It's always interesting to hear how people handle constructive criticism. This is a tough one to analyze, but you can usually tell in their story if the criticism was well received. If the candidate says something like, “I appreciated the feedback”, then it's likely they weren't defensive when the advice was received.
Your answer: Yes, this has been part of my training, and my previous job entailed handling several lines. I have good multi-tasking skills and my previous employer can vouch for this.
Your answer: I am highly organized, and I prioritize my workload so that everything gets done on time and with high quality. I also leave room for urgent tasks that might be assigned to me so that my schedule is basically unaffected by emergencies.
Now that you know a bit about them and their background, it's good to get a sense of why they're interested in this particular role. Look out for specific keywords in their answer. Assuming this is a role for a contact center agent, responses like “customer facing” or “problem solving” might be great keywords for you. It also shows you how well they understand the role.
You have to be able to do this, so say that you can. If you have never done this you must start practising. You can practice by typing replies while having a conversation with family or friends.
If the candidate is currently employed, it's important to understand why they are moving on. Answers like, “I'd like to learn more” or “it's time to spread my wings”, are great, but not if they've only been at the job for a few months. Watch how often the candidate jumps from job to job, since this can be a bad sign. Also, if they quickly go into shaming the company, this shows a lack of loyalty and professionalism.
Give full details of any call centre jobs that you have previously done, even if only very short temporary work. If you have never done any call centre work say so and then go on to say why you would like to work in a call centre. By volunteering the information from the start you will come across as enthusiastic.
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 comprehensive 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."
An ideal answer to this question will demonstrate that you are capable of monitoring a situation as it evolves.
Whilst working in a call centre as a supervisor, I introduced ‘Sugar Fridays' – giving my team sweets and treats to get them through the Friday slog.
Prior to introducing the incentive, I compiled a backlog of sales figures from previous Fridays. I then introduced the incentive on a trial period, continued collecting data and cross-compared the results. There was an obvious peak in sales figures and so the incentive became permanent.
To deal with an irate customer you must remain calm and be polite. Listen to the customer's complaint, take notes, and then reassure the customer that the company will make every attempt to resolve the problem.
Apologise to them directly, using phrases such as: “I am really sorry” to display sincerity. Don't apologise on behalf of the company by saying things like: “the company is sorry” as it takes away from the authenticity of your apology.