what is customer service to you“What is customer service to you?” is a question often asked when interviewing customer service agents.

Many of these agents give canned responses that they think their prospective companies will like best. While most of these answers aren’t wrong, they aren’t yours.

Why Employers Ask: “What is Customer Service to You?”

There’s a good reason why employers ask this question. First, they want to know what you think is a good customer service definition and what customer service is to you.

Customer service covers a wide scope, and there are several types of customer service. For many, customer service includes any interaction you may have with your customer–from answering their questions via chat to following up after purchase.

Another reason why they ask what is customer service to you because it will give them a good idea of what your attitude and work ethics would be like when you work for them.

It’s not enough to have good customer service skills. It’s equally important for business owners to know that customer service work means something to you, because it will spell the difference between employees simply doing their job to those that will go above and beyond, and the latter is an important quality when it comes to customer service jobs.

There is an increasing number of companies focused on delivering excellent customer service because it has been proven that doing so not only contributes to a company’s positive brand reputation but also leads to its long-term success.

As someone in a customer-facing role, you are on the frontline and are responsible for upholding a company’s reputation by ensuring that the customers are satisfied. When you are able to provide excellent customer service experiences, the company is able to gain customer loyalty, referrals and repeat business

Whether it’s for an upcoming interview or your own self-improvement, here’s a few tips to come up with an answer to the question “What is customer service to you?”

Formulating Your Own Good Customer Service Definition

Do your research.

In this case, doing research is not copying other people’s answers on Quora or Reddit. Instead, it means determining what good customer service means to the company you’re applying to.

When doing research, remember that looking at the company’s answer shouldn’t completely change your personal answer, but only serve as a guide to highlight what seems to be most important to them and see if your values align. You can look for this information directly from the horse’s mouth.

Check their website for their mission and vision statements. Scour the internet for articles highlighting their customer support culture. Look for interviews or testimonials of people talking about examples of good customer service situations from that company. <

If you want to go the extra mile, you can actually email or call the company and ask questions yourself.

Doing your research shows that you’re invested in the company and how they work. It also opens you up to asking more questions come the interview.

Check what channels they use for customer service.

While doing research, try to check the channels they use for customer service.

Working in live chat is completely different from answering customer emails, and requires an entirely different skill set from answering voice calls.

Talk to their customer service.

If you do get the chance to call the company to ask questions yourself, pay attention to their voice and communication style–each company has a distinct one.

Pay attention to see whether their customer support is friendly or formal. Listen for their most commonly used phrases, and how do they start and end conversations.

To Sum Up

It may seem tempting to just Google your way to answer the question “what is customer service to you?”, but know that there is no right or wrong answer to questions like these.

Personalize your answer by examining yourself and doing research on prospective companies you want to work for. This will allow you to see if you’re a good fit for one another.