Customer Service first of all is knowing that the ‘customer is king', the ‘customer is always right'. Keeping the customer happy is the main role of a customer service agent. As you are usually the first point of contact, how you present yourself and your overall attitude is always remembered. Customer service is all about the customer and the service you provide, it will be your job to build positive relationships with them, making sure that their experience with the company is a confident one and in doing so the overall reputation of the company is increased.
Focus on the strengths and skills required to successfully manage a customer service team including clear communication, organizational and planning skills, people development and empowerment, motivational skills and problem-solving skills. Support your answer with examples of actual feedback you have received from team members.
How do you employ this data to achieve your customer service goals?
"I measured the number of repetitive support emails that were coming in and identified that a number of questions were consistently asked. I researched the benefit of setting up a knowledge base online to address these questions. It was cost effective to do this and has proved an efficient way of reducing these repetitive emails sent by customers."
Yes, you can integrate CRM with social networking sites. It focusses on using social media to enhance customer engagement.
What process did you follow to understand the reasons for the poor performance, gain commitment to the need for change and resolve the issues?
Here you must do some thorough research before the interview. First, find out what are the main products and services that the company provides. Second, do some research into their marketing plans to determine who they are targeting. The annual report should provide some details of their customer base and target market. The aim here is not only to impress them with your knowledge of their product but also to show an understanding of who their customers are.
Ideally, you will have had some experience with a dedicated customer service software package. If not, explain that you are proficient with Microsoft packages and using web based solutions and are confident that you will quickly learn how to use a new system.
If you have following questions unanswered you might need CRM solution,
☛ Do you know how many customer service issues each customer has had, and why?
☛ Are you assured that all the leads in the sales pipeline are being followed up?
☛ Is your team communicating well with potential clients?
Always answer that you are a team player, that you enjoy working as part of the team. Talk about previous teams you have worked in; mention the size of the team, who you reported to, what role you had and who the team leader reported to, for example, manager or director.
This is always a challenge to answer well. The interviewer wishes to see that you have done some research about the company. Mention the company's values and mission as being in line with your personal attitudes and goals in life.
Many consider this question to be a loaded gun – dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced. Often times, an interviewee will start talking salary before they've had an opportunity to illustrate their skill set and value making any sort of leverage valueless. Here, knowledge is power, as salary often comes down to negotiation. Do some research into your industry to establish base rates of pay based on seniority and demand but keep in mind – your employer is hiring you for what they believe you are worth, and how much benefit they feel you will provide.
CRM types are classified into three categories
☛ Operational CRM
☛ Analytical CRM
☛ Collaborative CRM
Focus on utilizing different management styles to increase effectiveness in different situations and with different employees. Why do certain management styles work in particular scenarios?
"I find that it is most effective to have a variety of management styles and to use them appropriately. I have to adapt according to the team member and the situation. However one aspect of my management style that remains consistent is that I employ a hands-on approach.
I get a better appreciation for what my team does by spending time on the front lines, it builds a strong relationship with them and keeps me informed. I have found a participative approach to management helps build commitment and consensus among employees "
Discuss how you identified the opportunity for cost saving and how you implemented appropriate measures to improve operational efficiency. Examples include:
☛ cross training employees to handle different functions
☛ scheduling employees according to call and query volumes
☛ introducing new technologies
☛ providing information via an interactive website or other digital channel
This is another important question from a common interview questions and answers asked by the interview board for a customer relationship manager. Here, interviewer wants to know that how bad you are willing to do this job so you must be really aware about this situation. By answering this question you should not say that you like this industry this is wrong way to handle this kind of question. You can rather say that I love to communicate with new people therefore, I am so passionate about this job or you can display your previous job experience or you can show you success story.
Say that it depends on the structure of the team and how long the co-worker has been at the company. If somebody new, you might speak to them to suggest that they maintain a more professional attitude. If you feel that this might cause confrontation, inform the team leader of your concerns.
Another tricky one. The purpose of this question is to see how you view and evaluate yourself.
One the one hand, if you suggest you don't have any weaknesses, your interviewer will almost certainly see you as a lair, egotistical, or both.
Don't fall into the trap of trying to present a positive skill in disguise as a weakness, like “I work too hard” or “I am a perfectionist”. Any experienced interviewer will see through this in a heartbeat.
Additionally, revealing that “I'm not really a morning person and have been known to come in late” raises immediate and obvious red flags.
The trick here is to respond realistically by mentioning a small, work related weakness and what you are doing or have done to overcome it.
CRM can be helpful in
☛ Sorting emails from customers by workflow-enabled email processing capabilities
☛ Automatically route emails to appropriate users based on workflow rules
☛ Manage multiple attachments in emails
☛ Sending replies to customer automatically
☛ Associating emails with respective customers and incidents
This question is geared towards understanding the level of complexity that you can handle, or have handled in the past, and how you approach the problem. This becomes a 2-fold question because the interviewer inherently expects you to also talk about how you'd resolve the situation differently today.
Say that a good product should not result in customer complaints so products are always most important. If unexpected problems do occur, however, it is important to quickly resolve them.
If you have first-hand experience talk about this, otherwise say that you have not had to deal with angry customers but if it did arise you would remain calm and professional and listen to the complaint and try to provide a response that addresses their problems. It is important to not take it personally and to always apologise to the customer.
An easy question to answer well with one caveat – don't slam your fellow interviewee's. On the one hand, you have an opportunity to really stand out from the pack. Alternatively, You shouldn't assume the skills of other applicants. Focus on your own strengths, and if the interviewer hasn't given you an opportunity to mention that one “slam dunk” quality about yourself, now would be the time.
Is there a wrong way to answer this question? Consider the responses below:
☛ “I really need a job right now”
☛ “I need the money”
☛ “Your office is really close to my house”
☛ “I've always been interested in what you guys do”
Such customers often demand an extremely low price for your products or services. A price which is possibly impossible to sell at. In such scenarios, it's always helpful to do an ROI analysis with the customer. They might spend only 50% of what they're spending now, by going to a competitor, but with that additional cost, you're providing XYZ services / features that no one else can, a dedicated and highly motivated customer support team which thrives on customer satisfaction, the confidence and guarantee of your time tested and proven solution that is COMPLETE in all respects, and the confidence that you'd come to their rescue ANYTIME they need help.
This answer can also be customized based on the specific industry in question.
It's important to remember that you may not always be able to retain a customer in such circumstances. However, never engage in an aggressive standoff, or bad mouth your competition. Hold your ground and trust your product. This customer will come back if you genuinely provide a superior solution.
Ideally, you should already know what to say here. Remember, your weaknesses must always be used to your advantage - nobody has any true weaknesses in interviews. Your strengths could be that you are good at listening and always patient. A weakness should ideally be related to the role, such as sometimes being too helpful and providing more advice than a customer actually requested. Go on to say that you are careful to ensure that you concisely answer their questions.
Answer that if you cannot personally resolve a problem you always inform the customer that you will investigate and get back to them. Then ask the team leader or other experienced co-workers for advice on how to deal with this specific issue before calling back.
This can be a great way to stand out from other applicants and demonstrate initiative. Almost every company will have a website, Facebook page, Instagram account, or some sort of digital footprint. Spend a bit of time doing some online research:
☛ If they have a website, check out their “About us” or “Culture/Mission/Vision” pages.
☛ Who are some of the principal people who work there? Who are the founders?
☛ What sorts of things does this company care about? Do they donate to a particular cause or charity? Which one(s)?
☛ What are their core values? Which of their core values resonate with you?
☛ Has the company been in the news recently or have they won any awards (Social Media can be a great place to find this information).
"I identified that we were not getting the feedback we needed from customers. To ensure we knew about all the experiences our customers have we had to create an easily accessible way for them to give us feedback.
One way we resolved this was with a phone survey at the end of a service call. By creating a means for customers to provide immediate feedback it was easier to learn what needed improvement."
Such accounts have to be handled with Kid Gloves. Make sure this is a high touch account that's given highest levels of priority and only the best service. It's important to engage your champions and sponsors in helping you identify new champions. Encourage a peer-to-peer discussion to spread the word about your products and services within the extended groups. Frequently reach out to such new sponsors and restate the value proposition that the other groups are leveraging. Make your communications relevant for the audience and connect at a level that's most important to them.
Some top popular CRM software are
☛ SAP CRM
☛ Oracle CRM on Demand
☛ Sage Act
☛ AIM CRM
☛ Sugar CRM
A large part of this answer would have to be borrowed from above. Customizing a solution completely just for one customer doesn't make 100% business sense, especially if you're in a SaaS environment. You're in the business to provide an out-of-the-box solution, and the customization's wouldn't help any other customer in your kitty. This change may help you acquire this one large customer, but wouldn't fit in at all in to your long term product plans.
Here are a few things that are extremely critical for any RM or Account Manager to keep in mind before going in for such a presentation:
1. Be absolutely clear about the pain points that you're going to address.
2. Before getting deeper in to your presentation, get a sign off from the attendees on the agenda of the meeting.
3. Be thorough in your background research of the client. This research could vary based on the stage you're approaching them in.
4. Provide a crisp and clear solution, and leave them with specific action items at the end of the presentation. This ensures they come back to you and the engagement continues.
5. Don't give away all that you have in your bag right away. Weigh your answers and ask probing questions.
☛ How would you handle negative feedback from a client?
☛ How would you handle a situation where a customer has asked for some service or product that is in violation of the company's policies and is against the better interests of the company?
☛ What would be the most important service skill that you would need to have in your day to day business?
☛ How would you initiate contact with the clients and customers?
☛ What would you do if you had to turn down a request from a valued customer?
☛ A customer is repeatedly using abusive language, but he has a valid point; what would you do?
☛ If you have to change any current activities in the company, how would go about doing it?
☛ Do you have any computer or technical knowledge?
☛ Do you have the necessary technical know-how for information and data transferring?
☛ Describe any intimidating situation you experienced in your previous job; did you handle it?
☛ Describe any unpleasant situation that your colleague was in. Did you intervene? What did you do?
☛ Are you familiar with Salesforce.com? What other CRM software have you used?
☛ What type of reports do you create to keep track of your work? How often do you report to your manager?
☛ What are the most effective engagement techniques you've used to manage client relationships?
☛ This role requires contacting multiple clients on a daily basis. How do you prioritize which clients to contact?
☛ What steps do you take to convert a non-responsive customer? When do you stop trying to convert the customer?
☛ What are the key things you want to highlight when preparing presentations for clients or managers?
☛ If you're contacting a new client for the first time, what information do you need prior to your communication?
☛ We are launching a new product next month. When would you send a newsletter to our customers to inform them about its features? Would you send the newsletter to all customers or select the ones who are more likely to use the product? Why?
☛ A small client requests new features in a short time. How would you respond to this request?
☛ A long-term customer complains to you about product prices and is about to end your business relationship. What measures would you take to retain them?
☛ A customer is willing to immediately pay double as much if you implement specific product features. You know that these features won't be helpful for them in the long-term, but your revenues will increase significantly. How would you handle this situation?
☛ Tell me about your previous work experience in customer service.
☛ Why would you be a good fit for our company as a customer service rep?
☛ What do you know about this company's products and services?
☛ What makes you a great candidate for this customer service rep job in particular?
☛ What do you enjoy about working in customer service?
☛ What are your strengths and weaknesses when interacting with customers?
☛ What have you done to be a better customer service representative?
☛ What have you done at your present/last company to increase revenues, reduce costs or save time?
☛ Tell me about a time when you helped resolve a particularly difficult customer issue.
☛ Talk about a time when you were unable to help a customer. What was the issue and how did you handle the situation?
☛ What type of customer service systems have you used? What is your level of familiarity with them?
☛ Do you consider yourself a team player?
☛ What type of organizational structure have you worked within previously?
☛ What type of organizational structure suits you best?
☛ What have you done recently to improve your skills as customer service rep?
☛ What type of schedule are you looking to work?
☛ Would you be available to work additional shifts?
☛ Describe a time when you had to deal with a difficult client. How did you manage to keep the client happy?
☛ Have you ever made a decision that cost you a client? What happened and what did you learn from that experience?
☛ What do you value more: high work quality or meeting tight deadlines? Why?
☛ How do you prefer to contact clients, through email or phone? Why?
☛ Describe your most challenging sales project so far. What were the problems you faced and how did you overcome them?
☛ What would you do if you where given 10 tasks but only have time for 8?
☛ Tell me what you know about a ticketing system.
☛ What do you know about a ticketing system?
☛ How well do you work under pressure?
☛ Do you work well within a team?
☛ What would you do if you had to deal with a problem last minute?
☛ How would you deal with an angry client/customer?
☛ Give me an example of when you went the extra mile for a customer?
☛ How would you solve a problem creatively or in a creative way?
☛ If you had to decline an urgent request from a client what would you do?
☛ What targets did you deal with in the past and what where their results?
☛ Why should we hire you for this Customer Service Role?
The obstacle for CRM success to an organization include
☛ Absence of a clear transitional process
☛ The main focus is on product sale and geographical segmentation of market
☛ Key performance measurements are not tracked
☛ Weak functional organization of a company
☛ Lack of response to customers feedback and recommendations
☛ Introducing other technology without implementing the necessary framework
39. Suppose a customer is getting ready to cancel their services with your company. They're convinced that they don't need your services. How would you approach this scenario and try to retain the customer?
Having a senior management level sponsorship between the two companies from the very beginning always helps alleviate issues like this. It's normal to bend over backwards in such cases and offer price discounts, free training sessions, and complimentary consulting services to retain such accounts. It's important that you engage with both the top level and mid level management in such cases. This becomes a selling opportunity and not a retention opportunity. You'd need to resell the value of your product all over again. It's important to re-evaluate the problem points you're trying to solve, and then present the solution again. Identifying new sponsors within the customer account also helps.
Here are some of the ways that I've experimented with:
1. A bi-monthly newsletter highlighting some specific features of your solution. The audience would be the end users.
2. Sharing a new release video with your end users.
3. Creating a custom video for your users talking about the overall benefits of using your solution.
4. Usage analysis to gauge end user adoption of your product. Identify the power users and encourage them to work with their un-adopting peers. Offer a small reward or recognition in return for helping you.
5. Offer quick training on specific features.
6. Engage with both the top level management, and the end users, all the time. Make sure you're all on the same page.
7. Keep an eye for growing the footprint, and any other competitor lurking in the background. Make friends with the end users who wouldn't hesitate to give you some of the internal details of conversations.
Key factors include a good understanding of the needs of the customer and having the right skills, resources and processes in place to meet these needs.
From a customer service management perspective criteria include clear communication of objectives and expectations to staff, consistent performance management, empowering staff to meet customer demands, ensuring staff are sufficiently engaged, listening to feedback from staff and customers and effectively acting on it.
Ever since my first paper route at age 10 I've been doing something to keep myself busy and earn money. Back then, it was obviously about earning some spending money. What I didn't realize was that I was actually starting the journey of establishing what I liked to do and how I fit in to the grand scheme of things. I then worked as a junior computer tech in my last 2 summers of high school. It was here that I discovered what I was passionate about and what I wanted to do. I enrolled in college to get my degree in computer sciences, and I have been working around technology ever since.
An innocent question. But a question that if answered improperly, can be a deal breaker. While many individuals will be looking to a new job as a means of increasing their salary, “not being paid well enough at your last job” is not something you want to mention to your interviewer. After all, are you not likely to leave this particular job if you found you could make more down the street?
If you're currently employed and leaving of your own accord, craft your response around enhancing your career development and a seeking out of new challenges.
If your current employer is downsizing, be honest about it, remain positive, but keep it brief. If your employer fired you or let you go for cause, be prepared to give a brief – but honest – reply. No matter how tempting it may be, or how “unfair it was that they let you go” steer clear away from any and all drama and negativity. Any experienced employer understands that sometimes things happen. Staying positive is key here.
Hopefully, you can speak from experience. If you do not already have any direct experience you should be honest and say so before going on to describe a related incident, such as helping to resolve a disagreement in a team sport, at school or with a family dispute. Show that you are always ready to step in and help to resolve a problem.
This one is all about job commitment.
Some people make job hopping a career in of itself, and your answer here can be telling. Here, your interviewer is determining if you are:
☛ someone who sets goals
☛ someone who has a vision
☛ someone who is reliable
☛ someone who demonstrates commitment
☛ someone who is loyal
While no interviewer expects someone to stay at a company forever, try and craft your response in such a way that shows progression in your career, and alignment with the Company's needs and future. Again, self awareness is key – your employer doesn't want to send you down an unwanted path, resulting in wasted time and energy for everyone.
Describe the metrics you use and why. Common metrics include:
☛ first response time
☛ first contact resolution
☛ problem resolution time
☛ resolution rates
☛ escalation rates
☛ customer retention
☛ call volumes
Provide examples of the types of motivation you have used and their effectiveness. Examples include cash incentives, training programs, career development, time off, recognition. Focus on identifying and meeting individual motivations with specific rewards tied to the employee's interests and needs.
Other factors to discuss in your interview answer include providing the right resources for the team to do their job including skills, knowledge, support and equipment. A team that is not armed with the right resources will find it difficult to do their job and stay motivated.
Time spent individually with each team member listening to them and developing them is another strong motivational tool. Taking the time to encourage them in their work and providing constructive, factual and sincere feedback are motivating factors.
48. Suppose a customer is willing to commit a greater amount of revenue for you if you develop certain features / enhancements for them. As an industry and a solution expert, you know that this new enhancement would be a waste of time and money for the customer, but easy money for your company. How do you approach this situation?
This is a tricky situation. While on one hand, this might seem like easy money. Your team wouldn't have to spend too much time making this happen, but you know for a fact that this won't be helpful for the customer in the long run. Here's how I choose to answer this question:
It's critical to understand the end goal that the customer is trying to achieve. At times, the goal itself may be irrelevant and you as an RM would have to politely educate the customer of the long term implications of such a goal. Contrarily, you could leverage this opportunity to prove to the customer that you're not just in it for the money, but for a long term partnership based on trust and ethics. You'd have to give the customer the complete picture of why you think this wouldn't be a wise investment of their money. Here, it's very important to suggest alternatives to your customer, if you think that their need is genuine, but the solution approach needs to be changed.
Remember, you might gain this extra money today, but potentially lose your customer in the long run.
In such a situation, it's critical to look at a couple of things:
1. The current size of the customer vs. it's growth potential going forward.
2. The brand value that this customer brings to your organization.
3. The level of commitment that this customer has shown towards your organization since they've been on-board.
With these points in mind, one could argue the ROI of such a request with the internal Product Management teams. Internally, you'd need to evaluate the long term implications of developing such a feature. Does this feature have widespread requirement? Would this enable your sales team to close more deals? How well does this new ability resonate with your other customers? and finally, is this feature a logical extension of your company's vision for the product?
There's no Yes or No answer to such a situation. It'll all depend on the outcome of all the above mentioned scenarios.
Some of the challenges that organization has to face are
☛ Database cleansing to ensure that client information is in correct state
☛ Integrating with other systems , new or existing
☛ Sometimes system is more complicated and requires trainer to train external trainers
☛ Expecting the vendor to manage all elements of your project
The benefits of incorporating CRM into an organization includes
☛ Manage customer contact information
☛ Measure success of campaigns
☛ Organize customer interactions in a central location
☛ Track organization trends
☛ Help to understand customer preferences, habits and actions
☛ Managing customer service requests
☛ Weaken expense and business risk
Pressure is actually a catalyst to my work. When there is an imperative deadline, I refocus my energy into my work which in fact, has helped me to produce some of my best works. (Give examples) I guess you can say I thrive under pressure.
Good customer service is ensuring that every customer is satisfied. This is done by answering their questions, resolving problems and dealing with complaints. The goal is that each customer leaves with a positive impression of the company.
While this question is an invitation to do some chest pounding, remember to illustrate strengths that will benefit the employer and are relative to the position. For example:
☛ being a problem solver
☛ being a motivator
☛ being a natural leader
☛ the ability to perform under pressure
☛ a positive attitude
Are typically all solid strengths, but again, consider the position. For example, mentioning you are an excellent “team player” in a job where you largely work alone suddenly becomes irrelevant to the employer and demonstrates a genuine lack of self awareness.
In my experience delegating responsibility and authority is crucial. A team needs to be able to develop and grow as individuals and a whole, not be held back by low expectations or ego.
I believe in building a team. Each member of the team should be clear on their role, know where they fit in and feel as though they can depend on one another. I also believe in real-time feedback. If you do something wrong you should know it immediately. Regardless of right or wrong, the further removed feedback is in time, the less effective it is.
In your answer describe receiving feedback from customers to identify areas for improvement, looking at every touch-point in the customer life-cycle and implementing actions to improve the process.
"I identified that customer satisfaction with our email support was not what it should be. The rule of thumb has been providing a response within 24 hours. However with the pace of everything increasing online I understood that we needed to achieve more impressive response times. I instituted a response time of 4 to 8 hours as the standard. This has set us apart from our competitors and improved customer satisfaction"
Talk the interviewer through a policy you developed, structuring your answer around these recognized steps.
☛ Clearly identify the goals for the policy
☛ Ensure correlation between the customer service goals and the company mission and objectives
☛ Identify the specific processes that will result in goal accomplishment
☛ Develop standard operating procedures and guidelines for the processes
☛ Train your staff in the implementation of the new customer service policy
Here, the interviewer is looking to gauge your engagement skills. What lengths would you go to to make sure that you leave no stone un-turned to retain a customer. I usually pick a live situation and elaborate on that. Make sure you talk about the size of the deal, it's impact on your overall base of accounts, and the exact steps you took to turn the account around.
The most important modules in CRM include:
☛ Service Desk
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. It is a strategy and practices that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.