees need to be empowered to help customers in need.
  • Keep on top of developments in products or services so they’re knowledgeable and can help.

Whether you’re on the front line in a customer service role, are managing a team of customer service representatives, or are a business leader looking to spread the right customer centric methods throughout all levels of the business, these are the key skills you should keep in mind.

Final Thoughts

If you’re interviewing for a customer service role, it’s important that your candidates can demonstrate that they have the skills, attitude and personality needed to excel in making your customers feel valued.

Being able to offer outstanding customer service is a good way to differentiate your business from your competitors. The best thing is, it doesn’t have to cost you a lot of money either as often, one of the most effective parts of customer service is timely and helpful communication. If candidates can provide some of the examples shown in this post, you can be confident that they could be a benefit to your team.

By building a culture of problem solving, continuous learning and building a workforce that is capable of delivering great experiences for your customers, you can build loyalty internally and externally, resulting in long-term business success.

Your key takeaway should be that customer service isn’t just ‘one department’ or a ‘transactional interaction’ – it really is a mindset that should be seen across all areas of the business so that customers are prioritised and you consistently exceed their expectations.

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