Customer service representatives are essential employees in almost every industry. And the importance of having a quality customer service team cannot be overstated. According to Forbes Advisor, 48% of customers are willing to spend more on a company’s services if they offer quality customer service.
Hiring qualified customer service representatives is essential to your company’s success. But how do you know what to look for in a customer service representative? You may even be wondering what customer service representative questions you can ask during the interview process to help you find the right talent.
We’ve compiled all you need to know about customer service representative job functions below, including what to look for in a customer service representative and more than 40 of the best customer service representative interview questions to ask.
What Is a Customer Service Representative?
A customer service representative is someone who works with p customers in an effort to help process orders, answer questions, or resolve complaints or issues. Customer service representatives are typically the first person a potential or existing client interacts with if they have questions about a company’s products or services or they’re experiencing difficulties.
Examples of tasks that a customer service representative may be responsible for include the following:
- Providing information about a company’s products or services
- Resolving customer complaints
- Processing customer orders, billing, or payments
- Processing customer returns or exchanges
- Fielding customers’ questions and concerns
- Escalating customer concerns to high-level management
- Recording details of customer accounts
- Resolving customer technical issues
- Connecting customers to other departments within the company
What Are the Different Types of Customer Service Representatives?
In 2022, The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported there were 2,982,900 customer service representatives employed in the United States, and roughly 373,400 customer service position openings were projected year over year.
The type of customer service representative that’s needed will vary by company and industry alongside the type of mediums in which the customer service representative will work. Some may work remotely or in an office and provide their services via phone, email, text, live chat, or social media. Others may work in person and assist customers face-to-face.
Depending on the type of work your company does, you’ll need to determine whether your customer service representatives will need to be in-person to work with customers or if they can provide their services remotely.
Customer Service Representative Interview Questions to Ask
A top-performing customer service representative is someone who possesses great communication and listening skills, as well as the ability to problem-solve on their feet. You also may consider someone who is technically skilled, a quick learner, and empathetic. Fortunately, by asking the right customer service representative interview questions, you’ll be able to weed out the unfit candidates from your list.
Interview Icebreaker Questions
Your company will want to hire customer service representatives who are personable and friendly. Asking some open-ended, icebreaker questions will allow you to not only make the candidates feel more comfortable but also gauge how quickly they’re able to connect with someone they’ve just met.
Here are some examples of questions you can ask to break the ice:
- Tell me about yourself.
- What things on your resume are you most proud of?
- What is something you’d consider yourself an expert in?
- What do you know about our company and its product(s)/service(s)?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- What are you looking for in your next role?
General Interview Questions
The following are general interview questions to ask customer service representatives to see how they would fare in a customer-facing support role.
- Please explain a time when you had to multitask. What was the result?
- How do you handle stressful situations?
- Please explain the customer service software tools you’re familiar with.
- How do you explain a difficult or complex concept to a customer?
- How do you react in a situation where a customer is belligerent?
- Describe your most successful customer service interaction. Why would you consider it successful?
- How do you feel about working in a team environment?
- What previous experience do you have working in a customer-facing or customer service role?
Interview Questions on Customer Service Values
Asking the following questions can help you uncover a candidate’s underlying beliefs surrounding customer service as a whole. It can also help you pinpoint whether the candidate shares your company’s beliefs surrounding the significance of a customer service representative and the role they play in organizational operations.
- What does “good customer service” mean to you?
- Please tell me about the best customer service you’ve ever received.
- Please tell me about the worst customer service you’ve ever received.
- Please explain the difference between customer support, customer experience, and customer service.
- What appeals to you about this particular customer service role?
- Tell me about a time when you had to enforce a customer service company policy.
- Describe your personal experience with active listening.
- How can you tell when a customer is satisfied or dissatisfied?
Interview Questions on Problem-solving
By nature of being responsible for listening and resolving customer complaints, a customer service representative has to have problem-solving skills. Ask the following customer service representative interview questions to identify whether a candidate has tangible problem-solving experience and skills.
- Please tell me about a time when a customer was experiencing major product/service issues, and you had to respond without being able to escalate them to a more experienced representative or supervisor. What was the issue, and how did you handle it?
- Please tell me about a time when you were working with a customer and their situation required you to make a judgment call as to how to best proceed (e.g., the company handbook didn’t list out the situation as a possible scenario). How did you come to make your decision, and what happened?
- Please tell me about a time when a customer was reporting a technical issue that you didn’t know how to resolve. How did you approach the situation, and what ended up happening?
- Please tell me about a time when you had to solve a problem without supervisory support. How did you handle the situation, and what was the end result?
- How do you determine how to solve a problem on your own and when it is time to ask for help?
- Please tell me about a time when you were faced with a project or task that seemed overwhelming. How did you approach the task, and how did you manage it to completion?
- What do you do when you can’t provide a customer with an answer/the help they need?
Interview Questions on Communication
Customer service representatives work directly with your customers, so you want to ensure that they are able to effectively communicate with your clients. Additionally, there may be times when they will need to refer a customer to another sector of the company, and the customer service rep will need to alert the other team and explain what’s going on. A candidate with good communication skills will be essential for success in the role.
- When responding to a customer, how do you decide what level of information to include in your response?
- Please tell me about a time when you had to explain to a customer that your company’s product or service created a major problem for the customer.
- Please tell me about a time when you had to explain a complex idea or concept to a friend. How did you go about doing this?
- How do you go about building rapport with customers?
- How would you go about providing an answer to a customer who was already upset?
- What would you do if there was a communication breakdown at work?
- How would you handle calming down a frustrated client?
Interview Questions for Remote Customer Service Representatives
While it may seem like there are minimal differences between onsite and remote customer service representatives, they do slightly differ. If your company is hiring remote employees, you’ll want to ask another set of questions to ensure the candidate is the right fit. Here are a few to consider asking:
- Describe your previous experience working in a remote role.
- Have you ever worked in a remote customer-facing role?
- What strategies do you employ to ensure you’re connected to your peers?
- What strategies do you use to ensure that you’re remaining productive while working remotely?
- What would you do if you were to become disconnected from a customer while working remotely?
- How can you provide top-notch customer service while working remotely?
Hire Customer Service Representatives with Insight Global
Companies should employ knowledgeable customer service representatives who can support their customers. Ask these 40+ strategic interview questions to ensure your next customer service representative is the right fit for your company and its needs. But if you need help finding the best talent, we can help. As one of the largest staffing companies in the U.S., we know how to find quality candidates in no time.
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