When you’re in an interview applying for a job, there will be questions such as: what does customer service mean to you?
When you are applying for a job in retail, customer service or any other occupation where you have contact with the public or businesses, an interviewer will be eager to find out how you interact with customers and how you provide them with assistance.
As a result, they will likely ask questions such as:
- Can you give me an example of great customer service and poor customer service?
- What is good customer service?
- Explain what customer service means to you?
- What is the definition of excellent customer service?
You need to demonstrate that you understand what customer service is and why it is so important to provide excellent service to their customers. Not only that, you need to show your potential employer, how you would provide excellent customer service to ensure their customers continue to come back and therefore help keep them in business.
Be prepared and give life examples where possible. You need to be a good storyteller and provide good examples that demonstrate you have experienced this personally and are not just using a hypothetical response.
Let your potential employer know what you could do for their customers, such as engaging with them, let them know what you can do for them, and asking the right questions for better customer engagement.
What Does Customer Service Mean to You?
The short answer is, “making sure the customer is happy.” A longer answer is, “ensuring the customer or client is satisfied with the product or service provided.” Your interviewer wants to know what you consider quality customer service. They also want to know how you are willing to provide service to customers.
This answer also helps them determine whether you meet the standards for optimal customer service for your potential employer. As a result, it is important to share specific stories about handling customer service issues.
The Elements of Good Customer Service
There are 4 important elements that make up good customer service. There are:
1: Product Awareness
Whatever your employer markets, having a thorough knowledge of the company’s products is vital. Take the time to thoroughly research the company prior to your interview, so you can demonstrate a clear knowledge of the company’s products, brand, and mission. This is vital to providing strong customer service.
Attitude is everything. Greeting customers with a smile or a friendly hello can make a big difference in a retail store. People remember how you make them feel. Approaching customers in a friendly, helpful manner is important. It is also important to handle issues for customers, and ensure their satisfaction.
Further, for any customer service position, a friendly and patient attitude is important. It is also important to demonstrate that you are willing to go above and beyond customer expectations.
Customers also value prompt responses and it is important that you are ready to share your achievements with your interviewer. Anything you have done to be more efficient is worth sharing.
4: Problem Solving
Customers are looking for assistance and part of good customer service is fixing problems and answering questions. Discuss problems you have solved in previous roles and the methods you used to solve them. Further, if you are new in the field, it can be effective to use an example of a time when someone made an impact on you through their superb customer service skills.
Define Excellent Customer Service
What makes customer service truly exceptional and effective? And what does it mean to provide excellent customer service? Excellent customer service involves going the extra mile to make a customer happy and satisfied with the company’s products or service. It also means providing service to a customer in a timely, pleasant manner. Superb communication and problem resolution skills are equally important.
Remember, the expectations of excellent customer service are different for each type of business. But the elements are the same. Customers expect you to be helpful, positive and informative. It is about providing a total customer experience. This encompasses first contact to completion.
What does exceptional customer service mean to you?
Exceptional customer service is taking the extra step to make a customer feel you understand what they are going through. Make this a fantastic experience by resolving complaints in a calm manner.
What does service to others mean?
Providing customer service means being unselfish. It is also about doing things for others without expecting any reward or gain. It is also about being an effective part of the team, bettering yourself and the others around you.
You need to demonstrate that you will:
- Be focused on being customer service-driven and a great team member to support others
- Have a can-do attitude at all times to serve customers, and be confident and passionate about helping them
- Be focused on listening to the customers’ needs or issues
- Explain how you can read the customer and demonstrate initiative to take control
- Want to learn and understand every step of the sales process in their business / organisation, including objection handling to help close more sales
- Make customers want to continue coming back to you
- Create advocates for the business / organisation to build repeat business and referrers
- Always follow up on your customers for certainty
- Where irate customers are concerned, always seek help to attempt to convert them back to a happy customer
- Let them know you aim to please every customer in their business because you understand the value of a customer and what they bring to a business’s performance.
Preparation is key! Download our Cheat Sheet “10 Steps To Providing Excellent Customer Service”.