My Account

You control your data

We and our partners use cookies to provide you with our services and, depending on your settings, gather analytics and marketing data. Find more information on our Cookie Policy. Tap "Settings” to set preferences. To accept all cookies, click “Accept”.

Settings Accept

Cookie settings

Click on the types of cookies below to learn more about them and customize your experience on our Site. You may freely give, refuse or withdraw your consent. Keep in mind that disabling cookies may affect your experience on the Site. For more information, please visit our Cookies Policy and Privacy Policy.

Choose type of cookies to accept

Analytics

These cookies allow us to analyze our performance to offer you a better experience of creating resumes and cover letters. Analytics related cookies used on our Site are not used by Us for the purpose of identifying who you are or to send you targeted advertising. For example, we may use cookies/tracking technologies for analytics related purposes to determine the number of visitors to our Site, identify how visitors move around the Site and, in particular, which pages they visit. This allows us to improve our Site and our services.

Performance and Personalization

These cookies give you access to a customized experience of our products. Personalization cookies are also used to deliver content, including ads, relevant to your interests on our Site and third-party sites based on how you interact with our advertisements or content as well as track the content you access (including video viewing). We may also collect password information from you when you log in, as well as computer and/or connection information. During some visits, we may use software tools to measure and collect session information, including page response times, download errors, time spent on certain pages and page interaction information.

Advertising

These cookies are placed by third-party companies to deliver targeted content based on relevant topics that are of interest to you. And allow you to better interact with social media platforms such as Facebook.

Necessary

These cookies are essential for the Site's performance and for you to be able to use its features. For example, essential cookies include: cookies dropped to provide the service, maintain your account, provide builder access, payment pages, create IDs for your documents and store your consents.

To see a detailed list of cookies, click here.

Save preferences

What Does Customer Service Mean to You: Best Answer Tips

Create Your Resume Now

Our customers have been hired by:

“What does customer service mean to you?”—that is the question. And yes, it does feel like a sea of troubles. Doesn’t it mean the same thing to everyone? What if I get it wrong, and my job is customer service? 

Worry no more! We have the tips with the longest Lifetime Value.

This guide will show you: 

  • How to answer “What does customer service mean to you?” better than 9 out of 10 other candidates. 
  • Tips, strategies, and techniques on how to approach a question like that in the future.
  • Examples of how not to answer “What does customer service mean to you?” to avoid scaring hiring managers away.

Want to keep your options open and stay active in the job market? Create a resume with our resume builder and update it whenever necessary. Choose from 18+ professional resume templates and be recruitment-ready at all times! 

Build your resume now

Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

Not the exact advice you need? Explore our guides: 

Now, let’s break down the rationale behind “What does great customer service mean to you?”

What Does Customer Service Mean to You: Who Gets Asked and Why

If you work in an area that provides customer service in any capacity—retail, sales, or hospitality—you may hear, “What does great customer service mean to you?” at your next job interview. The reason for this is pretty simple: recruiters would like to hear some examples of customer service skills that you claim to have based on your resume.

The question can come in different forms:

  • What does customer service mean to you?
  • What does good customer service mean to you?
  • What does exceptional customer service mean to you? 

However, the technique for answering that question will be the same: proving that you have a solid grasp of your role and understand the importance of customer service to a business. 

Don’t just take my word for it: according to a Microsoft report, 96% of customers emphasize the importance of good customer service as a driver for their loyalty to the brand. Employers know that, and they need to make sure you know that, too.

Pro Tip: Remember that how you introduce yourself at the interview is the first step toward showing your customer service skills. Also, don’t forget to send a post-interview thank-you email.

What Does Customer Service Mean to You: Best Answers & Strategies 

Now, when you plan your answer, it’s very important to do your research first. 

The more informed you are, the better prepared you’ll be for when you hear, “What does the phrase ‘customer service’ mean to you?” This will give you a competitive advantage over other candidates, too, because you’ll be able to tailor your response to the specific job you’d like to have. 

1. Look Into Company Proposition and Values

No idea where to start? Try the company website, LinkedIn, or other social media. Many companies have clearly defined policies and visions, showing you the blueprint for the standard of services they strive to provide. And this is a kind of answer you could provide once you’ve done your research:

Right

“I know what superb customer service means for [name of company], and I couldn’t have stated it better. The company motto, “Only best, better than the rest,” reflects the desire to deliver the highest quality of customer care, and I think it’s the only way for a company to operate.”

Read more: Best Answers to Most Common Interview Questions

2. Show Your Knowledge of the Niche

Try to make your answer as specific as possible. Here are some suggestions:

  • Explore the company's products and services to get some additional valuable insights like the typical customer the business caters to. You’ll be able to provide examples and strategies that work for this particular audience. 

  • Think of industry-specific examples of good customer service like fast response rates or reduced downtime for customer support, being proactive but not pushy for retail, etc. Don’t be shy to show that you know the “lingo” and how the field operates.

Here’s a set of examples for someone who works in sales:

Wrong

“Good customer service is making customers stay. According to studies, a 5% retention rate may result in up to 95% bigger sales, and customer satisfaction is the most crucial customer retention factor! Keeping old customers is literally more money. That’s why it’s important.”

Right

“As a sales manager with extensive professional experience, I know that acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than keeping an old one. For me, great customer service is ensuring that the clients get the attention and help they deserve and feel cared for at all times—thus turning into loyal, repeat customers. It’s a win-win: great for the consumers, great for business.”

The Wrong example doesn’t exactly sound organic (like someone’s reading from a cheat sheet despite being actually backed by real studies), while the Right one shows a great understanding of job priorities. Taking your time with the answers and making them personalized will ensure that you get into the next round of the interviewing process. Just make sure you provide factual data.

Read more: Second Round Interview Questions

3. Don’t Give a One-Size-Fits-All Answer

It’s easy to assume there’s one “true” answer, but just as “good” means different things to everyone, so does good customer service. For some, it’d be just doing their job properly. For others, it’d be going the extra mile to ensure customer satisfaction.

You might be inclined to tell the recruiter what they expect to hear (like give them a textbook customer service definition or some cliché response), but that would not have the right impact. 

Be honest and precise, and talk about your real-life experience. No matter how it’s phrased, the essence of the question still is, “What is customer service to you, and what is your approach to treating the clients?

Compare these examples of answers to “what does customer service mean to you”:

Wrong

“Good customer service means serving the customer well. It’s keeping customers happy at all times. Because the customer is always right!”

Right

“To me, excellent customer service is taking the time to figure out what the person really wants from experience and delivering that. Surpassing their expectations, if possible.” 

The Wrong example is a response with a low Customer Satisfaction Score. It’s blank and doesn’t say anything about you as a professional. The Right example proves to the recruiter that you take the question seriously and that you really understand the reasoning behind it. 

Read more: Interview Tips That Get Jobs

4. Showcase Your Customer Service Skills 

Describe a situation in which you’ve displayed examples of listening skills, good communication skills, empathy, or problem resolution skills. It’s a great idea to use the STAR method for interviews to introduce such scenarios.

Have a look at this example:

Right

“Great customer service is going above and beyond. We had a client whose shipment didn’t come on time, which was a big issue because we couldn’t fix it immediately. I invited them for a brief call instead of sending a generic email and asked about the inconveniences this situation would potentially cause them. We found a great workaround [your example], which eventually resulted in this client staying with us and upgrading to an enterprise solution.”

If you don’t have a lot of experience, describe a situation featuring you as a customer that became a benchmark for fantastic customer service (and a standard you aspire to attain): 

Wrong

“I don’t have any experience, really, so it’s hard for me to say anything about it.”

Right

“I haven’t worked in a customer-centric setting yet, but there was a situation that I remember to this day as the greatest example of exceptional customer service. [your example] The way the salesperson resolved my issue, the level of involvement, and the attention to detail were unmatched. I’ve been a loyal customer ever since, and I aim to provide the same level of service at [name of the company].”

Not having worked at a position before does not mean you have no understanding of what the position entails. Be sincere, and talk about firsthand observations. 

Read more: Tell Me About a Time Interview Questions (With Answers)

Key Takeaway

We’ve established that the winning “what does customer service mean to you” formula is a combination of:

  • Explaining what superb customer service means to you personally.
  • Demonstrating how that reflects in your work ethic.

To get the answer right, don’t forget to:

  • Do your research.
  • Think of relevant industry examples.
  • Be original and specific.
  • Prove your strong customer service skills. 

With that in mind, you’ll be able to stun the recruiters and do a great job at your interview!

Thanks for reading! Any more tips? Would you like to share your own “What does customer service mean to you” best answers? Feel free to share in the comments below!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

Sources

Rate my article: what does customer service mean
Average: 4.75 (4 votes)
Thank you for voting
Aleksandra Nazaruk
Aleksandra is a writer and a career expert at Zety. Having experienced both sides of recruitment processes in various industries, she is confident you just need the right approach to land the job you want. In her guides, she strives to deliver straightforward career tips that are easy to follow and bring maximum impact.

Similar articles