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As a manager you may have noticed that your employees need some coaching in customer service skills. Your staff might be younger and not have much experience with customer service, or veterans who have fallen into some bad habits. Either way, good customer service is a highly effective method of retaining customers and thus is an essential skill for employees to hone. Help your staff improve their service by giving an engaging and informative presentation on the subject.
Open the presentation with a story about a time you received exceptional customer service or an anecdote about an employee on your staff who delivered exceptional customer service. Ask your audience for ideas about what “good customer service” means.
Give tips regarding body language (smile, posture, open hands, “cheating out,” eye contact). Then ask for two volunteers, one to be the customer and one the employee. Have them role play a situation where the customer needs assistance and let the volunteer attempt to use all five rules for positive body language. For an added challenge, have the volunteer who is acting as the employee mime during the interaction—that is, respond to the question using only body language. Ask the audience for other body language tips.
Explain that good service includes telling customers what you or the company can do for them, rather than focusing on what can't be done. Prepare examples of situations and questions, such as “can I send a fax from here?” or “do you have this lens in stock?” or “can I change to an earlier appointment?” If your group size allows, have one of these for each audience member. Call on each of them in turn and give them an example question; have them attempt to respond with a “can do” answer, such as “No, but we can send it via one-day shipping” or “No, but we have an alternative lens” or “No, but we have an earlier opening on Tuesday.”
Choose a volunteer to act as the customer in a situation you prepare ahead of time. You will act as an inattentive employee in the role playing situation. Interrupt the volunteer, dismiss their questions or complaints, use the wrong name and get distracted. After the role play, ask the trainees to point out specifics of what you did wrong and what good customer service would have looked like.
Conclude by handing out a summary with bullet points on index cards and reminding trainees of the outstanding example of customer service you opened with; this will tie the whole presentation together.
Be positive throughout the presentation; praise good answers and encourage participation. Make eye contact and smile. Practice your presentation as many times as you need until you are comfortable.
- Be positive throughout the presentation; praise good answers and encourage participation. Make eye contact and smile. Practice your presentation as many times as you need until you are comfortable.
Suzanne Akerman began writing in 2000. She has worked as a consultant at Pacific Lutheran University's Writing Center and her works have been published in the creative arts journal "Saxifrage." Akerman holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in education from Pacific Lutheran University.