How to Answer: Tell Me About a Time You Dealt with a Difficult Customer

When applying for a job as a cabin crew member, you can expect to be asked a range of questions relating to your customer service skills. One of the most common questions is “Tell me about a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer. How did you handle it?”

This is a situational behavioral question and it is designed to assess your ability to think on your feet and provide a solution to a problem, even when under pressure. It is also a test of your customer service skills. The interviewer wants to know how you would deal with an irate customer or a difficult situation.

Also Read: How to Answer: Tell Me About Yourself

When preparing for this question, it is important to think of an instance where you were able to successfully diffuse a tense situation. This could be anything from dealing with an angry customer to calming down an upset passenger.

It is important to remember that the key here is demonstrating how you were able to stay calm under pressure and come up with a solution that satisfied everyone involved. When answering this question, be sure to avoid rambling on and on about the situation. Stick to the main points and wrap up your answer by explaining what the end result was.

Here we’ll give you some tips on how to answer this question so that you can make a great impression on the interviewer.

interview question tell me a time when you had to deal with a difficult customer copy

Why do Interviewers Ask this Question?

This question is designed to assess your ability to deal with difficult situations. As a cabin crew member, you will be required to deal with a wide range of customer inquiries and complaints, so it’s important that you can demonstrate that you have the skills to resolve problems effectively.

This is a situational type of question, which means that the interviewer wants you to describe a specific event or situation that you have faced in the past.

How to Answer this Question?

When answering this question, it’s important that you focus on discussing a situation where you were able to successfully overcome a problem. This could be a situation where you diffused a tense customer service issue or resolved a complaint in a satisfactory manner. It’s also important that you discuss the steps that you took to overcome the problem. This will allow the interviewer to see that you are able to think quickly and take action in order to resolve the issue.

It is important to remember that the key here is demonstrating how you were able to stay calm under pressure and come up with a solution that satisfied everyone involved. When answering this question, be sure to avoid rambling on and on about the situation. Stick to the main points and wrap up your answer by explaining what the end result was.

10 Sample Answers: Tell Me About a Time When You Handled a Difficult Customer

Here are some sample answers on how you can answer this question:

  1. “One situation where I had to overcome a problem was when a customer became angry and started shouting at me. I remained calm and spoke to the customer in a friendly manner. I then listened to their complaint and learned that they were upset because they had been waiting in line for a long time. I apologized for the wait and offered them a queue number so that they could be helped as soon as possible. The customer ended up being happy with the solution.”
  2. “I once had to deal with a situation where a passenger became very upset when their flight was delayed. I spoke to them and explained the situation in a calm and professional manner. I offered them some alternative options and helped them to choose the best flight option for their needs. In the end, the passenger was happy with the solution.”
  3. “I had to deal with a difficult customer who was demanding a refund for a flight that they had missed. I explained the company’s policy to the customer and offered them some alternative options. I also helped them to fill out the necessary paperwork for a refund. In the end, the customer was satisfied with the solution.
  4. “I once had a customer who was unhappy with the product they had received. I apologized to the customer and offered to replace the product. I then helped them to choose a new item on our shop and arranged for the delivery of the new product. The customer was happy with the solution.”
  5. “One time, I was working for a flight from London to New York and we hit some pretty bad turbulence about halfway through the flight. A lot of the passengers were starting to get scared and one woman, in particular, was starting to freak out. She was yelling and screaming and getting really worked up. I could see that the other passengers were starting to get agitated too, so I knew I had to do something fast. I went over to her seat and started talking to her in a calm voice. I assured her that everything was going to be alright and that the turbulence was just a normal part of flying. I managed to get her to calm down and the rest of the flight went off without a hitch.”
  6. “There was an instance wherein my customer did not receive the correct order and was very vocal about it. I apologized on behalf of the restaurant and offered to have the order remade. I then took the initiative to walk with the customer until their food was delivered to them.”
  7. “One time, I was working on the floor of a department store when a customer came up to me and said that she was looking for a specific item. I told her that I would go and check to see if we had it in the back, but she said that she had already checked and there was nothing there. She was starting to get angry and I could tell that she was about to lose her temper. I knew that I needed to act fast to diffuse the situation. I offered to check the store’s computer to see if we had the item in stock at another location. The customer was happy with the solution and I was able to avoid a potential confrontation.”
  8. “I had a customer who was extremely unhappy with the service they received. They were yelling and cursing and making demands. I remained calm and spoke to the customer in a professional manner. I apologized for the inconvenience and offered to make it right. I then helped the customer to choose a new service provider.”
  9. “I had a customer who was very unhappy with the service they received and threatened to write a bad review. I apologized for their experience and offered them a discount on their next visit. The customer ended up being happy with the resolution.”
  10. “There was an instance where a customer became angry with me over a mix-up with their order and he started yelling at me. I remained calm and spoke to the customer in a friendly manner. I then listened to their complaint and offered a solution that resolved the issue.”

As you can see from these sample answers, it is important to discuss a specific situation where you were able to effectively overcome a problem. Be sure to stay focused on the main points and avoid rambling. Remember to wrap up your answer by explaining the end result of the situation. This question is designed to assess your ability to deal with difficult situations.

As a cabin crew member, you will be required to deal with a wide range of customer inquiries and complaints, so it’s important that you can demonstrate that you have the skills to resolve problems effectively.

Apply the STAR Technique

When answering behavioral interview questions, it is helpful to use the STAR technique. This involves describing the specific situation, the task that you were required to complete, the actions that you took, and the results of your actions.

  • Situation: Describe the specific situation that you were in
  • Task: Talk about the task that you needed to complete
  • Action: Describe the actions that you took
  • Results: Discuss the results of your actions.

Using this STAR method will help you to provide a well-rounded answer that covers all of the key points that the interviewer is looking for.

Do NOT Answer with “I’ve never had an experience”

Do not ever give an answer “I’ve never had an experience” to a question like this, even if it’s true.

The interviewer is looking for your ability to deal with difficult situations, so you need to give an answer that will show them that you have the skills to handle problems effectively.

If you truly have never had an experience dealing with a difficult customer, then you can choose to discuss a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation, even if it wasn’t customer-related. Or mention that you’ve observed an environment such as when you dined inside a restaurant and saw a manager appeas an angry customer.

If you are a fresh graduate you have never worked before, you can discuss a time when you had to deal with a problem in school. For example, you may have had to deal with a difficult professor or a challenging project. Make sure to apply the STAR technique in this scenario.

These may not be your own situations, but this shows that you are aware of how to handle difficult customers nonetheless. If you give the answer “I’ve never had an experience”, it will make you look like you lack the ability to deal with difficult situations, which is not the impression you want to give.

Give Specific Examples about Situations

When answering this question, it’s important to give a specific example of a time when you had to go above and beyond to solve a problem for a customer. Generalized statements or talking about times when the problem was easily resolved will not make a good impression. The interviewer is looking for evidence of your teamwork skills, as well as your ability to stay calm under pressure.

It’s also important to avoid coming across as arrogant or boastful in your answer. Describing how you saved the day single-handedly is not going to score you any points. Instead, focus on discussing the steps you took as part of a team to resolve the issue. This will show that you’re able to work well under pressure and that you’re able to take direction from others.

Finally, don’t forget to wrap up your answer by describing what the outcome was and how the customer reacted. This will give the interviewer a sense of closure and will allow them to see the full picture of how you handled the situation.

Tips for Answering this Question

When answering this question, it’s important that you:

  1. Choose a customer service example that highlights your ability to resolve problems effectively.
  2. Focus on the steps that you took to overcome the problem.
  3. Avoid discussing a situation where you were unable to resolve the issue.
  4. Avoid coming across as arrogant or boastful.
  5. Describe the outcome of the situation and how the customer reacted.
  6. Always go back to the STAR technique— Situation, Task, Action, Results. This will help you to structure your answer in a way that is easy for the interviewer to follow.

Questions to Ask Yourself to Answer this Question

Here are some questions that you can ask yourself to help you come up with a good answer to this question:

  1. What are some of the most difficult customer service situations that you have dealt with?
  2. What steps did you take to resolve the issue?
  3. What was the outcome of the situation?
  4. How did the customer react?
  5. Were you able to successfully diffuse the situation?
  6. What could you have done differently?

Answering this question well will require you to think back on past customer service experiences where you were able to successfully resolve a problem. It’s important that you choose a situation that highlights your ability to stay calm under pressure and to work well as part of a team. Remember to focus on the steps that you took to resolve the issue and avoid coming across as arrogant or boastful in your answer. Good luck!

Video: Tell Me About A Time You Dealt With A Difficult Customer! (Behavioural Interview Question & Answer!)

Here’s a helpful video guide by CareerVidz on YouTube about this particula question. Check out timestamp 3:54 so you can listen and watch an actual answer sample.

Summary

Answering the “Give me a situation where you had to deal with a difficult customer and how you handled it.” interview question can be tricky, but if you follow our tips, you’ll be sure to give a great answer that will impress your interviewer. Remember to focus on giving a specific example, discussing your teamwork skills, and avoiding coming across as arrogant.

Also Read: How to Answer: Why Should We Hire You?

The samples above will give you a better idea in coming up with your own scenario. Be more specific to your situation but don’t ramble on and on about it. Also, try to end your answer on a positive note so the interviewer will get the impression that you’re a problem-solver. Good luck!

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