Your competency in delivering customer service can be examined as part of a competency based interview particularly in the service sector. This is increasing true not just for tradition service industry roles with a focus on external customers but increasing companies are looking at customer service delivered within the company between departments, divisions and business’s.
So first tip do not just think about the external customer, companies will be just as interested in internal customer service as well.
Customer service like everything else needs to be measured. You can of course believe that you give great customer service but how do you know? Your Great “customer service “ compared to what? It’s important that you think about measurement from the start. You need to bring out in your competency examples how you have obtained feedback from the customer or where you and your team might be benchmarked against your peers and competitors.
Customer service is also about consistency and quality of service, for example ensuring all of the questions that you should ask a customer as part of a customer care call are asked and that you correctly record their information. Accuracy and attention to detail will also play a part. You are representing your company or department so you interviewer will want to hear about the importance of the customer to your working day.
Responding to customer needs is a significant factor; processes can on occasion be too rigid you might have to alter your approach help deliver what the customer needs. When you finish dealing with a customer you want them to be satisfied by your customer care levels and so you need to bring out any checks you may make during that customer contact to ensure their needs have been met.
Complaints are a fact of life. So be prepared to be asked about short comings in the level of customer service. Compliant handling may in itself fall under a complaint handling competency but if asked the interviewer will look to examine how you handled the situation. Did you follow the companies complaint handling processes ? ( which is designed to ensure complains are properly allocated and attended to).Think – what corrective actions were taken? did you make changes to customer contact or related processes as a result to stop the same problems occurring again ? The customer might have been angry, did you employ techniques to get them back on side ? apologise (even it wasn’t your fault) and take responsibility to resolve the situation.
Overall think about perspectives when preparing for an interview. Don’t just think from your perspective think about customer service level from the customers point of view as well as the companies view on how they want to be perceived by the customer line with their corporate vision.
Competency based interview questions on customer service
As a staff member,
Can you tell me about a time when customer service did not meet your or the customers expectations? How did you identify the situation? How did you discover what was happening? What actions did you take ? What was the outcome? Did you make any longer term changes ?
Can you describe a situation where you delivered great customer service? How did you asses that the level of customer service met the customer’s expectations? Would you change your approach in the future?
As a manager,
Can you tell me about a time when there was a shortfall in customer service within a team or department? What measures did you use to asses the effectiveness of customer service within the team? Where any changes necessary, if so, how did you ensure consistency within the team? How did you measure the success of the outcome?