Customer Service Training 101: Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results


Good customer service is a given for any company that wants to survive in an ultra-competitive business landscape. But the truly dominant companies in any industry have taken their service programs to new heights, providing truly exceptional customer experiences that build loyalty, create genuine relationships, and generate unparalleled word-of-mouth marketing.

How do they do it? How can you do it? Customer Service Training 101 shows you how to equip your entire service team ...

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Customer Service Training 101: Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results

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Good customer service is a given for any company that wants to survive in an ultra-competitive business landscape. But the truly dominant companies in any industry have taken their service programs to new heights, providing truly exceptional customer experiences that build loyalty, create genuine relationships, and generate unparalleled word-of-mouth marketing.

How do they do it? How can you do it? Customer Service Training 101 shows you how to equip your entire service team with the critical information and powerful techniques they need to handle both everyday service functions and extraordinary circumstances. Filled with step-by-step, interactive lessons that you can customize to fit your team’s needs and learning styles, this super-practical guide shows how to ensure that service representatives always:

• Project a positive attitude and make a great first impression

• Communicate effectively, both verbally and nonverbally

• Build dynamic relationships by developing trust, establishing rapport, and making customers feel valued

• Handle difficult customers and situations professionally, creating win-win situations and positive outcomes

• Interact effectively face-to-face, by telephone and by e-mail

Involving your entire team by personalizing specific service scenarios enables you to teach and reinforce precise, repeatable techniques that work to enhance positive, customer-focused attitudes. Use the discussion topics and key points summaries in each chapter for follow-up.

Designed for immediate use in any customer service environment, Customer Service Training 101 provides the very best proven service strategies, saving you the time, energy, and expense of building or rebuilding a complete training program from scratch.

If you think that knowledgeable, confident, motivated, and positive service representatives will help your organization and its customers—today and well into the future—this book is for you!

Renée Evenson has worked in the customer service management field for over 30 years, including 15 years as a customer service manager and trainer at Bell­South Telecommunications. She has a degree in organizational psychology and is a business consultant and writer specializing in customer relations.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“…must-have resource for any manager. Evenson has compiled an easy-to-read guide that can be implemented for any situation and any employee.” --Niche magazine

“… rule book providing winning game plans for exceptional customer service…it will raise the bar of excellence you want to be known for.” --Training Media Review

Small Business Opportunities
" The professionalism and enthusiasm of your frontline employees reflects directly on your small business. In this book, the author offers an easy-to-read guide that helps you get your employees in shape to handle any situation. There are interactive lessons that can be adapted for any type of business and for any type of employee trainee. It’s a nice book for biz owners or managers and will help motivate your people and equip them with customer service tools...If you don’t have the time to create your own comprehensive training program, just pick up this book."
Retail News
"A great resource for beginners looking to save both time and money while providing their employees with the training they need."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814416419
  • Publisher: AMACOM
  • Publication date: 10/6/2010
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 209,774
  • Product dimensions: 7.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

RENÉE EVENSON has worked in the customer service management field for 25 years, 15 of them as a customer service manager at BellSouth Telecommunications, where her duties included staff training and development.

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Read an Excerpt


We are slowly coming out of the worst recession in more than a generation.

It is estimated that millions of businesses closed their doors.

Numerous others filed for bankruptcy protection. Experts acknowledge

that recovery will be very slow, which means that more businesses are

likely to close their doors.

With consumer confidence and customer loyalty at an all-time low,

providing exceptional customer service is no longer an added benefit; it

is a necessity. Customers who are not satisfied with the way they are treated

are jumping ship and taking their business elsewhere. Customer loyalty

can be your key to restoring consumer confidence, which can keep your

business afloat. Can you afford not to read this book? Think about it this

way: Giving your customers an exceptional experience will bring an

unexpected result: your customers become a marketing tool for your business.

Customers talk. When people hear good things about your business,

they are more likely to do business with you as well.

Whether you are reading this book for the first time or already own

the first edition, this new and improved version is your one-stop shop to

learn and teach how to give exceptional customer service.

In addition to being thoroughly revised and updated throughout, this

edition includes a new chapter:

 Giving When Getting Is Not Expected: Self-Service Contacts explains

how to provide a great customer experience when your customers

least expect it.

Moreover, each chapter has been expanded to include:

 The wrong way/right way to handle contacts.

 Tips and topics for brainstorming discussions.

 A new feature, Business NOT as Usual, that provides ideas

and tips for sustaining your business during tough times.

 A revised Practice Lesson.

 A new feature, Doing It Right!, that highlights a personal story.

 A new feature, How Do I Measure Up?, that asks thought provoking

questions to help you analyze your skill level.

Every component of learning how to interact well with customers is


 Displaying courtesy and respect by making a great first impression,

speaking and acting appropriately, maintaining a positive attitude,

and acting ethically.

 Communicating well by saying what you mean to say, projecting

proper body language, asking and answering questions correctly,

and listening carefully.

 Building strong relationships by establishing a rapport, interacting

positively with customers, identifying needs, and finding the best


 Handling customers skillfully in face-to-face, telephone, Web site,

and self-service settings.

 Satisfying customers who are upset or difficult.

Customer service training benefits everyone involved. Your customers

will feel valued and appreciated. Your employees will gain more

job satisfaction, take personal responsibility for customers, and have pride

in knowing they are doing their best. You will become more customer

focused and seek out ways to continually improve. Your business will

experience increased efficiency and effectiveness.

Can you afford not to read this book? The answer is simple: Providing

great customer service costs much less, in dollars and sense, than providing

poor service. It costs more to gain new customers than it does to

maintain existing ones. Customers will be more loyal to your business

when you treat them well. This book provides you with the tools to make

the difference with your customers.

Finally, it is always cheaper and faster to do the job right the first

time. Satisfying an unhappy customer costs a lot more, both in dollars and

cents, than satisfying a customer on the first try. Reading this book will

show you how to do that.

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Table of Contents


Introduction 1

Tips for the Trainer 5

Tips for the Student 13


1 Taking Your First Steps: The Basics 21

Customer Service is the Basics 22

Step 1 First Impressions Matter 25

Step 2 Courtesy Counts 27

Step 3 Attitude Is Everything 30

Step 4 Doing the Right Thing: Ethical Issues 32

Key Points 37

Practice Lesson 38

Doing It Right! 39

How Do I Measure Up? 40

2 Tossing the Ball Back and Forth: Effective Communication 41

Customer Service is Effective Communication 42

Step 1 Saying What You Mean and Meaning What You Say 46

Step 2 What You Don't Say: Nonverbal Communication 48

Step 3 Putting Words Together: Grammar Usage 51

Step 4 Asking the Correct Questions and Answering the Questions Correctly 52

Step 5 When the Customer Says No 56

Step 6 Listening Actively 59

Key Points 63

Practice Lesson 64

Doing It Right! 66

How Do I Measure Up? 67

3 Jumping in with Both Feet: Relationship Building 68

Customer Service Is Building Relationships 69

Step 1 Establishing Rapport 74

Step 2 Interacting Positively with Customers 77

Step 3 Identifying Customers' Needs 79

Step 4 Making the Customer Feel Valued 82

Step 5 Maintaining Ongoing Relationships 83

Step 6 Different Strokes: Handling Different Types of Customers 86

Key Points 93

Practice Lesson 94

Doing It Right! 96

How Do I Measure Up? 97


4 Seeing Eye to Eye: Face-to-Face Contacts 101

Customer Service Is Face-to-Face Contacts 102

Step 1 Saying Hello: Greeting the Customer 106

Step 2 Between Hello and Goodbye: Helping the Customer 109

Step 3 Saying Goodbye: Ending the Interaction 111

Key Points 117

Practice Lesson 117

Doing It Right! 118

How Do I Measure Up? 120

5 Saying It with a Smile: Telephone Contacts 121

Customer Service Is Telephone Contacts 122

Step 1 Putting Your Best Ear Forward: Listening Carefully 126

Step 2 Saying Hello: The Opener 127

Step 3 Between Hello and Goodbye: Helping the Customer 129

Step 4 Saying Goodbye: The Closer 133

Key Points 138

Practice Lesson 139

Doing It Right! 140

How Do I Measure Up? 142

6 Looking Before You Leap: E-Customer Contacts 143

Customer Service Is E-Customer Contacts 144

Step 1 What Does the E-Customer Expect? 147

Step 2 Hanging the Open Sign: Being Accessible 150

Step 3 Writing What You Mean: E-Mail Communication 152

Step 4 Speaking Around the World: Cross-Cultural Etiquette 155

Key Points 158

Practice Lesson 159

Doing It Right! 160

How Do I Measure Up? 161

7 Giving When Getting Is Not Expected: Self-Service Contacts 162

Customer Service Is Self-Service Contacts 163

Step 1 Saying Hello: Greeting the Customer 167

Step 2 Between Hello and Goodbye: Looking for Opportunities to Help 169

Step 3 Saying Goodbye: Ending the Interaction 171

Key Points 176

Practice Lesson 176

Doing It Right! 178

How Do I Measure Up? 179

8 Calming the Storm: Difficult Customer Contacts 180

Customer Service Is Difficult Customer Contacts 181

Step 1 What Is Going On: Determine the Reason for the Problem 184

Step 2 What Caused the Problem: Identify the Root Cause 188

Step 3 What Can I Do: Rectify the Situation 191

Step 4 What Can I Say: Restore the Relationship 194

Step 5 What Needs to Be Done: Fix What Needs to Be Fixed 197

Key Points 201

Practice Lesson 202

Doing It Right! 205

How Do I Measure Up? 207


9 Hitting the Ground Running: Ready, Set, Go 211

Customer Service Is Being Ready and Set to Go 212

Your Customer Service Training Quick Reference 215

10 Being the Best You Can Be: The Total Package 218

Customer Service Is Being the Best You Can Be Every Day 218

Always Be Your Best! 221

Index 223

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