Why this matters:

Customer service representatives need the ability to remain effective while performing simple tasks, such as reading or working on their computer while speaking to a customer, simultaneously. Your candidate’s answer should demonstrate an organized working style and a capacity to prioritize tasks.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to divide their attention between multiple tasks
  • A flexible and adaptable personality
  • An ability to frequently switch focus between tasks

Why this matters:

Depending on their duties, customer service representatives may be required to use one or multiple applications for accessing client and company information. This question will help you gauge your candidate’s level of experience working with customer service tools – such as live chat support, dashboards, and ticketing systems – and their ability to learn how to use new software quickly.

What to listen for:

  • Basic computer skills
  • Experience with industry-specific customer service tools
  • Ability to learn how to use new applications quickly

Why this matters:

Effective customer service representatives need the ability to explain services, charges, and other difficult concepts in simple terms. Your candidate should demonstrate an aptitude for clear communication and the capacity to adapt their communication style to different situations and audiences.

What to listen for:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • A focus on active listening
  • Proper use of language and expressions

Why this matters:

This question will provide you with insights into your candidate’s communication style and conflict resolution skills. Ideal answers should describe a situation in which candidates demonstrated empathy and drew from company-provided tools – such as discounts, payment plans, and offers – to provide customers with solutions that benefited both parties.

What to listen for:

  • A focus on active listening
  • Ability to work through tense situations
  • An ability to negotiate and offer solutions

Why this matters:

Customer service representatives should strive to go above and beyond to provide memorable customer experiences. Ideal candidates will demonstrate a solid understanding of the effect of positive interactions for promoting customer retention and enhancing your company’s brand.

What to listen for:

  • An empathetic mindset
  • A focus on making others feel heard and understood
  • An ability to build connections with customers

Why this matters:

One of the most difficult parts of a customer service representative’s job is handling unruly customers. Your candidate’s answer should describe a situation in which they de-escalated conflict by remaining calm, detaching their emotions from the situation, and employing a critical approach. Their actions should demonstrate a capacity for working through conflict without taking personal offense.

What to listen for:

  • A solid understanding of the importance of de-escalation in conflicts
  • A rational and effective approach to conflict resolution
  • A calm and stoic demeanor

Why this matters:

In many situations, customer service representatives may not have the knowledge, tools, or authority to provide a customer with the help they need. This question will help you gauge your candidate’s ability to judge when it’s best to have a supervisor intervene. Their answer should demonstrate a willingness to exhaust all options within their power before passing customers on to a higher authority.

What to listen for:

  • A clear understanding of how chains of command work
  • A willingness to try their best at solving problems
  • Ability to delegate effectively

Why this matters:

Between disgruntled customers and a never-ending stream of questions, working as a customer service representative can be a stressful job. Candidates should demonstrate the capacity to solve problems quickly and effectively and work with their team to reduce customer wait times and maintain the flow of information. They should strive to achieve a balance between speed and accuracy without compromising service quality.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to remain calm under pressure
  • A speedy and effective working style
  • Ability to handle multiple tasks at once

Why this matters:

Most customer service representatives work as part of a team of customer service representatives or supporting people fulfilling other roles. Your candidate’s answer should demonstrate a solid understanding of the importance of collaboration, peer support, and doing their part to help their team achieve goals and fulfill metrics.

What to listen for:

  • Ability to work productively with others
  • Track record of positive relationships with peers
  • A positive view of teamwork
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