The first step to providing excellent customer service and CX is to hire the right people for the job. As the team leader, this is a critical part of your position.
Interview processes sometimes feel more like a formality. But by asking the right questions, you can pull out more valuable information about the candidates, leading to a better hire.
If you don’t know where to begin, we’ve got 22 insightful customer service interview questions to help you find the people who are a good fit for your team.
How to Ask the Best CX Interview Questions
Your ideal candidate will have an array of hard and soft skills – hard skills such as familiarity with your CRM software and soft skills such as empathy and patience. Which are most important to you?
Many skills are easy enough to train, such as following the proper procedures in your system, but some are quite difficult. You’ll always need to coach your team in certain areas, so finding coachable team members is important.
For instance, does your candidate have a passion for helping others? Find out what they do in their off-time. If they spend their Saturdays volunteering at the animal shelter they probably have empathy, patience, and the ability to handle difficult situations.
To make matters more complicated, asking the right questions is just part of the process for finding CX team members who are a good fit. You should listen to how your candidate responds, not just what they say. After all, they can easily look up customer service interview questions online and give you rehearsed answers. Today’s customer service agents need the ability to react spontaneously and think on their feet.
Customer Service Interview Questions About Personality Traits
It’s a good idea to ask a few questions to discover your candidate’s personality type. Is it suited for the type of customer service your company provides?
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For instance, an extrovert would probably enjoy a customer service job handling phone support. To an introvert, this might sound like their worst nightmare. However, if your customer service involves researching complex queries for a few regular clients, that same personality type could shine with their attention to detail and ability to work on their own.
Learning some skills are easy, while others are more or less innate. Here are some customer service interview questions you can ask to get a feel for your candidate’s personality and social skills.
- If you were spending the day out with friends and nobody knew where to go next, what would you do?
- Describe a time when you had to talk to people you didn’t know. How did it make you feel? How did they respond to you?
- Have you ever had to deal with an irate or unreasonable customer? How did you handle it? Would you have done anything differently?
- Tell me about a time you had difficulty understanding a customer’s needs. What did you do to gain more information and resolve the situation?
- Describe a situation where you needed someone to do something right away but knew that person is usually kind of passive. What did you do?
- Have you ever received negative feedback from a customer? How did you react? Did that experience change your behavior?
- Have you ever bent the rules to help a customer? Describe the situation and the result.
- Tell me about a time you had to refuse a customer’s request.
- How would you go about assisting a customer who’s already worked with several different agents and still hasn’t gotten the help they need?
- Describe the best customer service experience you could give a customer.
- Describe the best customer service experience you’ve ever received.
- How do you recharge after a long day at work?
The best candidate will speak with enthusiasm about specific examples from their past experience in the customer service field. They’ll be humble and admit to their mistakes without blaming customers or coworkers.
They should be joyful about their wins, too. It’s okay if they brag about the times they provided excellent customer service. Negative customer interactions can really get a person down, and to find a good fit, it’s best to hire an agent who enjoys the job and is motivated by success.
Customer Experience Team Questions About Problem-Solving And Operational Skills
Of course, the best agents have skills beyond their social aptitude. It’s great if they already have experience with your software and the type of customer problems they are likely to see in your industry. Even if they don’t have that type of specific experience, they should be able to pick things up quickly and figure out how to handle the situation.
- What sort of customer issues did you handle in your previous role and how did you resolve them?
- If you had to become an expert on (a specific aspect of your business), what would you do? How would you go about attaining that knowledge?
- How would you solve (an actual problem your business has had)?
- What do you see as the function of a customer service agent?
- What would you do if you didn’t know how to solve a customer’s problem and this information wasn’t readily available?
- Suppose a customer asks to speak to a manager or another agent, but you’re the only one there. What do you do?
- Let’s say a customer complains about an issue or product that you know is problematic and has had many previous customer complaints. What do you do?
- What would you do if a customer gave you important feedback about a product or service?
- Have you ever made suggestions as to how your employer could improve their products or services? If so, tell me about it.
- When you interact with a customer, how do you decide what information to tell them and what to leave out?
Use the right questions to find someone who’s the right fit
Customer service is one of the hottest fields of competition for a business today. It has become increasingly difficult to maintain contact center excellence as customer expectations rise and their problems become more complicated.
Hire top-notch people to staff your customer service department and train them well. By asking them these 22 questions during the interview process, you’ll be able to find the people who are a good fit for your team.
Now that you know how to hire the best customer support agents, find out how to monitor and improve your team. Learn best practices in our eBook, The 2021 QA Success Blueprint: Improve & Monitor Your Call Center Agents.