Almost every business has tons of competitors. If people do not like the price, quality, or service they get at one place, they will go and spend their hard-earned money somewhere else. What’s more, if they are unhappy about the way they were treated–regardless of the price and quality, they will post negative reviews online, and complain loudly in front of their peers, or at least on the walls and dashboards of their social media profiles.

Many small companies went out of business just because they had a bad streak of negative reviews, or employed ONE bad guy who spoiled their reputation, being a complete pain in their interactions with customers. Hiring managers are well aware of such scary stories. And hence once you apply for a job that has anything to do to with customer service, they will ask you at least one question about it.

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to this one. I tried to come up with some variety on my list, because at the end of the day good customer service can mean a lot of things, depending on the place where one provides it (or gets it). You will find also a couple of unconventional answers in the selection. Do not forget to read also the notes below the sample answers, for additional hints.


7 sample answers to “What does good customer service mean to you?” interview question

  1. For me it means being attentive to the needs and wishes of the customer, from the moment they enter the place to the moment they leave. Not necessarily pressing them to buy this or that piece of fashion, but being around, giving recommendations, praising how good they look in this or that expensive piece of clothing, and so on. Simply trying to make them feel important in the store, and at the same time maximize the amount of money they spend for their shopping. That’s my definition of a good customer service, and I hope to deliver such while working for you.
  2. In this field, more than anything it means to not forget the customer once they pay their first bill. I mean, it is hard to sign people up for the service, but the job really just starts in that moment. We have to stay in touch, remind them that we care, get feedback, and, of course, when the opportunity present itself, we should try to up-sell them on some extras. Statistics shows that it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain existing one. That’s why excellent customer service–especially after the purchase, is absolutely pivotal in my view. We do not want to lose any customers.
  3. Well, it mean a lot of things in a lot of different places, but the outcome is always the same. If the customer receives a good service, the will come back again, they will recommend the place to their peers, they will help to spread the word. On the contrary, if they get a bad service, they will spend their money with one of our competitors and post negative reviews left and right online, something a business can hardly afford. That’s why it is pivotal delivering a good service day in day out.
  4. In a fast food place like this, good customer service means to simply deliver the expected quality of food, in the shortest possible time. Customers do not want to be surprised–positively or negatively, when eating at Dunkin Donuts or McDonald’s. They want to get what they came for, the same size, taste, quality, and they want to be served with a smile. That’s what they expect, and that’s what I hope to deliver–if you decide to hire me, of course.
  5. What does a good customer service mean to me? Well, to me it means an individual approach to my needs. I do not enjoy to be treated like “just another customer”. And I do not like places where employees always say the same words, do the same thing, regardless of whether they deal with a homeless guy, seven year old child, or a distinctive lady in her sixties. In my opinion, people are tired of such places. They look for individual approach. And it is one of the reasons why I want to work for your insurance company. Because I know–from reviews posted online, and from your corporate website, that you specialize in tailored services for each single customer. Such an attitude resonates with me, and I believe it is the future of customer service–at least in this sector of economy.
  6. I’ve worked in desktop support for last two years. In my field, good service, more than anything else, means to handle the issue as quickly as possible, with the minimal number of messages sent back and forth. Because people do not want to hear hundreds of words and pleasantries from a desktop support specialist. All they want is to see their computer, internet, TV set or whatever working again, with the issue resolved. But I do not want to imply that communication doesn’t matter at all in this field. You should still treat people nicely and talk politely. But you should really focus on solving the problem, instead of exchanging pleasantries with the person on the other end.
  7. Good customer service–a desire to deliver it, is the thing that gets me up in the morning. I really enjoy interactions with customers, helping people, making them happy about their time in the company. In my opinion, life is better if we try to bring some value to others. Maybe I wasn’t lucky to become a doctor or a firefighter to save lives, but I can still make a positive difference in the lives of people, delivering a great service to my customers, day in day out. And one feels much better about their job afterwards. That’s what good customer service means to me personally, but if you are looking more for a definition of such a service, please let me know.


However you define good service, ensure the hiring managers that you plan to deliver it

To know what a good service means is one thing, to actively strive to deliver the best possible service to each customer another. But most hiring managers are looking for nothing less than that, at least when talking to you in the interviews.

Ensure them that you understand the importance of delivering excellent service to customers. You want to do it. What’s more, you enjoy doing it, because it helps you feel better about your job. At the end of the day you are just a human being with needs and desires like everyone else. It feels good to hear words of praise from a customer, or to receive a warm handshake that sometimes says more than a thousand words. Summing it up, delivering a great service is a win-win situation for everyone–the customer, your employer, and also for you…

Try to stay job-related in your answer

Customers expect different service at a local gas station, fast food stand, theater, internet service provider, and at a Michelin restaurant.

They want to be treated well everywhere, but what exactly it means differs from one place to another. Think about the job you will have, and imagine yourself in the shoes of an average customer. What do they expect? In some places it may simply be a quick service and nothing else. In another one, they want to be pampered and treated like kings, and are ready to pay a lot of money for such a treatment, including a hefty tip for you. They may seek individual approach in some places, but may not care about such thing in other locations.

What’s more, the exact nature of service differs from one field of business to other–finance, hospitality, retail, you name it, and you should adjust your answer accordingly. Show the hiring manages that you know what the customers expect in the place, and are ready to deliver such a service each day…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! But it isn’t the only tricky question you may get in your interview for a customer service job. Check also sample answers to other tricky questions:

Matthew Chulaw
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