Interview Questions: Define Excellent Customer Service

LiveCareer Staff Writer
by LiveCareer Staff Writer
Published On : May 30, 2017 

If you are applying for a customer service position, you should be prepared for the hiring manager to ask you how you would define excellent customer service.

This question is used to separate employees who are genuinely passionate about the position from everybody else.

The employer wants to know what your true philosophy is regarding dealing with customers and how you would respond to certain situations. Giving a basic definition of customer service will not be enough to impress anybody.

How Would You Describe Your Customer Service Skills?

How you describe your customer service skills can mean the difference between getting the job and not getting the job.

Here are some things to keep in mind when answering this question:

Define good customer service. How do you define great customer service as a consumer?

Give examples. Prepare some examples of good customer service you’ve provided in past roles.

Be specific to the company. Make sure your examples are relevant to the company and the job that you’re applying for.

Emphasize your soft skills. Customer service requires several soft skills including stellar communication skills, patience, and conflict resolution. Mention those skills that make you well suited to provide exceptional customer service.

Be prepared to give your definition of what customer service should entail before you go into the interview.

Mistakes You Should Avoid

It is easy to give an over-simplified answer to this question, so make sure to avoid the common mistakes that occur in retail-related interviews.

  • Don’t bring up any negative customer service experiences.
  • Don’t play down your skills that would help you in the position.
  • Be careful not to breeze over the question by giving an overly simplified response.
  • Never speak negatively of any customers you have had in the past.

Being a people-person is a very important trait to have in the retail industry, so you want to convince the hiring manager that you are able to work with a number of different personality types to deliver the best service imaginable.

Sample Answer

Your answer should reflect your true philosophy toward customer service and should go something like this:

Good customer service involves treating the customers with a friendly attitude. However, I believe excellent customer service means going above and beyond. It entails having a thorough knowledge of the store’s inventory in order to help customers make the best decision. I have worked with a number of customers over the years, and at my last job, I created numerous repeat customers by answering their questions efficiently and following up with all requests.

If an interviewer is asking you this, it means that customer service skills are vital to the success of the position. Make sure to emphasize all your qualities that would benefit you in the role and convince your potential employer that you would be an absolute hit with the customers.

About the Author

LiveCareer Staff Writer

At LiveCareer, we live and breathe the belief that we can help people transform their work lives, and so do our contributors. Our experts come from a variety of backgrounds but have one thing in common: they are authorities on the job market. From journalists with years of experience covering workforce topics, to academics who study the theory behind employment and staffing, to certified resume writers whose expertise in the creation of application documents offers our readers insights into how to best wow recruiters and hiring managers, LiveCareer’s stable of expert writers are among the best in the business. Whether you are new to the workforce, are a seasoned professional, or somewhere in between, LiveCareer’s contributors will help you move the needle on your career and get the job you want faster than you think.


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