Customer Service

How to Answer the Most-Asked Customer Service Interview Question

Written by Peter Jones

If you’re applying for a customer service position, you should be prepared to defend your commitment to the profession and its values. That’s why most customer service interviews will throw at you the popular question, “What does customer service mean to you?”

This question is meant to weed out the employees who will be passionate about excellent customer service from everybody else. You definitely want to be in that first category.

Here are some strategies for how to prove your passion.

What to Emphasize in Your Answer

  • You’ll want to emphasize, first and foremost, your previous experience. Maybe tell a story from a past job or scenario in which your skills are particularly visible, one that shows your commitment to the relevant ideals.
  • You should also frame your answer from the point of view of the consumer.
  • Be sure to display an awareness of the product or service in question, as well as whatever experience you have that would be particularly suited to that company.
  • Make sure to mention something about efficiency, good attitude, and problem-solving skills—particularly under fire.

Prepare a substantive answer so you’re not stuck breezing through the most important question of your interview.

What to Avoid in Your Answer

  • Be careful not to bring up any negative experiences you might have had—though we’ve all had them.
  • You must not speak negatively of former bosses—or, especially, customers.
  • Also be sure not to downplay any of your strengths or skills.

Anatomy of a Sample Answer

First talk about the importance of a positive attitude, going above and beyond. Then move on to discussing the importance of knowing the job and the product inside and out, and being the most valuable liaison and give the customer everything they need. Finally, end with some sort of anecdote that emphasizes your skills in action. You’re sure to get bonus points if you sell your interviewer on how you would bring and keep businesses for the company by keeping their customers sweet.

Be confident, and stress your commitment to the company and the profession. Good luck!

About the author

Peter Jones