A candidate must be able to deal with customers in a friendly and empathetic manner, but also try to stick to particular company protocols.
They will also usually need basic computer and data entry skills. It is also important to prepare effectively and make sure that you represent yourself in a professional manner. This can apply to everything from the way that you dress to the way that you speak during the interview.
13.Have you had a time when a customer was reporting a technical issue that you didn’t know the answer to? What was your approach, and how did it end up?
14.Can you tell me about a situation with a customer when there wasn’t a clear policy to use, and you needed to make a judgement call? How did you approach your decision, and what happened?
15.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?
Problem solving is an invaluable skill, and one that can always be improved. The best candidates will be able to walk you through their approach to situations in which they didn’t immediately have an answer. Ask them for examples of how they learned from those situations, and applied it to another problem.
Beware of people who claim never to have been stumped or who can only give examples where a team or colleague provided the final answer.
16.Can you give an example of how you handled alerting a customer when your product/service caused a major problem?
17.When responding to a customer, how do you decide what information to include, and what to leave out?
18.Can you tell me about a time when you needed to convince a customer or a teammate to change the way they were working (e.g., adopt a new procedure or modify their language), and how you went about that?
There is no greater skill for customer service employees than the ability to communicate clearly, and with the appropriate level of detail. This section is an opportunity for your best candidates to stand out by explaining how they talk or write to customers.
Great candidates will show an ability to interpet a customer’s needs and modify their communication style for different audiences. Look out for candidates who can only describe a single communication approach, as they may be too inflexible.
Attitude and approach to work
19.What’s the last new skill you learned? Why did you choose that skill, and how did you learn it?
20.Can you tell me about a time when you made a great contribution to your team?
21.What’s the next book I should read? Why?
22.What are you better at today than you were this time last year?
23.What do you think makes a good teammate?
This final section is a chance to understand what this candidate would be like to work with. Are they always looking to learn new skills? Will they be supportive of their colleagues as well as customers? People who can talk about their interests and carry on a casual conversation typically perform well in a customer service role.