How Would You Define Customer Service?

Job Interview Question and Answer: How Would You Describe Customer Service?

Why Do Interviewers Ask This Question?

Hiring managers ask, “How do you define customer service?” to learn how you will interact with their patrons if you get the job. They want to make sure that you can maintain a friendly and professional attitude when dealing with customers.

Responses to Avoid

When answering the question, “What is your definition of customer service?” try to avoid vague and cliche responses. Steer clear of answers like:

  • “The customer is always right.”
  • “Staying calm in stressful situations.”
  • “Having good communication and conflict resolution skills”.

Interviewers tend to view these broad terms and concepts as empty statements that don’t reveal anything about your work style. It may also seem as if you are using basic stock answers that only tell managers what you think they want to hear.

What Answers Are Employers Looking For?

An appropriate response to the question, “How would you define customer service?” should include three parts:

  • A Definition: Choose a quality that describes what customer service means to you. Mention character traits like a friendly disposition and a positive attitude or discuss specific skills like active listening and problem-solving abilities.
  • An Example: Refer to moments when you used the skills you talked about in your definition. If you lack customer service experience, describe how you expect employees to treat you when you come to their store.
  • A Connection: Apply your chosen skill or characteristic to the job you’re interviewing for to show the hiring manager how you would use the ability in the workplace.

Sample Responses

The following sample answers can help you with the question, “What does customer service mean to you?” Rather than copying or memorizing these responses, use them as a guide for shaping a suitable answer based on your skills and experiences.

Sample Answer 1- Department Store Job

“To me, customer service means having knowledge about store products and being patient when helping customers find what they need. One of your employees showed those traits when I was here shopping. I had a lot of unique style requests, but they were familiar with the inventory and took the time to help me find the perfect pieces.”

“I really appreciated that employee’s approach to customer service, so I would do my best to learn about all the items in your store and similarly interact with patrons.”

Sample Answer 2- Fast Food Restaurant Cashier

“I would define customer service as meeting a person’s needs with efficiency and a good attitude. When I used to volunteer at my high school’s concession stand, people would get frustrated after standing in the long lines. To put customers at ease, I would smile and be friendly with them as I quickly worked to fill their orders. These skills would come in handy during your restaurant’s lunch and dinner rushes.”

Sample Answer 3- Hair Salon Employee

“I think customer service means using your skills and personality to create a great experience for your clients. As a stylist, I listen carefully to each client’s requests about the look they want. Then I chat with them throughout the appointment to help them relax and establish a rapport that will encourage them to come back. I would apply the same approach to the customers at your salon.”

Key Takeaways

The most important thing to remember when answering the question “How would you define customer service?” is to be as specific as possible. Think about the skills you have that could benefit patrons, and discuss how you would use those abilities to make customers happy. This type of response can show the interviewer that you share their commitment to customer satisfaction.

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