What Does Customer Service Mean to You

What Does Customer Service Mean to You?

If you are in a professional job interview for a customer service position, 90% of the time, interviewers will ask you this question: “What Does Customer Service Mean to You?”.  

Answering this question will guarantee you a solid spot among other candidates, and they will positively view you as an applicant. But how will you give a proper answer? 

In this article, you will learn how to approach, prepare for possible outcomes, recognize strengths, acquire the right knowledge and present yourself to deliver the best answer to this question. 

Let’s get started-

Why Do Interviewers Ask These Specific Questions?

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Interviewers can ask this specific question for many reasons, but there are some specific ones you need to be aware of. 

i. They try to understand if you have any ideas about customer service concepts

Interviewers want to know your range of knowledge on customer service concepts and how well you can describe those concepts. 

They want to know if you have any specific skills and real-world experiences in customer services and determine if you have any solid grasp of this topic. Also, remember that interviewers want to see your willingness to provide that information perfectly because they want to see if you are enthusiastic about customer service. 

Lastly, by understanding your proficiency in customer service, they will be able to determine if you can keep up with the company’s standards and further foster positive customer relationships. 

ii. To gain insight into your past experience in customer service 

While interviewing, any manager wants to know your past experiences with the current position you are interviewing for because they want to know your level of expertise and how well you have handled specific customers before. 

Many interviewers will be willing to hear your past examples of interactions with a customer, what challenges you may have faced or what strategies you used to resolve those issues. Don’t hesitate to share any past experiences with them because interviewers will respect your honesty, which will be a positive point among other candidates. 

Also, you let them know that you are perfect for the job by sharing problem-solving skills, the capacity to maintain a good relationship with customers and effective customer service. 

iii. They want to test your communication, problem-solving, and empathy skills

Communication and problem-solving skills are the most crucial elements of customer service work. So, you can assume that any question interviewers ask will be to test your communication, problem-solving and empathy. 

Here is what you can assume, 

  • For the main dish, communication is a must because you will be using your communication skills to calm any angry customer and answer all their queries. 
  • Now, adding a drink with problem-solving skills. Problem-solving is a perfect skill for customer service duties because resolving difficult issues quickly and satisfactorily is a must while on the job. 
  • Finally, you need dessert. Empathy will work as a last-meal item to help you understand a customer’s feelings and provide compassionate support.

Imagine you are serving the full course meal to your interviewers, so add all the crucial dishes, drinks and desserts to make them satisfied with your meal. 

iv. Interviewers trying to understand your willingness to provide customer service and beyond

Any manager would appreciate their subordinate’s work and go beyond their natural willingness to engage with a consumer. They want to know if you are willing to dedicate and prepare to go the extra mile to satisfy your customers. 

In this matter, they want to see if you can handle challenging situations, how good your commitment to continuous improvement is, and your enthusiasm for building positive customer interaction.  

v. They want to determine how much self-awareness you have regarding customer service interactions

Interviewers know that they are not hiring robots for their jobs, which means they are willing to accept small mistakes. But here is the trick, interviewers will want to understand your level of self-awareness. 

Even if you have made any small mistake, can you immediately reflect on that behaviour and learn from it to never make the same mistake in the future again. Also, by understanding your mistake, can you improve further in the future and take responsibility in other areas besides customer service? 

Some traits interviewers want to see if you have self-strength, recognize improvement areas, and your awareness of customer satisfaction. If you can present yourself as a self-aware person, then you are stating that you are capable of personal growth and committed to delivering high-quality service.

In What Kind of Job Interviews Would You be Asked This Question?

In almost any type of customer service-related position, interviewers will ask this question. If you research a bit, you will see many career paths that lead to customer service, if not directly, but related to the topic. Here are some common customer service job positions you may need to look out for,  

  • Customer service representative. 
  • Healthcare service. 
  • Technical support specialist. 
  • Retail manager. 
  • Call center agent. 
  • Account manager. 
  • Hotel receptionist. 
  • Medical receptionist. 

5 Ways to Prepare a Perfect and Most Precise Answer for This Question

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Here are some points you need to consider before preparing yourself for this question. Remember, your preparation will reflect on the interview day. 

1. Before an interview, research the company’s customer service beliefs 

Before your interview, take your time and do thorough research on the targeted company’s customer service policies. You can visit the company’s website or read its goals and mission statement. 

While scrolling through their website, acquire any type of information on customer service, how they handle their customers, and any specific content on this particular topic. Any company would emphasize certain topics like customer values, themes or principles of customer service; you will be finding them. 

Finally, check out their bio because company bios will contain important information regarding any topics. 

2. Practice your answer before the interview 

“What does customer service mean to you?” is a common question, so prepare an answer beforehand; you don’t want to stature while talking to the interviewers! 

Draft a unique response to the question, focusing on crucial customer service elements like your vision, your skills, how willing you are about this topic, and your past working experience in customer service. 

Speaking and clearing your throat will be your main objective, so practice delivering your answer aloud. Be sharp on your body language, tone, and pacing, imagine you are preparing for a talk show. 

Tone and word selection will be important because you must be simple yet professional while delivering your answer. Finally, Practice your answers with family members and friends, which can help you reduce nervousness. 

3. Prepare some examples that can support your answer

Interviewers love to hear about personal experiences, so if you have any personal experience regarding customer support, let them know. You can think of situations where you solve a customer’s problem or handle the situation professionally. 

How about the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) method, which means structuring an example, serving context, and securing a condition? 

In your examples, failure will not be an option. Remember, you must provide a successful example of customer service experience. A successful example will allow you to prove your claims with solid evidence, making your response more credible and impactful.

4. While giving an answer, reflect on your personal experiences and values

Here are a few tips on reflecting on personal experiences, 

  • You can share real stories about your customer service experience. 
  • Connect your values with the company’s principles  
  • In your answer, highlight your key skills. 
  • Ignore any unnecessary information and be specific in your answer. 
  • Present your personal growth. 
  • Always try to give relevant information because too much unnecessary information might bore the interviewers. 

5. State that you can go above and beyond while helping a troubled customer

Managers love candidates who can go the extra mile to meet their customers’ needs because many companies have solid policy rules for great customer service and try to keep their reputation in this regard. 

So, the “Go beyond” candidates will likely be selected and have a better chance of getting the job than other participants. But how will you state your eagerness in the interview? Here are a few tips that can help you create a solid foundation over the go beyond “Go beyond” attitude, 

  • Provide some past examples of troublesome customers; if you don’t have any, share how you can handle one in the future. 
  • Tell your prospects how you will take extra steps to solve a customer’s problem. 
  • Hold a strong commitment to your answer and state that you can exceed customer expectations. 
  • Your examinees should know that you can handle challenging situations while keeping a calm demeanour. 

Your positive attitude towards going the extra mile for customer service will truly be an extra talent that can mesmerize the interviewers. 


What is customer service?

In brief, customer service is the work of providing virtual and physical support to a customer before, during, and after their purchase. Customer service is all about, 

  • Solving any type of customer request issues. 
  • Providing answers to their questions. 
  • Offering helpful and responsive queries. 
  • Processing any problematic transactions. 
  • Collect customer feedback. 
  • Maintaining customer records. 
  • Building trusted relationships. 
  • Collaborating with other departments. 

How to handle an angry and uncooperative customer?

Here are tips on handling an angry and uncooperative customer, 

  • Firstly, be calm and listen to their problems attentively. 
  • You can show some empathy about their current situation. 
  • Acknowledge their frustration and apologize for any mistakes other customer service representatives made. 
  • If the customer is calm, offer a practical solution and provide any other solutions.
  • Be patient while interacting with the customer. 
  • Maintain a calm and professional demeanour throughout the interaction. 

If all these tips are performed correctly, then you should be able to de-escalate the situation perfectly. 

What are the 3 key concepts of customer service?

The 3 key concepts of customer service is, 

  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Problem-solving

What are service quality concepts?

The service quality concept is the process of measuring how good a service can be for an individual customer. The parameters to measure include assurance, empathy, responsiveness, and behaviour. Any customer service that ensures this to its most extended form can be considered high-quality customer service. 

What does customer feedback mean?

The data that a customer provides regarding their interaction with your company’s product or service can be considered as customer feedback. Through analyzing customer feedback you can know their problems, and identify any certain areas for improvement. 

Ace in Your Interview with a Perfect Answer

While you are in the interview, keep in mind that you have to be confident while answering the question. Don’t make your answer too short or unnecessarily extend it too much, and don’t forget to use simple words. 

So, you will need to highlight your core skills, share your experience, and adjust your answer to the company’s value. Beforehand practice your answer and deliver it with a clear voice. 

You can crack the interview! 

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