4 Ways to Improve Customer Service in the Service Industry

Tips for better customer service

  • What are you enjoying the most?
  • Is there anything that isn’t perfect?
  • Are you celebrating something special?
  • Is this your first time in?


“Is everything okay with your room?”

“How’s your meal?”

Questions like these are common in the service industry. And they’re usually asked almost in passing, without any real expectation for a response that’s deeper than “Fine” or “Good.”

There’s nothing WRONG with these inquiries – except that they put the focus on what’s average and they don’t open a dialogue that leads to action.

Do you want to provide a Chick-Fil-A-style customer service experience, but you’re having trouble nailing it?

Maybe you think you’re doing “fine” and don’t realize how much more you could be delighting your customers.

You CAN take it to the next level once you have the right tools in your toolbox.

One of the ways to improve customer service is to learn to ask better questions. 

And they’ll help you reach your ultimate goal: to build repeat customers.

Service industry definition

Companies that make money by providing services such as retail, transportation, distribution, and food services.

4 ways to improve customer service

Check out four types of questions that get people to focus on the BEST part of their experience and that offers you the opportunity to take action and delight your clientele.

1. “What are you enjoying the most?” 

A question like this immediately shifts the focus to the best part of a customer’s experience.

It forces them to think about the “good stuff” instead of what’s just “okay. 

Asking, “Was everything OK?” is a waste of time.

2. “Is there anything that wasn’t perfect?”

This question gives you the opportunity to jump in and correct anything that your customer deems lacking.

If you never find out if something was wrong, you can’t fix it. If you can’t fix it, you’ve likely lost that customer for good.

3. “Are you celebrating something special?”

This question opens the floodgate for taking customer service to the next level – and there’s a benefit for your business, too.

Imagine this scenario:

A lovely couple is enjoying dinner at your restaurant. You ask them if they’re celebrating anything special and they tell you it’s their wedding anniversary. You offer to take pictures for them. And what do they do with those pictures? Of course, they post them on their social media outlets, tagging your restaurant. 

One of the ways to improve customer service is to do little things that have a big impact.

4. “Is this your first time in?”

Talking with a first-time customer gives you the chance to highlight the best things about your business. 

It’s essential that you find out if this is their first time doing business with you. 

Give them an incentive to capture their contact information so you can stay in touch with them – maybe a special gift. 

Make sure they meet the owner when it’s appropriate. 

In the process, you’ll make the person feel welcome and that’s something they won’t forget.

An inside look at improving customer service

Let’s take a look at a few specific examples of how you can implement these questions:

  • Selling cars. Follow-up is important. Make it a point to check in with customers at regular intervals AFTER they’ve taken their new car home, and ask them what they like most about their vehicle (or “What are you enjoying most?”). 
  • Making vehicle or home repairs. It would be easy to say, “How was your service?” right? But remember, you’re going for repeat business, and to get there, you need to go deeper. A better question would be, “Is there anything that wasn’t perfect?” “What did you enjoy the most about your experience?” “What could we have done even better?”

Bring in repeat business

Don’t miss the opportunity to delight each customer who patronizes your business.

Ask the right questions to elicit action-oriented responses from your clientele.

Apply these principles to any service industry position and make new customers regulars.

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