14 Customer Service Specialist Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

By ResumeCat Editorial Team
Published August 11, 2022

It's important to prepare for an interview in order to improve your chances of getting the job. Researching questions beforehand can help you give better answers during the interview. Most interviews will include questions about your personality, qualifications, experience and how well you would fit the job. In this article, we review examples of various customer service specialist interview questions and sample answers to some of the most common questions.

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Common Customer Service Specialist Interview Questions

How do you define excellent customer service?

There are a few reasons why an interviewer might ask this question to a customer service specialist. First, they want to see if the specialist has a clear understanding of what excellent customer service entails. Second, they want to see if the specialist is able to articulate this understanding in a way that is relatable and understandable to others. Lastly, they want to gauge the specialist's level of passion for providing excellent customer service. It is important for customer service specialists to have a clear understanding of excellent customer service because they are the ones who are responsible for providing it to customers. If they do not have a clear understanding of what it is, they will not be able to provide it in a way that is satisfactory to customers.

Example: There is no one definitive answer to this question. However, some key elements that could be considered when defining excellent customer service include providing prompt and courteous service, being helpful and knowledgeable about products and services, taking the time to understand customer needs, and resolving customer issues in a timely and efficient manner.

What are the most important qualities for a customer service specialist?

Some possible qualities that a customer service specialist might be asked about are:

-Patience

-Empathy

-Good communication skills

-Ability to stay calm under pressure

-Good problem solving skills

It is important for customer service specialists to have these qualities so that they can effectively help customers with their inquiries or problems. Patience and empathy are important in order to understand the customer's situation and to be able to provide them with the best possible assistance. Good communication skills are necessary in order to clearly explain solutions to customers and to ensure that they understand what is being said. The ability to stay calm under pressure is important because it can be difficult to deal with angry or upset customers. Good problem solving skills are also necessary in order to be able to find the best solution for the customer's issue.

Example: The most important qualities for a customer service specialist are:

1. Patience: Customer service can be challenging, and dealing with difficult customers can be frustrating. A good customer service specialist will be patient and understand that not every customer is going to be happy.

2. Communication Skills: A customer service specialist needs to be able to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally. They need to be able to explain things clearly and concisely, and also be active listeners to ensure they understand the customer’s issue.

3. Problem-Solving Skills: A big part of customer service is being able to troubleshoot and solve problems. A good customer service specialist will have strong problem-solving skills and be resourceful in finding solutions.

4. Organizational Skills: Customer service specialists need to be organized in order to keep track of customer inquiries and issues. They need to be able to prioritize and manage their time efficiently.

5. Interpersonal Skills: Customer service is all about working with people, so it’s important that a customer service specialist has strong interpersonal skills. They should be friendly and personable, and able to build rapport with customers.

How would you deal with an irate customer?

An interviewer would ask "How would you deal with an irate customer?" to a/an Customer Service Specialist to assess the specialist's ability to handle difficult customer service situations. It is important for customer service specialists to be able to handle difficult customers because they are the face of the company and often the only interaction customers have with the company. If a customer has a bad experience with a customer service specialist, it will reflect poorly on the company as a whole.

Example: There are a few steps that can be taken when dealing with an irate customer:

1. Listen to the customer and try to understand their issue. It is important to show that you are taking the time to listen to them and understand their frustration.

2. Apologize for the situation and any inconvenience that has been caused.

3. Offer a solution to the problem. If there is something that can be done to rectify the situation, it is important to let the customer know what steps will be taken.

4. Thank the customer for their patience and understanding. This helps to diffuse the situation and shows that you appreciate their cooperation.

What is your experience in handling customer complaints?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the customer service specialist's ability to deal with difficult customer service situations. It is important for the customer service specialist to be able to handle customer complaints in a professional and efficient manner.

Example: I have extensive experience in handling customer complaints. I have worked in customer service for over 10 years, and have handled thousands of complaints. I have a proven track record of resolving complaints quickly and efficiently. I have a deep understanding of customer service principles and practices, and am skilled at diffusing difficult situations. I am calm and patient under pressure, and always work to find a resolution that is satisfactory for both the customer and the company.

How do you diffusing difficult situations?

An interviewer would ask "How do you diffusing difficult situations?" to a/an Customer Service Specialist to find out how the specialist would handle a difficult customer service situation. This is important because it allows the interviewer to gauge the specialist's ability to handle difficult situations and to see if the specialist has a plan for diffusing such situations.

Example: There are a few ways to diffusing difficult situations. The first is to try and see the situation from the other person's perspective. This can help you understand why they are acting the way they are, and potentially help you find a way to resolve the issue. Another way to diffuse a difficult situation is to stay calm and collected yourself. This can be difficult, but it's important to remember that getting upset will only make the situation worse. If you can remain calm, it will be easier to find a solution. Finally, it's important to be assertive when diffusing a difficult situation. This means standing up for yourself and your needs, while also respecting the needs of the other person.

What would you do if a customer demanded a refund that you could not give them?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the candidate's customer service skills. It is important to be able to handle difficult customer service situations in a calm and professional manner. The candidate should be able to explain how they would diffused the situation and try to come to a resolution that is satisfactory for both the customer and the company.

Example: If a customer demanded a refund that I could not give them, I would first try to calm the customer down and explain the situation. If the customer was still not satisfied, I would offer to provide a different solution, such as a store credit. If the customer was still not satisfied with that solution, I would escalate the issue to a manager or supervisor.

What is your experience in upselling or cross-selling products?

An interviewer would ask "What is your experience in upselling or cross-selling products?" to a/an Customer Service Specialist in order to assess their ability to increase sales through customer service. This is important because it allows the interviewer to gauge whether the specialist would be able to provide value to the company by increasing sales.

Example: I have experience in upselling and cross-selling products in a retail setting. I am comfortable approaching customers and asking them if they are interested in purchasing additional products or services. I am also familiar with different techniques for upselling and cross-selling, such as providing information about complementary products or demonstrating how a product can be used in multiple ways.

How do you deal with customers who are not satisfied with the product or service they received?

An interviewer would ask this question to a Customer Service Specialist to gauge their ability to deal with dissatisfied customers in a professional and courteous manner. It is important for Customer Service Specialists to be able to handle dissatisfied customers in a way that does not reflect negatively on the company and leaves the customer feeling like their concerns have been heard and addressed.

Example: There are a few steps that I typically take when dealing with customers who are not satisfied with the product or service they received. First, I would listen to the customer and try to understand their specific concerns. Next, I would apologize for the situation and offer to make things right. This could involve providing a refund, exchanging the product, or providing additional services or support. Finally, I would thank the customer for bringing their concerns to my attention and let them know that I will do everything I can to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

How do you handle difficult customer service inquiries?

Customer service specialists are often the first point of contact for customers with questions or problems. As such, they need to be able to handle difficult inquiries in a professional and courteous manner. This question allows the interviewer to gauge the applicant's ability to do just that.

Example: There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to handle difficult customer service inquiries will vary depending on the situation. However, some tips on how to handle difficult customer service inquiries include remaining calm and professional, being patient and understanding, and taking the time to fully listen to and address the customer's concerns. Additionally, it can be helpful to offer solutions and options to the customer, and to thank them for their patience and understanding.

What is your experience in dealing with customer refunds?

The interviewer is asking this question to get a sense of the candidate's customer service experience and to gauge their ability to handle customer refunds. This is important because the ability to handle customer refunds is an important part of the customer service specialist role. The candidate's answer will give the interviewer a sense of their customer service skills and abilities.

Example: I have experience in dealing with customer refunds from my previous job as a customer service representative at a retail store. I was responsible for processing refunds for customers who were not satisfied with their purchase. I would first speak with the customer to find out the reason for the refund, and then process the refund according to the store's policy. I would also provide the customer with information on how to return the product if they were not satisfied with it.

How do you deal with customer cancellations?

In customer service, it is important to be able to deal with customer cancellations in a professional and polite manner. This is because cancellations can be a frustrating experience for both the customer and the customer service representative. By asking this question, the interviewer is trying to gauge the applicant's ability to handle this type of situation.

Example: When a customer cancels their order, it is important to first thank them for their business and then ask if there is anything we can do to change their mind. If they are adamant about cancelling, we can offer them a discount on future orders or a refund for the current order. It is important to remain professional and courteous throughout the process in order to maintain the relationship with the customer.

What is your experience in handling customer billing issues?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the applicant's customer service experience and skills. Handling customer billing issues is an important part of customer service, as it can be a sensitive and delicate issue. The interviewer wants to know if the applicant has the experience and skills necessary to handle such issues effectively.

Example: I have extensive experience in handling customer billing issues. I have worked in customer service for over 10 years, and have handled billing issues for both small businesses and large corporations. I am familiar with a variety of billing software programs, and am able to troubleshoot any billing issue that may arise. I am also experienced in working with customers to resolve any billing disputes that may occur.

How do you deal with customers who are not satisfied with the service they received?

An interviewer would ask "How do you deal with customers who are not satisfied with the service they received?" to a/an Customer Service Specialist because it is important for customer service specialists to be able to handle customer complaints in a professional and efficient manner. It is important for customer service specialists to be able to handle customer complaints in a professional and efficient manner because it shows that they are capable of providing excellent customer service. Excellent customer service is essential for businesses in order to retain customers and grow their customer base.

Example: The first step is to always stay calm and professional. This can be difficult, especially if the customer is angry or upset, but it is important to remember that the customer is not attacking you personally. It is also important to listen to the customer and try to understand their perspective. Once you have done this, you can then try to explain the situation from your company's perspective and offer a solution. If the customer is still not satisfied, you can escalate the issue to a supervisor or manager.

What is your experience in dealing with customer service escalations?

The interviewer is trying to gauge the interviewee's experience in dealing with customer service escalations. This is important because it shows how the interviewee would handle a difficult customer service situation.

Example: I have experience in dealing with customer service escalations. I have worked in customer service for over 10 years and have handled escalations on a daily basis. I am familiar with the various techniques that can be used to diffuse a situation and resolve the issue at hand. I am also familiar with the policies and procedures that should be followed when dealing with an escalation.