The only thing worse than bad customer service is bad customer service that could just as easily have been good customer service. Employees need to deliver the most outstanding support they can provide. The only way to do that is to make sure you have all of the details possible and understand as much about the customer’s needs as you can.
Behavioral Interview Question: Tell me about a time that you were unclear about a customer’s request. What steps did you take to clarify things?
For this type of behavioral interview question, employers are simply looking for two things.
- They are looking to see if you have the courage to ask questions
- They are looking for an awareness of what goes into providing excellent service.
It’s okay to be confident with this question, but if possible be sure and drop in a tidbit or two about your customer service skills, with a detail that indicates you are an excellent judge of what goes into quality customer service.
“I find that in any call help center, that situation happens often, especially since the customer doesn’t always know the terminology that we use in house. In most cases, I don’t have any problem simply asking them to clarify their request, especially when the customer and I have developed a rapport. I often do this by confirming what Ii have understood of their request and asking them if that is correct.
The process is a little different for frustrated customers. I start by repeating exactly what they said so they know I was listening, and then I provide them with a list of problems that may be what they’re asking about. In some cases, when it’s clear the customer isn’t willing to help any further, I will ask questions that appear to simply be about adding necessary details, but in reality they give me clues about what they could have been discussing, such as ‘I need to check a few things before taking the next steps. Tell me, is the red light flashing or solid colored?’ Often these details are enough to figure out what they were originally trying to convey.”
You can see by this type of answer that the best way to ask for clarification is to simply ask for clarification. But the added detail about repeating what the customer said to show you were listening is what will really excite the employer about your candidacy.