What to look for in an answer: You need to find conversational side doors to draw these qualities out by asking questions that require a story to answer. 5. right. Here are some good storytelling questions to get you started: An active listener is a prepared problem solver. I love talking to people from different backgrounds, finding out about their lives and helping them find solutions to their problems. What’s the next book I should read? What do you think they could have done differently to make it better? This section is an opportunity for your best candidates to stand out by explaining how they talk or write to customers. What went wrong? It’s also a good indication you’ve found somebody who will treat users well when they show up to talk to your company. Great support reps possess an abstract set of skills that can be difficult to address head on. Based on their responses, the tr… Situational interview questions focus on how you’ll handle real-life scenarios you may encounter in the workplace, and how you’ve handled similar situations in previous roles. Did your previous team ever have a project go completely awry? At some point in your interview, you will have to answer a question that prods you to give an example or take part in a role play situation. How did you approach your decision, and what happened? Questions 16-18 are designed to measure candidates’ communication skills. 17. They should be prepared to talk about your specific company and how customer service might contribute to its success. If a candidate carefully addresses each point you’ve asked them to discuss, that means they’re an engaged and sincere listener. Describe a negative interaction you had in a customer service situation with a different company. They’ll be less likely to have thought through what great customer service means to a business. Describe a situation where you weren’t satisfied with your job. You can also zag by how you conduct interviews. The final five questions on our list are designed to measure candidates’ attitudes and approaches to work. Role-playing happens when two or more people act out roles in a particular scenario. After running a support team for years, Mat joined the marketing team at Help Scout, where we make excellent customer service achievable for companies of all sizes. What to look for in an answer: “During my previous role, a customer was furious about not being able to return an item for a full refund. Why is that subtext so important? The tricky thing about interviews is you only have one shot to set the right tone and learn what you need. They surprise no one, they won’t surface an ability to thrive under pressure, and their limited framing begets limited answers. What to look for in an answer: “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. Ask every candidate the 23 customer service interview questions below to get the information you need to hire top talent. Great candidates will show an ability to interpret a customer’s needs and modify their communication styles for different audiences. Do all of their examples lead to someone else made a bad decision and that’s why didn’t work? Tell me about a time when a customer was reporting a technical issue that you didn’t know the answer to. Ask them for examples of how they learned from those situations and applied them to another problem. Tell me about the situation and the outcome. Granted, it can be a challenge to have a forthright conversation with a person who has been hand-picked to deliver a glowing review, but the right attitude (and some good questions) will go far. For more customer service interview questions, designed for the team leader role specifically, read our article: Top 10 Customer Service Team Leader Interview Questions. Beware of people who claim never to have been stumped or who can only give examples where another team or colleague provided the final answer. Watch out for people who really want a different role but see customer service as the easiest way to get a foot in the door. Questions 13-15 measure a candidates’ ability to solve problems — an invaluable skill that can always be improved. Why?” Is their response charming, or does it fall flatter than an “N/A” reply in a written interview? Providing exceptional customer service is a team effort that requires constant collaboration to build a strong, positive image of the company. 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.”. How do they respond? I’m also really interested in learning more about how automation can make the customer service process faster and more efficient.”. Have you ever bent the rules in assisting a customer? You won’t be left groping for questions, your interactions will be more memorable, and you’ll be able to standardize the circumstances under which you assess candidates. Short of inventing a time machine, there’s no guaranteed method, which makes your interview one of the most important tools you have to vet customer service and support candidates. Can you describe a time when you had to say no to an important customer’s request? Seeing how they react speaks volumes about how they will handle real-life situations — and will help you avoid wasting time and energy hiring the wrong person. 22. 15. Look for people who show humility and take responsibility for their mistakes. Ask this critical question to gauge a candidate’s commitment to the role and and gain insights about their customer service philosophy. 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. 11. Why? Ask this question to find out if a candidate knows how to respond calmly and efficiently in these situations. That’s no good, because you’re searching for creativity; work isn’t a multiple choice test. 4. What was the final outcome? 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. Company policy only allowed me to offer the customer store credit since he didn’t have a receipt. Can you give an example of how you handled alerting a customer when your product/service caused a major problem? Tell us about … There’s no better teacher than experience. I also ask for an example of a recent conflict and how it was resolved. When interviewing potential support hires, you always run the risk of repeating the same questions, receiving the same answers, having the same small talk, and then promptly forgetting all the important details. We regularly pooled our knowledge and resources to address tricky customer complaints and handle a large amount of incoming calls during peak times. 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. It’s also okay to ask similar questions at different points during the interview. Can you give me an example of a situation where there were major problems with your product/service and you needed to respond without having all the answers yet?
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