Shep Hyken\'s Customer Service Blog

14 Customer Service Questions to Ask for 2014

customer-service-questionsAmazing Service

I love a good list of customer service ideas, and since it’s the New Year, I thought it would be appropriate to share a list.  These customer service questions are for you to ask yourself and others in your company.  These are conversation starters you can use to have discussions about delivering amazing customer service. 

  1. What three things do you do best that differentiates you from your competition? Really look at how you are different.  What is it that your competitors can’t say about themselves that you can say about yourself?
  2. You can’t be the best at everything, so what is it you are not good at doing?  Don’t try to change what you are not good at.  Focus on what you are good at and improve upon where you excel.
  3. What does your competition do that you can learn from?  By the way, don’t copy the competition.  Learn from them and improve on what you learn.
  4. What do you do to make people want to be around you at work?  The focus of this question is on your internal customers.  Do they enjoy working around you?  If so, why?
  5. What, if anything, do you do to come up with creative and innovative ideas?  Does your company have some type of employee suggestion program?
  6. How does your company train employees in customer service and relationship building skills?  Many times companies spend a lot of money and time on training technical skills.  The best companies also train soft skills, like customer service.
  7. What policies or processes stand in the way of delivering amazing customer service, and can they be removed?  In other words, how easy is it to do business with you?
  8. What does your company do to actively seek out complaints and problems?  A complaint is an opportunity to show how good you are.  Seek them out.
  9. How do you or your company debrief negative experiences, turning them into teaching opportunities?  Use a negative experience or bad review as a learning opportunity to get better.
  10. How do you celebrate success with your employees?  When you have success, let everyone know they are appreciated.
  11. Have you mapped out the typical customer experience and examined the impact from all touch-points at the front line?  A customer journey map is a powerful tool for spotting opportunities to improve existing customer service.
  12. Have you identified how everyone behind-the-scenes impacts the front-line customer experience?  Everyone has a customer – and sometimes it’s an internal customer.  Jan Carlzon, former chairman of Scandinavian Airlines says that if you aren’t actually supporting the customer, you are probably dealing with someone who is.
  13. What do you “give back” to your community?  Community can be defined as local, global, causes you are involved in, etc.
  14. Does everyone understand that customer service is not a department, but a philosophy?  It’s also an attitude!

What questions would you add to this list?  Let me know.


Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, professional speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For information contact (314)692-2200 or For information on The  Customer  Focus™ customer service training programs go to Follow on Twitter: @Hyken
(Copyright ©MMXIII, Shep Hyken)

  1. Ram Prasad Prasain says:

    This post is very amazing and brain teasing for me. It’ll help to do my job more effective and professional way. Thanks Sir.

  2. Richard Shapiro says:

    Shep Hykan has posed some different and important questions companies should ask themselves on how to improve customer service. He suggests that what is being done well should be examined and figure out how to make it even better. Employees are part of the process and management should ask for their creativity and use it. Are your employees happy? Happy people are good at providing great customer service and relationship building and should be celebrated. It takes a team to be successful. As Mr Hykan wisely points out: “Customer Service is not a department,” it is the face of the company and its attitude speaks volumes.

  3. Excellent post! We were discussing some of these very points in our recent demos of Agile CRM to customers. Using a CRM integrated wiht marketing automation provides for a huge potential in effective customer service. Hope our customers have satisfied customers too! Happy new year! 🙂

  4. Shep, thanks for sharing this list of questions. I personally believe that it’s important for a company to have a “customer first” mentality. In order to develop that, we need to constantly ask the right questions.

  5. Shep, not sure if you remember me but we did guest post together back in the day 🙂 A
    Would love to reconnect! 🙂

    Cheers and thanks for the great content!

    – Catherine

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