Interview Question

Business Account Executive Interview San Jose, CA

Tell me about a

time you had to work with an angry customer.
Tags:
difficult customer
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Interview Answer

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This customer recently purchased equipment from the Enterprise Business Group (EBG) at my company. With little explanation, this customer was moved into a new business group, the Internet Business Group (IBG), because the customer was a service provider. This angered the customer. He had a relationship with the EBG, not the IBG.

Well, I was assigned as his new account manager and things couldn’t have started out worse. He was abusive and antagonistic towards me as I took over management of the account. He simply did not want anything to do with me and threatened to return everything he had purchased from my company.

For weeks, I allowed him to vent his anger as I slowly tried to build a relationship with him. Although the reception was icy cold, I continued to physically show up at his office and call him on the phone to demonstrate my commitment to support him and his team. I endeavored to prove that I would not allow him or his team to fail.

After several months of focused and committed effort, I was able to establish a new relationship with the customer. He grew to understand that I was there for him and a mutual level of trust formed.

This customer continued to purchase follow-on equipment from my company. He also made me aware of a large backbone network project happening at their new company HQ in St. Louis, MO. He made a strong effort to introduce me to the key decision-maker and was a real supporter for me and my team. In the end, we earned that backbone network business.

Interview Candidate on Mar 14, 2011

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