I prepared an application for a client applying for an entry level Customer Service Call Centre Operator position (AO3/4 level) with Centrelink. The selection criteria component involved addressing five key areas, maximum 200 word length for each. Outlined below are two of the criteria.

1. Please give an example of how you provided a service to a customer that went beyond their expectations.

Whilst employed with ABC, on occasions, customers were required to wait for extended periods of time in order for their hire car to be delivered to them. This was due to the landing of multiple flights, and also the late return of vehicles. Therefore, in dealing with these customers whose patience very often wore thin, I always maintained a calm demeanour and sought solutions to accommodate them and the situation they were under. I was required to take initiative when these situations arose and management was not available. Therefore, decisive decision making was required. Examples of how I went beyond customers expectations included providing free beverages for their entire entourage including family members and friends; ensuring the vehicle was thoroughly checked over and prepared for immediate service; reducing their daily rate on the vehicle; and ensuring their hire car contained a street directory. I made certain that everything possible was done to accommodate the customer. Subsequently, customers were left satisfied which was further validated in customer feedback reports sent to head office.

2. As a Call Centre Operator you will need to possess the ability to multi-task. Can you please give an example of where you have utilised this skill in the past.

As a senior staff member working the weekend roster, I was left to manage the day to day operations of the ABC counters. This required the prioritisation and completion of several concurrent tasks including those unexpected challenges which often arose. Standard weekend duties included allocating vehicles for the shift and advising staff of their duties and the processes involved during that period at the different counters located at the Gold Coast airport and Surfers Paradise. During these periods, there was a high turnover of vehicles, which required advising both the customers and the vehicle detailers of the situation. In addition, I trained new counter staff with customers present during peak weekend times at the Gold Coast airport location. When problems arose, for example, with computer system malfunctions, I directed staff on what was to be done in order to work through and rectify the problem. Importantly, during these tense and stressful times, I remained pleasant and cordial to both staff members and customers. As a result, in my performance appraisals regarding customer service standards, I received excellent comments and was often garnered with letters from customers thanking me for providing high quality service and dedication.

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Annie Cerone