Customer Service interview questions and answers 👇

  1. Customer Service General Interview Questions
  2. Customer Service Behavioural Interview Questions
  3. Customer Service Skills Interview Questions

Customer Service General Interview Questions

Which relevant qualifications do you have for this job?

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By asking this question, the interviewer looking at two aspects of qualifications.

  • Qualifications obtained from a college setting
  • Experience in the customer service field. It will help them to determine how appropriate you are for the position for customer service job. Answer as per your actuals and do not fake anything.

What do you think about typical day in a Customer Service representative’s life?

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Here are the daily activities of a Customer Service Agent-

  • Answering phone calls.
  • Resolving customer’s issues.
  • Dealing with mismanaged payments.
  • Providing customers with relevant information.
  • Encourage them to select the right.

How is a contact center different from a call center?

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A contact center is a centralised point where communication with customers is handled. While contact centers use a multi-channel approach to customer service through mediums like phone calls, emails, web-based calls, web chats, social media, etc., call centers only operate via telephone. In other words, a call center is a specific type of contact center.

What is the difference between good and great customer service?

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This question should give a sense of how you consider your role for the customer service job. A good customer service only offer what customer is looking.

On the other hand, great customer service is ready to provide something more to the customer.

What do you do in the situation when you don’t know the answer to a question?

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The main thing here is your honesty. Especially if you are handling a complex product or service and do not have much knowledge about the product.

Then it is much better for you to say, “I don’t know, but give me some time I will provide you every detail of this product”.

Alternatively, you could also ask the customer to allow you to call them back with the relevant information.

Or, you can say that “I am not 100% sure on that, but let me check with one of my senior and get back to you”.

What is customer lifetime value or LTV? How can a skilled customer service representative (CSR) ensure higher LTVs?

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Customer lifetime value (LTV) is a measure of the revenue that a customer can be predicted to generate throughout his/her relationship with a business. It helps a business to focus on building healthy and long-term relations with their customers. By providing good and timely customer service and maintaining high satisfaction rates, skilled CSRs can have a very positive impact on LTVs.

How important do you think it is to work collaboratively with other customer service representatives and teams across a company?

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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

Are shorter talk times equal to good customer service?

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Shorter talk times do not necessarily mean good customer service, especially if they are not accompanied by high first call resolution rates and customer satisfaction rates.

What are the differences between first reply time, talk time, and average handle time?

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First reply time refers to the seconds which pass between the moment a customer ticket is generated and a CSR's first response, while talk time is the amount of time the CSR spends in talking to the customer. The average handle time is a total of the time taken by a CSR to resolve an issue, including his/her talk time and hold time.

What is ticket routing?

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Ticket routing is the process of choosing the agent who will handle a particular customer request. It may depend on the priority status of the ticket, the skill and seniority levels of the CSRs, and current workloads. Strategic ticket routing can benefit both CSRs and customers.

What is customer churn rate? How is customer service related to it?

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Churn rate refers to the number or percentage of customers that a business loses over a period of time. Besides faulty products or services, bad customer service can be a major contributor to a high churn rate.

Define the terms CSAT and NPS.

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CSAT and NPS are both measurable values indicating customer satisfaction. CSAT stands for Customer Satisfaction Score, while NPS means Net Promoter Score. NPS is a more specific value since it reflects customer loyalty based on how likely they are to recommend the company's products or services to others.

Would you describe yourself as a people person?

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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
  • Customer-focused

What do you do when your customer points out major issue reading any product or service?

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This question helps the interviewer to know your ability to empathize with a customer. You should say that “I apologize for the inconvenience caused to him. Then assure them that the issue would be solved very quickly as technical team is working on that issue”.

Tell me about a difficult customer you had to deal with and how you handled it?

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For answering behavioral interview questions, we recommend the S.T.A.R. method.

Situation. Task/Challenge. Action you took. Result.

That is a good way to organize your answer. So when you are in a customer service job interview and they ask about a difficult customer you encountered, you could say:

“It was Friday afternoon and we were about to close the store.” (Situation)

“A customer came to me extremely unhappy because __” (Task/Challenge)

“So I quickly did ___ and decided to offer her ___ to rectify the situation” (Action you took)

“She was very grateful and completely understood after I explained ___. And she was thrilled that I was able to give her ___ as compensation for her hassle. She said she’d be back soon to shop again.” (Result).

We highly recommend using this method to break down your answer into smaller pieces and tell clearer and better stories.This is useful for any behavioral customer service interview question.

What will you do when your co-worker is behaving rudely with the customers?

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You should say that “It depends on the situation, like how long the co-worker has been working with the company. If somebody new, you should speak to them and tell them to maintain a more professional attitude”. However, If you feel that this it is repeatedly done, you can inform your team leader.

What is important – excellent product or friendly service?

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Both are important because excellent product always sells, and friendly and fast services always help to make this task easier.

What is “Customer Satisfaction”?

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Every business depends upon the quality of the service offered to the customer. For that, you should have a clear understanding of the customer’s need and their issues. In Customer service field you need to think from their point of view to match up their demands and requirements.

How can you utilize customer’s feedback to ensure business excellence?

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This question is asked to know how you have developed and improved your sales process skill. Feedback is taken for training, post-sale events or other process improvements.

Do you have any previous customer service experience?

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Not everyone’s great at dealing with customers, and employers want to make sure you’ll do a good job before they hire you. So they’re going to want to know if you’ve done similar work before. They’ll start by asking if you have any previous customer service experience, and if you do, then the hiring manager will ask a lot more about it.

They’re going to ask for details like:

  • How you interacted with customers (phone, in-person, etc.)?
  • How many customers you served per day/week?
  • The types of customers you served (retail customer service, business customers, etc.). So brush up on your past experience and review your own resume when preparing for your interviews.

Be ready to go into detail about everything you’ve done in the past in the field of customer service.

If you don’t have any previous customer service experience, don’t worry. They obviously liked SOMETHING on your resume or they wouldn’t have invited you to interview.

So you can be direct and say, “no”.

Or if you have some other experience you think is relevant even if it wasn’t exactly customer service, you can say, “no… but…” and then talk about what else you’ve done and why you feel it’d help you succeed in this customer service job.

Tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was expected to please a customer?

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Employers don’t just want someone who does the bare minimum or sticks to their exact job description as a customer service representative. So they ask behavioral questions like this one to see if you’re able to really please customers and go above and beyond the basics.

If you have any previous customer service experience, be ready to go into detail about a time you got creative or put in the extra effort to please a customer.

For example, if you worked in a grocery store, what was something you did that they really didn’t expect, and made their day? Maybe you helped them find their lost child as the store was closing. Maybe you special-ordered a product that you don’t normally carry.

Think about those things that aren’t on the job description. That’s what to talk about when answering this interview question.

If you’ve never worked in a customer service role before, they might ask a similar question like, “tell me about a time you went above and beyond what was expected of you at work?” So even if you’ve never worked in customer service, be ready to talk about a situation where you did more than what was expected in your job.

Tell me about a difficult day you experienced at work. What happened and how did you handle it?

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You are going to have difficult days as a customer service representative. So employers want to know that you’re resilient and can handle it. They want to know that you won’t freak out, throw your uniform and quit.

So show them you know it’s not always easy being in customer service, but that you’re able to stay professional and come back the next day no matter what happens. Use the S.T.A.R. method (mentioned earlier!) to tell a clear story about a day that really didn’t go your way, and what you learned from it and how you turned it into a positive experience.

  • What were you able to improve from that experience?

  • How did you make sure the customer was satisfied?

  • How did that experience help you avoid problems/mistakes/difficult situations later in your career?

That’s the general approach we recommend when answering this type of question in your customer service interview.

Give me an example of a time when you had to explain something fairly complex to a frustrated client or coworker. How did you make sure they understood you?

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Communication skills are vital for any customer-facing job, so employers want to see how you explain yourself and communicate. They will judge this throughout the interview with EVERY answer you give them, too.

So make sure all of your answers are clear, concise, and to-the-point.

Tell me about a time you thought you communicated clearly but were misunderstood. What happened and how did you handle the situation?

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This is another customer service interview question designed to measure your communication skills and your ability to recover when things don’t go exactly as planned. They are looking to hear a story showing your ability to solve a problem/issue after your first attempt to communicate didn’t go as planned.

If you work in customer service long enough, you’ll be misunderstood once or twice. (No matter how great you are). So the hiring manager or interviewer wants to see you can keep your cool and recover even if a customer totally misunderstands you and gets upset.

Describe an instance when you had to improvise or think on your feet to solve a problem

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Another part of being great at customer service is solving problems and improvising on the spot. Sometimes the unexpected happens.

A power outage. An injury to a customer (if you’re in retail, etc.)

So try to use the S.T.A.R. method that we discussed earlier to tell a story of how you improvised in the past to find a solution to an unexpected problem.

Customer Service Behavioural Interview Questions

Would you consider yourself a team player?

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Why they ask this:

While it might seem like customer service representative jobs are a bit of a lone-wolf situation (after all, it’s usually just you speaking directly with a customer), in actuality there is an entire team at play in every situation, from the customer themselves all the way through the corporate chain of command including management and above, and a hiring manager wants to know ahead of time how you’ll handle that environment.

What you should focus on:

While being self-reliant and able to handle anything that comes your way regardless of how tough the problem is might seem like the right answer, the hiring manager is going to want to know that should you find yourself in a tough spot, you’re flexible enough to be able to turn to others to help. Place emphasis on your ability to think on your feet, but also on your ability to recognize when you’ve reached your limit and your ability to know when to escalate an issue to a manager or pass off to another representative who is better equipped to handle the situation.

Of course, the opposite is also true. A hiring manager doesn’t want someone who is going to punt the customer to someone else as soon as things get tough. The perfect answer is one that strikes a balance between being too self-reliant and being too indecisive.

Why do you want to work as a customer service representative?

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Why they ask this:

This question is another one meant to assess your skill level and qualification for the position you’re applying for. While it might seem like they’re asking you why you want to work here (hint: the answer is NOT the unlimited donuts at the break table or the opportunity to get covered parking after working for three months) what they’re really asking is: do you have what it takes to work here.

What you should focus on:

Highlight your skills and how they directly align with the position you’re applying to. Make sure you also include how your personality aligns with the desired traits of the ideal customer service representative.

Tell me about a time you experienced exceptional customer service and why it was so good.

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Why they ask this:

The hiring manager is curious about what you think good customer service is. Beware! This can be a trap question meant to lure you into recalling an event when you had amazing customer service that may or may not have bent the company rules.

What you should focus on:

Don’t tell a story about the time your cousin’s best friend comped your entire group a free meal or how a technician looked the other way and installed an upgraded stereo in your car and only charged you for the base model. While you might consider those amazing examples of customer service, the company these individuals represented at the time probably wouldn’t.

Focus instead on answers where both the representative and the company treated you with respect and went above and beyond without bending rules or doing anything underhanded or shady. A hiring manager probably won’t offer you a job if they think you’ll do whatever it takes to keep people happy, especially at the expense of the company.

Customer Service Skills Interview Questions

Sell me our company’s most popular product right now.

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Why they ask this:

Remember how we told you in the tips and tricks that it was a good idea to learn everything you could about the company and their products before you go into the interview? This question is why. The hiring manager wants to know if you know what you’re getting into and how much you want this position.

What you should focus on:

Make sure you’re genuinely enthusiastic about both the product and the company and demonstrate a knowledge beyond what any applicant could know simply based on a general awareness of the product. You’ll not only showing motivation and enthusiasm, you’re also proving that you already know how to do the job you’re applying for.

Tell me why you want to work here.

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Why they ask this:

This answer also relies on the homework you did ahead of the interview. While it might seem like the hiring manager wants you to list the benefits of the job (free access to the company gym, unlimited smoothies on Fridays) what they’re really asking is, “Why do you believe you’ll be a good fit for this company?”

What you should focus on:

Don’t focus on what the company will be providing you. Focus instead on what you’re bringing to the company and how it specifically aligns to the job you’re applying to, the company mission and culture.

Tell me about a time you had to deal with a customer who was angry.

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Why they ask this:

While this might seem like a simple question that should be included in the skills section, this is a question with several other questions wrapped up in layers. Yes, the hiring manager wants to know if you have the skills to do the job, but they also want to know how you solve problems, how you handle conflict, and how well you get all this done while still managing to preserve the integrity of the company within the guidelines of the mission.

What you should focus on:

This question absolutely relies on a concrete solid example from your past. Again, researching the company you’re applying to ahead of time will only help you as you will want to use an example that closely aligns with the policies of the company you’re now applying to. Make sure your answer includes the situation you were in, the task you were tackling, the action you took and the result of that action. Use the STAR Method of answering such questions.

Give me an example of a time you couldn’t solve a customer’s problem.

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Why they ask this:

This is another problem-solving question wrapped in layers being asked by a hiring manager who is trying to determine exactly how you’ll handle a similar situation should it arise again.

What you should focus on:

Yes, the STAR method applies here as well. Make sure you draw from an experience that include specifics…and be honest. Nobody wants an angry customer but sometimes it’s unavoidable. As long as you include the specifics of the situation, the task you were tackling, the action you took and the ultimate results of those actions (including, if applicable, what you learned from your unhappy customer) all while demonstrating your ability to problem solve, learn from your mistakes, and ultimately maintain the integrity of the company in a professional way, then this answer could be just as valuable to a hiring manger as 100 stories about how you won the day each and every time.

How would you handle a customer who has asked a question you can’t answer?

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Why they ask this:

The hiring manager wants to know how well you can handle placing a customer’s needs over your own situation. While your gut might be to answer “I don’t know (especially if you’re new), no customer wants to actually hear that. Again, remember to focus on qualities, which in this case, are going to be problem solving and adapting as well as teamwork.

What you should focus on:

First off, nobody’s perfect, which means you’re not always going to have the answer to every question that gets thrown your way by customers. Remember, we’re thinking like ninjas, and like a ninja, you’ll need to tuck and roll when confronted with a situation like this.

No, we are not saying avoid the question by rolling into a ball and bouncing out of the room. Rather, you’re going to want to address the customer’s needs while deflecting your own inability to immediately answer, all while pulling it all together into a solution that works for everybody. The key to questions like this is to remember your goal is to make things right for the customer, and that can mean finding someone who does know the answer.