5 customer service interview questions every manager should ask

You know how important it is to deliver quality customer service if you want your business to succeed, but do your employees? Finding someone that has that special mix of skills that will make them a customer service superstar is a daunting task, but having the right set of customer service interview questions in your hiring arsenal will help you hit your targets.

Hiring the wrong employees leads to poor customer service and high turnover, both of which are devastating to your bottom line. And when it comes to interview questions, customer support roles should not be overlooked.

5 Critical Customer Support Interview Questions

In addition to tools like job simulations, pre-hire assessments, and data-driven decision making, using specific questions to learn as much as you can about your candidates during the interview allows you to determine whether or not they’ll be good brand ambassadors.

Here are five customer service interview questions that can help you find high-quality frontline talent.

1. Talk to me about a bad customer service incident that you’ve experienced.

This question drives home the point right away. When you ask a candidate to discuss a bad customer service experience, you gain valuable insight on their priorities. You can learn quite a bit about how a candidate will handle a situation by listening to the things that he or she considers to be poor customer service.

If for example, a candidate describes an experience when a retail employee was short with them and seemed irritated by their questions, you know that they have the ability to sense agitation and assess a person’s mood. These are both advantageous core competencies to have when dealing with customers.

2. What did you learn about customer service from your bad interaction?

There’s no shortage of customer-service-gone-wrong in today’s world, and one of the most important things you can learn about a candidate is what they’ve gleaned from these experiences.

When a candidate can step back and think about a customer interaction and gain insight from it, they have the ability to provide positive experiences when they are on the other side of the interaction.

3. How would you deal with a customer that is having a well-known issue with the product or service that you provide?

Customer service professions must deal with different customers with different personalities that are all having the similar issues on a regular basis. It can be difficult to hear the same complaints over and over, but it’s a reality of the job.

This is one of those customer support interview questions that can help you to understand if your candidate has the ability to be empathetic.

4. How much time, and how many interactions should it take to solve an issue?

Time-to-resolution is a key factor in bad customer service experiences. By asking this question, you can determine how important it is to an individual that customer concerns are resolved quickly and efficiently.

Of course, it will be difficult for your candidate to determine just how much time it will take over the course of a certain number of interactions to solve an issue, but the ideal candidate will want to resolve an issue as quickly as possible.

5. How will you make customer service more engaging for the customers you interact with?

Problem-solving, active listening and communication skills are all key to great customer support, but these attributes mean nothing if your candidate cannot keep the customer engaged.

In many cases, the call center experience will be the only direct contact that your customers have with your brand, so it’s important that you use customer service interview questions that evaluate support skills.

When you combine an effective interview with a solid, evidence-based hiring process, you’ll bring on more employees that share your organization’s priorities and positively represent the image of your brand.

Learn more by downloading your free copy of 5 Talent Acquisition Commandments for Every Productive Mass Hiring Team.