Ace Interview Question: “What Does Customer Service Mean to You?”

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Ace Interview Question: “What Does Customer Service Mean to You?”

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“What Does Good Client Service Mean to You?”

How do you define good customer service? It’s a common question asked in interviews. Sometimes it’s asked in other forms like “What does good client service mean to you?” or “How would you deliver exceptional client service?”

Interview Question What Does Good Client Service Mean to You

No matter how it is phrased, the question is used by the interviewers to find out which candidates truly understand their role in an organization in its bigger context. This is because businesses and companies know that success relies heavily on exceptional customer service.

However, it’s very hard for a company to deliver customer service excellence unless every employee is primed for and aiming towards delivering a great experience to customers. Even with company policies in place, it’s easy for an employee to get waylaid by the daily tasks, focus too much on the metrics, and get caught up in the numbers. 

The only way to prevent this from happening is to keep the idea of great customer service front and center. So, naturally, the candidates who have this mindset are able to convey their focus with the right answers to these types of questions. 

You don’t even have to stick to a particular script because there are many ways to answer this question. Here are some general guidelines for preparing an impressive response:

#1. Prepare Your Own Definition

There are many good ways to define good customer service. This is a good opportunity to summarize in your own words what it means to you. Draw inspiration from your previous roles where you felt like you delivered excellent customer service.

If you do not have prior experience, think like a customer and look back on your experiences where you felt like somebody delivered exceptional service to you. Connect the common things in those experiences and draft your response. 

What Does Good Client Service Mean to You

For example, do you appreciate how the local barista always remembers your name? If yes, it’s “personalization of experience” that means good client service for you. If you appreciate the speed with which your internet provider replies to your complaints, it’s “prompt response time” that spells good client service for you. 

#2. Quote Someone Else

What you prepare will be a good reflection of what great client service means to you subjectively. However, this is a great opportunity to stand out in an interview. So, it’s a good idea to remember a quote by someone else or another definition that summarizes what you said or adds what you may have omitted in your prepared response. 

For example

“I truly resonate with what Ben Motteram, Principal at CXpert said: Good customer service means meeting customer expectations”


“Everything I believe about delivering good client service is based on, Shep Hyken’s definition of customer service which is: Customer service is the experience we deliver to our customer, it’s the promise we keep to the customer. It’s how we follow through for the customer, it’s how we make them feel when they do business with us.”

One thing to remember is to always attribute the quote or the definition to the true source and never try to pass off someone else’s definition or quote as your own. 

#3. Prepare an Example of Good Customer Service 

Explaining your point of view with examples has two advantages. One, you get your point across effectively and two, you get the opportunity to demonstrate your past work experience. Even if you are simply drawing examples from your personal life, as a customer, it shows astute observation and interest in customer dynamics and how they affect business growth. 

One thing to note is that it pays to keep your examples as relevant to your industry as you can. If you are interviewing for a company in the hospitality industry, stating an example of your local barista may be more apt than your internet service provider. 

#4. Talk About It from The Perspective of Your Role

All employees in all roles and at all positions have to be customer-oriented. However, while everyone in an organization has to work towards providing exceptional client service, they can only do so in the capacity that their role allows.

Factoring in the responsibilities of the role is important, as it will help you to see and further add another angle to your response. For example, someone interviewing for an entry-level position in a call center, when asked to define good client service, may respond,

How do you define good client service

“To me good client service means to always have a smile on my face, responding to calls and queries as promptly as possible and always listen with empathy to the customer, then offer solutions”

On the other hand, someone interviewing for a managerial or a team leader position in a call center may respond to the same question as, 

“I define good client service as leveraging my team to decrease the average first response time to tickets and then training my team to constantly hone their communications skills till we have reached a satisfactory level of CSAT score”

#5 Use Impactful Words

Adding examples from personal life is going to make your response genuine and unscripted while adding someone else’s definition or quote will give it another dimension. There is one final element to give it a final polish and a flourish and that is adding power words. 

Words and phrases like “exceeding customer expectations”, “going the extra mile” and “personalizing customer experience” are not just words, but in fact powerful ways of delivering good client service.

Read “5 Key Areas of Customer Service You Need to Master” to understand these and more terms to add more impact to your response. 

Brief Summary:

  1. “Define good client service” or “what is good customer service?” is a common call center interview question that you should be prepared for beforehand.
  2. You can make your definition from drawing on examples of when you witnessed good customer service in your own life. Adding someone else’s well-phrased definition or quote is also effective.
  3. Giving examples further solidifies your definition and you can also make it more impactful by using power words while keeping your response relevant to the role you’re interviewing for.

Other Resources:

CustomersFirst Academy offers comprehensive customer service training designed to help you grow your skills and advance your career.

To keep learning and developing your knowledge of customer service, we highly recommend the additional resources below:

Ace the Interview Question: “What Does Customer Service Mean to You?”
Top 10 Customer Service Rep Interview Questions
Ace Interview Question: “Do You Want To Tell Us Anything Else About You?”

10 Common Call Center Interview Questions

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