The job of customer service agent requires having a personal contact with consumers or businesses. Thus your interviewer will try to find out as much as possible about your communication skills and ability to interact with people and provide them with assistance.
It is not enough to know answers to questions which can be asked during the customer service job interview. You need to possess specific soft skills and meet the requirements of the position you apply to. In this blog post you will find useful tips which will help you feel comfortable and confident during your interview.
Collect information about the employing company
Having a clear understanding of a customer service job is not enough for an interview. You need to prepare and learn about a company where you are going to work. HR and customer service managers often ask questions like: “Why do you think you would be a good fit with our company?”. By doing this they try to find out if you are really interested in this job position and if you understand what kind of responsibilities you will have.
Thus the first thing you need to do is to:
- collect and study information about the company
- read reviews of employees and customers
- find out weak and strong sides of their customer service
- get list of your own suggestions for improving their customer service.
Be honest with yourself
Before you apply for a job position ensure that you are actually a suitable candidate for a customer service representative position. Customer service jobs are not always easy and transparent. Sometimes companies are engaged in dirty tricks and develop own unfair tactics. On the other side, while working in customer service, you can get precious experience in communication, dealing with angry customers and solving complex issues.
If you have high level of emotional intelligence, can easily develop a positive attitude and are flexible and adaptive, this job is for you. However, if you feel irritation while dealing with other people, think twice before ever setting foot into an HR’s office.
Share examples of good customer service
Do you know what good customer service is? Have you ever experienced it? To get ready and shine on your interview you need to provide examples of what in your opinion good customer service is. You can give specific examples either from your own experience or from posts of customer service experts.
Acquire customer service skills
If you have no experience working in customer service and this is your first customer service job interview you need to know that companies hire for this position people who possess specific soft skills which allow them easily communicate with customers and solve complex issues. Necessary customer service skills include:
- Active listening
- Conflicts resolution
- Effective communication
- Excellent knowledge of your product or service
- Quick thinking.
Develop communication skills
Good communication skills are essential in customer service. They allow others and yourself to understand information more accurately and quickly. Poor communication skills lead to misunderstanding and low level of customer satisfaction. This is the list of specific things that can help improve your communication skills:
- Listen carefully
- Read carefully your message before you hit “send” button
- Think twice before you speak or write
- Treat everyone equally
- Maintain a positive attitude
- Smile while communicating with customers
- Ask to repeat or rephrase if something was not clear to avoid misunderstanding.
Know the latest trends in customer service
Every year new customer service trends emerge. However, do you know anything about them? What do experts predict about customer service trends in 2022, for example, or what plays an important role this year? This knowledge will help you in your interview and will show your employee that you are the person who cares about the quality of customer service.
Smile while assisting your customers
Even though a smile can’t solve all problems, excellent customer service always starts with a smile. A smile communicates your state of mind and influences customer satisfaction. It shows your attitude and says that you are ready to go the extra mile. Thus start your interview with a smile and it will help you triumph over various complications you may face while communicating with your prospective employer. Just remember that a smile is your secret ingredient of excellent customer service.
Smiling can also make you happier according to the research by University of Tennessee at Knoxville. If you smile while communicating with other people, both your and your interviewer’s mood will improve. It will also make you more confident and positive.
Think about main qualities a person needs to deliver strong customer service
Patience, patience and one more time patience. However, this is not enough to qualify for customer service agent position. While assisting customers you need to maintain “people-first” attitude and always try to put yourself into your customer’s shoes. An ability to express empathy is one of the most important qualities a customer service person should possess. Thus think about the empathetic phrases you may use wile completing a test assignment:
- “I would feel frustrated too in this situation”
- “I totally agree with you”
- “If I am understanding correctly…”
- “I am really sorry you have had to deal with this”
- “Thank you for letting us know about this situation”
- “I am sorry you are going through this”
- “Thank you for your feedback. We will do our best to improve”.
Be ready to share your strategy for dealing with issues which take too long to handle
At the beginning you will not be able to give responses immediately. You may need time to check the knowledge base or google for the terminology you do not understand. Such situations happen every day and became part of the customer service workflow. However, for not experienced customer service representatives this may become frustrating and may lead to poor level of customer service they provide. To avoid this you need notify the customer you are chatting or speaking with that you need some time to find the right response or troubleshoot the issue. Here are a couple of phrases which will help:
- “Let me check your account details, one moment, please”
- “Please hold on while I am checking”
- “Let me find the right information for you, just a moment, please”
- “I don’t have that information right now. Can I get in touch by email or call you back?”
- “I will need to find out if we can do this. Let me call you back or send an email”
- “I am not sure if we can do that, let me check this. Would you mind holding?”
- “Please give me a moment to reproduce this issue”.
Look for opportunities to show that you understand how to provide effective customer service
The key to success during the customer service job interview is your ability to understand what effective customer service is and how to provide it. A happy customer will return and is likely to spend more. You need always keep this in mind. During the interview you should not lose an opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of great customer service. Sharing a couple of examples from your own experience will not be enough. Effective customer service is your strategy of providing excellent service to your customers. To ensure you provide the best customer service:
- find out your customers’ expectation of good customer service
- do not lose an opportunity to follow up on customer feedback, both positive and negative
- continuously look for ways to improve the level of the service you provide.
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