IELTS Speaking Part 2: 'good service' topic

IELTS Speaking Part 2: ‘good service’ topic

A student sent me this recent exam question:

Describe a time when you received good service in a restaurant or cafe.
You should say

- when this was
- what kind of restaurant or cafe you were in
- why you were there
- and why you thought the service was good

I think I’ve already written some sample answers (about a restaurant and a cafe) that could easily be adapted to this question. Can you find those answers here on the blog? Try searching the blog using the method suggested here.

IELTS Speaking Part 2: ‘theme’ vocabulary

One of the suggestions that I make in my video lessons is that you prepare “theme” vocabulary for IELTS speaking part 2. Let’s look at a theme that could help us with the task below.

Describe a time when you received good service in a restaurant or cafe.
You should say

- when this was
- what kind of restaurant or cafe you were in
- why you were there
- and why you thought the service was good

We could use the “friendly” theme from speaking lesson 4 in my video course. Here’s the vocabulary that I suggested for that theme:

"Friendly" theme (e.g. staff in a restaurant)

  • welcoming, inviting
  • warm, approachable
  • polite, thoughtful, attentive
  • great atmosphere
  • make you feel at home
  • the service was excellent
  • nothing was too much to ask
  • an unforgettable evening

Can you write a description that includes all of the words and phrases above?

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IELTS Speaking Part 2: ‘good service’ answer

Last week I gave you a list of “theme” vocabulary for the question below.

Describe a time when you received good service in a restaurant or cafe.
You should say

- when this was
- what kind of restaurant or cafe you were in
- why you were there
- and why you thought the service was good

Here’s my sample answer with the theme vocabulary underlined:

  • I’m going to talk about the service we received in a restaurant where a friend of mine celebrated his birthday last Saturday evening.
  • My friend had decided to book a table in a local Italian restaurant for the party. It was a small, family-run place, but this made it feel all the more welcoming and inviting. The atmosphere was great and the service was excellent.
  • As I mentioned, I went to the restaurant because a friend had invited me to celebrate his birthday there. There were about ten of us there - mostly people I’ve known since university - and it was really nice to catch up with them and chat about what we had all been up to since we last got together.
  • The service was good because the restaurant staff and owners really made us feel at home. From the moment we walked in, the waiters were polite, approachable and attentive; nothing was too much to ask. They brought out a cake with candles and sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to my friend, although we hadn’t asked them to do this, and the restaurant owners kept checking whether we were happy with everything, which was thoughtful of them. All in all, the delicious food, good company and friendly service made it an unforgettable evening.
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IELTS Speaking Part 3: ‘customer service’ topic

Let’s have a look at some part 3 questions that might follow on from the part 2 task that I answered last week. Try using the method shown in this lesson when answering.

  1. How important is customer service for you?
  2. What can companies do to improve their customer service?
  3. Why do you think employees sometimes don’t provide good customer service?
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IELTS Speaking Part 3: answer, explain, example

My sample answers below all follow a 3-step structure: answer, explain, example. I sometimes add a 4th step that you can see here, but the first 3 steps are the most important. Practise answering all part 3 questions in this way.

1) How important is customer service for you?

(Answer) Customer service is really important for me because I like to feel welcome and valued as a customer. (Explain) If companies want us to use their products or services, I believe they should treat us well and therefore encourage us to return. (Example) For example, I have a favourite cafe where I like to go, and the friendly staff are the main reason that I’ve become a loyal customer.

2) What can companies do to improve their customer service?

(Answer) I think managers need to train their employees to deliver great customer service. (Explain) There are lots of things that staff members can do, such as ensuring that customers are greeted in the right way, their problems are handled quickly, and they are asked for feedback. (Example) For example, the staff in my favourite cafe greet customers as soon as they come through the door, and they always check that we are happy before we leave.

3) Why do you think employees sometimes don’t provide good customer service?

(Answer) When employees’ treatment of customers isn’t good, I think it’s usually because they are unhappy doing their jobs. (Explain) This might be because they are treated badly by their managers, or because they haven’t been encouraged to take pride in their work. (Example) I remember in my first ever job, for example, I didn’t like the work that I was given, and so I probably wasn’t as thoughtful or attentive as I should have been when I had to speak to customers.

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