Course Outcomes

This customer service course for retail employees will:

  • Provide a forum for participants to identify actions that make a customer experience great and those that create a bad one.
  • Suggest words and phrases for communicating with an attitude of  “customers first.”
  • Give tips for communicating with different kinds of people.
  • Offer ideas for measuring service satisfaction on the spot.

Course Overview

“You’re quitting? But you just started!” It’s no secret that the retail industry experiences rapid and constant turnover in staff and more competition than ever from online sellers.  Keeping customer-service employees upbeat and motivated is no small task, but that is precisely what this course is designed to do. By understanding the importance of providing excellent customer service, participants will be able to overcome some of the barriers that keep them from delivering it now. Additionally, they will learn some important tension-relieving tactics that will help them remain calm when faced with even the most demanding customers whether on the phone or face to face.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Identify the features of excellent customer service.
  • Recognize behaviors and actions that irritate or offend customers.
  • Understand how to communicate clearly and respectfully with customers and coworkers alike.
  • Explain different customer behavior styles and know how to adjust to each.
  • Know how to measure customer satisfaction levels and increase them as needed.
  • Understand techniques for dealing with difficult customers.
  • Practice stress-reduction techniques as a way of being able to continue delivering the best possible customer service.
  • Develop a personal action plan to improve their service skills when dealing with the public.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

A “Goodie Bag” of Information: How to Make Service Exceptional

Figuring out customers is never easy. Some who want a product your business stocks will purchase the item no matter what. In other cases, making the sale requires special know-how. In this opening discussion, participants will learn the features of outstanding customer service, which leads to increased profits for the business and personal recognition for the service providers.

You Gave Me a Trash Bag!: What Makes for Poor Customer Service

Once participants have a clear understanding of the features that define excellent customer service, they will discuss the behaviors that will send customers running to the competition. Through roleplays and real-world examples, they will discover actions and statements that may lose them a sale, hurt profits for the business, or cost them their jobs.

Paper or Plastic?: How to Communicate Clearly

This part of the program focuses on verbal communication. In this segment, participants will learn ways to find out what customers want or need – even when the customers themselves aren’t sure. They will also discuss techniques for keeping customers interested in making a purchase even if what they want is not immediately available. 

A Mixed Bag: It’s a Communication Jungle Out There

Great service providers know that customers are not the same, and one size does not fit all. This component of the course explores people styles and how to accommodate different types of customers. Using Business Training Works’ signature diagnostic tool, The Communication Jungle, participants will complete an assessment to learn their preferred styles. Following that exercise, they will talk about specific actions they can take to adjust their approach to different kinds of customers. 

Toting up the Score: Measuring Customer Satisfaction

While sending customers out the door with full bags of merchandise is a goal, it’s not the only one. In a world where customers are flocking to the internet, most retailers seek to establish ongoing relationships with customers, and the only way to do this is through excellent customer service. Developing a loyal customer base requires extra attention to detail, and this involves more than clear verbal skills. This segment will help participants learn to interpret customers’ body language and vocal tones as two means of determining their levels of satisfaction. By learning how to “read” such signs, participants will know what they can do to improve the situation.

A Handy Bag of Tricks: Managing Difficult Customers

In some instances, there will be people who pose problems for customer-service providers regardless of what the providers have done to accommodate them. In this part of the workshop, the facilitator will involve participants in situations that will require their handling of troublesome customers. Neediness, belligerence, arrogance, and dishonesty are some of the behaviors participants will learn to identify and handle in this fast-paced segment.

Just Bag It!: De-Stress for Success

In order to avoid job burnout, it’s sometimes necessary for customer service providers to step out of the line of fire. In this unit, participants will learn some important strategies for overcoming workplace stress. By following a few simple processes, they will be able to combat some of the most immediate problems associated with serving the public.

Proof of Purchase: Wrapping Up

In this last part of the course, we will devote time to action planning.  Participants will set realistic short- and long-term goals that will enable them to not only meet but exceed their customers’ expectations.

By the conclusion of this seminar, participants should have some new tools they can use when they return to the retail floor.