Interview Question: What Does Good Customer Service Mean To You

Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, CPRW, Career Advice Expert Last Updated: January 17, 2023

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There are certain interview questions that are quite common to ask during an interview. If you’re applying for a position in customer service, you may likely be asked to “define excellent customer service.” This question may also come up in other forms, such as “what makes customer service truly exceptional and effective?”

Defining excellent customer service

Providing excellent customer service means going the extra mile in making sure a customer is happy and satisfied with a company’s products or services. It also involves providing service to a customer in a timely, pleasant manner. In order to provide excellent customer service, one needs superb communication and problem resolution skills.

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What does good customer service mean to you?

Before entering an interview for a customer service job, get a handle on what good customer service means to you. Good customer service typically means providing timely, attentive, upbeat service to a customer, and making sure their needs are met in a manner that reflects positively on the company or business.

As with most questions like this one, a hiring manager asks them to learn many aspects about you and how well you will perform in a particular position. Typically, he or she wants to identify the candidates who show true passion for the position, and a good answer can make you stand out. Hiring managers may also want to find out about your outlook and mentality toward dealing and working with customers and how you would effectively respond when specific situations arise.

If you are concerned about how to answer this commonly asked question, there is no need to worry. You must prepare for it and have your answer ready to go when the time comes. The better you prepare yourself, the better and more effective your answer will be — and it will be more likely to impress the hiring manager.


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How to answer the 'Define Excellent Customer Service' interview question

1. Talk about exceeding expectations

Customer service is all about meeting and exceeding the expectations of the customer. The expectations could be different for each type of business, but the principle is the same. Customers expect those assisting them to be extremely helpful, positive and informative. It is your job to mention all of these aspects and let the hiring manager know that you could fit the position well by showcasing your outstanding qualities. If you show the hiring manager that you understand well what expectations are in place, you will also be showing them that you are prepared to provide the best customer service possible.


Exceeding Expectation

2. Give specific examples

Coming up with answers to interview questions such as this involves utilizing examples to really show that you are capable for the position. In order to convey that you know what excellent customer service is all about- provide examples from past employment where you excelled at helping and communicating with customers.

While knowing and stating the skills and traits of a good customer service representative is good, it is even better to talk about times when you actually utilized those skills and showcased those traits. This way, the hiring manager will see that you have a good deal of customer service experience and that you know how to do it right. If you do not have a lot of prior customer service experience, talking about the skills involved will be a good thing to do. A crucial thing to remember if you are talking about specific examples from your work history is to not bring up negative experiences.

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Specific Examples

3. Discuss total customer experience

Total customer experience is key in the customer service industry. Employees working in it understand that the total experience is very important, from the first contact to the completion of the transaction. Qualified applicants will know that the most valuable asset is the customer, so let hiring managers know that you feel that way. You must tell them that you view each and every customer as a unique individual and treat them as such. Customer service is all about how you make the entire experience for the customer. Excellent customer service means going above and beyond his or her expectations.


Total Customer Experience

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Expert samples: ‘what does good customer service mean to you’

  1. Excellent customer service involves meeting and surpassing expectations. It means showing the customer how important he or she is to you and the business by interacting with he or she in a friendly, helpful and positive way. The idea is to leave a lasting impression on customers by working with them and assisting them in the best way possible. I also believe that excellent customer service involves being an expert on the products sold in order to help people make good decisions. In my past jobs, I gained numerous repeat customers through my consistent positive attitude and my exceptional ability to thoroughly answer customer questions, ensuring I always provided the best advice.

  2. Excellent customer service means making each and every aspect of the customer’s experience an absolutely positive one. I believe that effective people and communication skills are what have helped me to excel in the customer service positions I have held in the past. I always ensured customers were completely satisfied with their decisions by conducting follow-ups, and I worked to resolve any conflicts or problems that arose effectively. Good customer service means meeting expectations, but excellent customer service means exceeding them.

These samples should help you to better prepare yourself for answering one of the very common interview questions that hiring managers ask. Use what you have learned to form a good answer for yourself so you can succeed at your interview.

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