Jan 27, 2015

5 Interview Questions for Great Customer Service

Check your candidates with these 5 questions.

Jan 27, 2015

5 Interview Questions for Great Customer Service

Check your candidates with these 5 questions.

Customer service directly impacts your reputation, your retention rate, and your bottom line—so it's crucial to assemble a staff with talent for it.

But how can you identify that talent? How much can you really learn from an interview?

Ask the Right Questions

Consensus says behavioral interview questions—which predict future performance by soliciting examples of past performance—yield the best information.

But even with the right questions, there's only so much information in the content of a candidate's responses. The rest is in how they respond.

Here are five behavioral questions to help ensure great customer service—and what to listen for in the answers.

1. Give an example of a time you had to deliver bad news.

Listen for: Positive language

Negative phrases are red flags ("We don't have that"); positive phrases are green lights ("We can special order that for you").

2. What do you do for fun?

Listen for: Enthusiasm

If they show enthusiasm for their own interests, they're more likely to show enthusiasm for the interests of your customers.

3. Tell me about a time you responded to an unhappy customer.

Listen for: Empathy

Medical professionals call it "therapeutic communication:" the process of easing stress by showing empathy and concern. It's especially crucial where the solution is less than ideal.

4. What has been your proudest moment at work?

Listen for: Customer focus

What motivates them? A good candidate will be ready with a story about going the extra mile to make a customer happy.

5. Tell me about a time you had to do some digging to find an answer.

Listen for: Problem solving skills

Part of good service is knowing how to respond when the solution doesn't immediately come to mind. A good candidate will go above and beyond to find it.

Try these questions in your next round of interviews and give yourself the greatest chance of finding the best employees!

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