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Customer Service

Acquiring and retaining high customer-service levels adds to the vitality of an organization. Through customer-service-oriented questions, interviewers will examine how much you value consumers.

Question 174. Describe the steps you take to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction.

situation: As a bank relationship manager, it is my responsibility to build customer trust and loyalty.

action: I allocate a majority of my time to educating customers on new and existing products. Because I take the time to get to know every customer and his or her goals, the majority of my clients are willing to listen to the features and benefits of my recommendations.

result: I go well over my quota every month, successfully opening accounts, including custody, demand deposit accounts, and CDs.

Question 175. Describe a time when existing policies did not solve a customer's problem and the customer took his or her business elsewhere.

situation: The policy at Mordancies Boutique limited the number of days that items could be returned to thirty. A customer bought a shirt to take on a three-month vacation; when she returned, she attempted to get a refund.

action: I sympathized with her situation, and spoke with a manager to see if there was a way to override the company policy.

result: The manager decided not to go against policy, and it was up to me to tell the customer. She was not satisfied with the outcome and she took her future business elsewhere. It is unfortunate how the relationship ended; however, I took the proper steps to manage the situation and followed company guidelines.

Question 176. As much as we may try to keep customers satisfied, there are times when we drop the ball and they are dissatisfied. Describe a time when a customer had a problem with how you managed his or her account.

situation: As the shipping clerk for Direct Merchants, I was responsible for informing clients when orders were delayed, mostly because of computer glitches. I thought that I called every customer, but one time I forgot to call a long-term client. She called to inquire about her purchase, and did not take too kindly to hearing the news about the postponed shipment.

action: I took full responsibility for my oversight and promised that her products would ship first thing in the morning.

result: She was surprised that I did not make excuses and she commended me for not passing the buck. From that moment forward, any time she placed an order she asked for me to manage the shipment.

Question 177. Tell me about your most memorable customer-service experience. What were the circumstances?

situation: When I was a patient advocate at St. Mary's Memorial Hospital, I assisted a wonderful woman who came into the hospital for heart surgery. She was scared and had no family to help her through the crisis.

action: The hospital had a shortage of volunteers. I took the liberty of calling a local community center to ask whether there was someone who could visit her at the hospital.

result: The next day, two volunteers showed up with books and games in hand. They helped the patient take her mind off her troubles. The doctors indicated that her good spirits assisted in her speedy recovery.

Question 178. Recall the last time a client was dissatisfied with your customer service.

situation: I was going to be at an all-day training session and forgot to change my voice mail to reflect that. When I returned to the office, there were five messages from a prospect who needed information about our product line. By the last message, I could tell from the tone of her voice that she was agitated.

action: I called her immediately and was not able to reach her. Then I e-mailed a quick note explaining the situation and gave her my private cell phone number.

result: When we finally communicated, she still seemed put off. She was distant on the phone, and I knew I had to resell her on our products. Understanding that she had a reason to be upset, I did not become defensive and I responded to her concerns respectfully. Ultimately, her company decided to go with another vendor, but she did e-mail me to let me know that she appreciated my professionalism and that she would keep the company in mind for future purchases. Three months later, she called again and I was able to close the deal on another service.

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