Customer service agents are sometimes the only employees your customers ever talk to. They’re also the #1 resource that can make or break the customer experience you deliver, and therefore – your customer retention rates.

Want to make sure you’re recruiting the best people for the job?

Ask them these questions.



1. How Do You Handle Angry Customers?

Every customer service agent handles angry customers, so it’s important to find out how your potential agent treats this common situation.

You could start by asking for examples of times the agent handled a customer service so well, the customer ended up staying as a satisfied customer.

Starting with the positive is always good, but then it’s important to tap into the challenges as well. Ask the agent to give you an example of a time she didn’t handle the situation well, or things got worse, and what she did when that happened. Clarify that you know people make mistakes, and what matters to you is how they show up when they do.

If she doesn’t bring it up herself, you can also ask her what she learned from the situation.



2. What Do You Do When the Solution isn’t Obvious?

The more customers you have, the more complex, diversified and bizarre questions your team encounters. This is your chance to find out how the agent you’re interviewing handles pressure, as well as how creative she can be to come up with a solution to a challenging situation.

Here too, you could ask for examples of attempts that went well and attempts that could have gone better.



3. How Do You Go the Extra Mile for Customers?

Since customers value top notch customer experience more than anything else these days, you need to figure out if the agent you’re interviewing can help you increase your department’s current level of service.

Therefore, ask her to share an example of a time she went the extra mile for a customer – for example, so that the customer won’t have to work as hard to get her issues resolved, or for the customer to be rewarded for long term loyalty.

If she’s practiced this at other companies, maybe even at companies that don’t prioritize service quality, chances are she’ll advocate for your customers and retain them, too.


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