Excellent customer service is the foundation of success for any organization – public, private or non-profit. In IGS’ fast-paced and interactive customer service training program, participants learn:
- To view their service or product from the eyes of their customers;
- How to identify the needs of their various customers, build customer rapport, and create internal collaboration resulting in improved customer service; and
- Effective techniques for dealing with difficult customers – as well as how to manage stress associated with challenging customer service situations.
IGS training sessions are highly interactive and experiential with practical hands-on activities targeted to the professional development needs of supervisors, managers and frontline staff. Classes are fast-paced and action-packed and include: training videos, assessments, case studies, group activities, role play and group learning games. IGS training programs support individual learning styles resulting in learning retention and end with the development of a plan for applying the learned material back ‘on the job’.
IGS has developed and delivered customized customer service training programs to many governmental and non-profit organizations including Oregon PERS, Portland Community College, American Public Works Association and OHSU.
Example Training Outline
The following illustrates a typical outline for a customer service training program. IGS will customize the contents of your organization’s training program to meet your needs following an training needs assessment at the start of your project.
- Identify customers and understand their needs.
- Review standards for providing excellent customer service.
- Learn how to anticipate customer needs.
- Learn to deal effectively with customer complaints.
- Understand how to identify cultural influences and communicate effectively with a diverse customer base.
- Develop strategies for ongoing customer service improvement.
Benefits of Excellent Customer Service:
- Identify benefits of customer service success.
- Understand how excellent customer service builds community support.
- Appreciate how excellent customer service reduces personal stress.
Customer Service Standard:
- Define or review the agency’s expectations for customer service.
- Identify customer service successes and opportunities for improvement.
- Define impact of successful and unsuccessful customer service experiences.
Understanding and Managing Customer Expectations:
- Identify customer groups and their needs.
- Identify cultural influences.
- Rank current levels of customer satisfaction.
- Identify your customer’s top two expectations.
- Understand the source of your customer’s expectations.
- Identify strategies to increase your effectiveness by focusing on the top expectations of your customers.
Skills for Excellent Customer Service:
- Review and demonstrate how attitude and perceptions affect customer service success.
- Understand how personality styles affect your customer service approach.
- Understand how cultural differences impact the customer service experience.
- Expand your communication skills by practicing and incorporating the following techniques:
- Active and passive listening
- Verbal and non-verbal communication
- Open-ended questioning
- Negotiating solutions
When the Going Gets Tough: Managing Difficult Customer Service Situations:
- Understand how emotions are created.
- Learn to avoid emotional triggers.
- Practice strategies for remaining calm under pressure.
- Expand your conflict management skills:
- Understand the conflict process
- Determine your preferred conflict management style
- Identify how to utilize the various conflict management styles in customer service situations
- Tips for dealing with chronically difficult customers.
- Tips for dealing with angry or abusive customers.
- How to use a recovery system to turn an angry customer into a satisfied customer.
Applying the Customer Service Skills:
- Tips for applying the customer skills: Telephone, E-mail, Service Counter, Field and Customer meeting (i.e. neighborhood meeting)
- Identify priority customers.
- Identify customers’ top expectations.
- Identify specific actions that you can commit to take to improve customer service.