101 Activities for Delivering Knock Your Socks off Service [NOOK Book]


Taking exceptional care of the customers who keep you in business has never been more important. And now the team behind the best-selling Knock Your Socks Off Service? series makes building outstanding customer service skills and attitudes both easy and fun with 101 Activities for Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service.

Inside you?ll find role-plays, word games, brainstorming exercises, secret shopping trips, and more to help your team learn by doing and sharing. Most of the ...

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101 Activities for Delivering Knock Your Socks off Service

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Taking exceptional care of the customers who keep you in business has never been more important. And now the team behind the best-selling Knock Your Socks Off Service® series makes building outstanding customer service skills and attitudes both easy and fun with 101 Activities for Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service.

Inside you’ll find role-plays, word games, brainstorming exercises, secret shopping trips, and more to help your team learn by doing and sharing. Most of the activities take 30 minutes or less—quick enough to liven up any brown-bag lunch seminar or routine staff meeting. While working and laughing with your team, you’ll all get a chance to see things from the customer’s perspective…and create an action plan for service improvement. In the process you’ll quickly grasp core service principles and feel comfortable handling real-world service challenges such as:

• Making only promises you can keep

• Treating customers with empathy, not sympathy

• Really listening to and learning from customer feedback

• Knowing when it’s all right and pays off to say “I’m sorry”

• Calming obnoxious customers and coping with on-the-job stress

Giving you the practical tools you need to wow your customers, these simple but powerful activities will help all front-line service professionals deliver consistently excellent results.

Praise for The Original Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service:

Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service is written in a witty, engaging style, and offers real tactics any service provider can use. Once you’ve read this book, pass it on to your employees.” — Entrepreneur

“Leave it to crafty Ron Zemke to find a niche that still needs filling. Yes, management books on customer service are indeed a glut on the market, but what about a book for the poor front-line grunts who actually have to serve those customers Enter Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service.” — Training

“They attack the issue with missionary zeal and, instead of pronouncing the ‘thou shalt’ type of commandments, offer practical how-to-fix-it advice and render outstanding service tips.” — ALA Booklist

Performance Research Associates, Inc., is a consulting firm specializing in creating a customer-driven culture. Carrying on the legacy of the late service legend Ron Zemke, PRA principals Ann Thomas and Jill Applegate are part of a team that has authored more than 40 books and thousands of articles, as well as developed numerous seminars and organizational assessment instruments. The firm works with companies of all sizes and sectors around the globe, and is headquartered in Minneapolis.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814414453
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 6/17/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 896,296
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Ann Thomas and Jill Applegate of Performance Research Associates, Inc. (Minneapolis, MN) carry on the legacy begun in 1972 by the late service legend, Ron Zemke. The firm consults with corporations and nonprofits of all sizes around the globe.

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Read an Excerpt



Over the years, as we've worked with thousands of customer-service professionals around the world, we have heard a common request. As people have read the book Delivering Knock Your Socks Off Service, or attended a workshop based

on its concepts, they've wondered if any follow-up training activities existed that they could use with their service teams. What these customer-service leaders sought were short, impactful learning exercises to help build on or reinforce ideas found in the book or discussed in our workshops.

We realized we would be remiss if we didn?t listen closely to our customers and try to meet their needs. Indeed, it would be tantamount to not walking our service talk. That is a big reason this book now rests in your hands. We hope, in fact, not to have simply met your needs with this collection of Knock Your Socks Off training exercises but to have exceeded your expectations. While the 101 activities included here serve as natural companion pieces to the book and workshops, they also are designed to be used in stand-alone fashion. Any customer-service team in virtually any industry can benefit from the exercises without prior exposure to the Knock Your Socks Off Service line of products.

We created the activities with the demands of the busy customer-service function in mind. Whether you're serving customers in a vast call center, on the floor of a retail organization, or at the window of a financial institution, your plate runneth over with customer questions, problems, new products or services, or new technologies. We know there are days when you are fielding these questions, troubleshooting the problems, learning about the new products, or mastering the new technologies, and you barely have time to come up for air.

That's why most of the activities in the book can be completed in 30 minutes or less. They are designed to be used as motivational sessions before your team starts its work shift, as part of brown-bag lunch seminars, during regular

teambuilding sessions, or as short add-ons to existing customer-service training sessions. The activities will help you sustain your competitive service edge without the significant expense of additional training or seminars.

The exercises come in a variety of formats and lengths, from brainstorming to role-plays to games to secret shopping trips. But underlying all is a common theme: an activity grounded in adult learning principles that stress learning by doing, have a focus on real-world customer-service challenges, and ease the transfer of training back to the workplace. We believe adults learn best when they are fully engaged and participative, and when training is based not only on the instructor's or manager's expertise but also on the hard-won lessons and insights shared by frontline service professionals. Customer service is at once both one of the most demanding and one of the most rewarding jobs on

the globe. It can make clear the difference between organizations that succeed and organizations that struggle, because the latter haven't yet learned one of the paramount rules of customer service: When customers truly feel you have their

best interests at heart, they'll stick to your organization like Velcro?

What you do is vital to your organization, now more than ever before. We hope you use these activities to continue building and honing the customerservice skills and attitudes that give your organization that all-important service edge, and that you share with your team a lot of fun and laughs in the process.

Excerpted from 101 ACTIVITIES FOR DELIVERING KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF SERVICE by Performance Research Associates, with Ann Thomas and Jill Applegate. Copyright ©  2009 Performance Research Associates. Published by AMACOM Books, a division of American Management Association, New York, NY. Used with permission. All rights reserved. http://www.amacombooks.org.

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Table of Contents


Our Thanks

Introduction: About This Book


The Fundamentals of Knock Your Socks Off Service

1 What Customers Want, What Customers Expect

2 Who’s Your Customer?

3 Knock Your Socks Off Service

4 Customers’ Ever-Changing Needs

5 The RATER Factors

6 How Do I RATE?

7 The Value of Reliability

8 Reliability: Promises, Promises

9 Reliability: Secret Shopper

10 Assurance: The Language of Competence

11 Assurance: The Knowledge Game

12 Assurance: Secret Shopper

13 Tangibles: Take a Field Trip

14 Tangibles: Sensory Perception

15 Tangibles: Customer Feedback

16 Tangibles: Secret Shopper

17 Empathy vs. Sympathy

18 Empathy: Building a Statement

19 Empathy: Scripting Tough Situations

20 Empathy: Partnering for Practice

21 Responsiveness: Identifying the Barriers

22 Responsiveness: Proactive vs. Reactive

23 Responsiveness: Role-Play

24 RATER Self-Assessment

25 The Ten Deadly Sins of Service

26 The Customer Is Always.. . the Customer

27 Educating Your Customer

28 Filling the Knowledge Gap


The How-To’s of Knock Your Socks Off Service

29 Good Question: Honesty

30 Identify the Rules: Red Rules/Blue Rules

31 Making Exceptions

32 Why Customers Don’t Trust

33 Create an Environment of Trust

34 Barriers to Effective Listening

35 Go Ahead, I’m Listening

36 Follow My Lead

37 Listening: Taking a Mental Detour

38 Crafting the Best Questions

39 The Name Game

40 Who Knows?

41 How Did I Do?

42 When Questions Go Wrong

43 Winning Words and Soothing Phrases

44 Scripting Better Responses

45 Give a Nonverbal Cue!

46 Face-to-Face Charades

47 Receiving Nonverbal Cues

48 Telephone Checklist

49 Be a Standout on the Phone

50 Just Phone Home!

51 Telephone Etiquette: Secret Shopper

52 Tongue Twisters with a Twist

53 E-Mail vs.Telephone

54 Written Communication Review

55 Practice E-Mail Communications

56 E-Mail Etiquette

57 Communication Sensitivity

58 It’s a Small World

59 The Generational Divide

60 Generations at Work

61 Saying “No,” Positively


Seamless Knock Your Socks Off Service

62 Communicating Across Functions

63 Hitting the Target

64 Visit an Internal Customer

65 It’s Not My Job

66 Mindbenders

67 It’s All About Kindness

68 Details, Details, Details

69 Creating a Cycle of Service

70 Analyzing Moments of Truth

71 Details That Make a Difference

72 Value-Added Service

73 Good Selling Is Good Service

74 So Many People to Thank

75 Making “Thank You” Personal

76 Thank-You Round Robin


The Problem-Solving Side of Knock Your Socks Off Service

77 The Service Recovery Process

78 How Ready Are You to Recover?

79 Using the Well-Placed “I’m Sorry”

80 Finding the Right Fix

81 Putting Recovery Knowledge into Action

82 Tell Me a Story

83 Make Customers Your Partners in Problem Solving

84 Maximize Your Web Site Impact

85 Matching Atonement to the Error

86 Fix the Customer First, Then the Problem

87 Fix the Customer Role-Play

88 Calming Obnoxious Customers

89 Customers From Hell® Hall of Shame

90 Difficult Customer Match Game

91 A Question of Control


Knock Your Socks Off Fitness

92 Stress Reducers

93 Create a Stress Log

94 Coping with Change

95 The Web of Support

96 The Power of Positive Talk

97 Keep It Professional

98 Learning Assessment

99 The Power of Curiosity

100 For All You Do, This Note’s For You

101 What’s Important to Me?



About the Authors

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