Employers want to hire those that go above and beyond expectations, and if you do that for the customer – not just the company – then you’re really going to be able to prove that you are going to provide excellent customer support.
Many customer management interview questions are specifically designed to gauge whether or not you understand the importance of the customer, and this is one of them.
Behavioral Interview Question: Can you think of a time where you have gone out on a limb to defend a customer? What happened?
“Defend” is what makes this question difficult. You can probably think of several times that you’ve tried to help customers, but have you ever had to “defend” them against attack? Usually you’d have to defend them against other employees, but that may force you to throw another employee under a bus, and most businesses don’t like to see that either.
Ideally, think back to a time when you defended the customer against someone that did not work for your company.
“Of course. In many ways I think this is an important part of all business. There are often time when you find yourself needing to push for something the customer needs.
I recall a time where a customer ordered a shoe from a third party through our eCommerce service, and the shoes ended up being too small. She wanted to return them, which it clearly said she could do in the fine print, but the company – which we had since stopped doing business with – refused to honor it because she wore them. She only wore them to find the size, so I laid out the terms of our third party service contract, described what is generally defined as a ‘reasonable’ reason for return, and got the customer their refund.
Afterward, I gave the customer a coupon code and sent them a list of replacement ideas, to make sure we didn’t lose the client.”
This is one of those questions where you may not have a good answer, because you may not have worked at a job where customers needed to be defended. That’s okay. If that occurs, tell them that you understand how important the customer is and how much you’d defend them, and then possibly talk about what you would do or how you’d provide excellent customer service.