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Understanding Customer Service

Customer Service involves anticipating and fulfilling your, existing and potential, customers needs,
Department Stores
Call Centers
Travel and Tourism
Financial Institutions
Customer Service Facts
1. A good customer experience is told to 8 other people
2. A bad customer experience is told to 22 other people
3. It takes 10 good experiences to make up for one bad one
4. A typical company receive around 65% of its business from existing customers
5. 6. 7 out of 10 customers who switch to a competitor do so because of poor service
6. Around 90% of unhappy customers will not buy again from a company that disappointed them
7. A 5% reduction in the customer defection rate can increase profits by 25% to 80%
8. 70% of customers left because of a lack of attention from front-line employees.
9. Statistics show 93% of customers will pay more if they receive high quality customer service when making
a purchase.
(Two-thirds (or 66%) of customers do not feel valued by those serving them.)
Who is a Customer:
A customer, also known as client, buyer or purchaser is usually a current to potential buyer or user of any
organizations products or services.
Types of Customers

Customer Expectations Are:
Courtesy Respect Friendliness
Personalization Empathy
Honesty Solution to the problem
Quality Product
Value for Money

What do you see?
Internal Customers: are the people within
the organization who depend on each other
to provide service, information or products
to do their jobs.

External Customers: are the people outside
the organization and pay to buy or use the
products or services of any organization.

Perception Vs Reality

Managing Customer Perceptions
a. By focusing on the Customers b. By anticipating their needs
c. By being consistent d. By ensuring uniformity
Service Quality
Reliability Responsiveness Assurance
Empathy Tangibles

Reliability: The ability to provide what was promised, dependably and accurately
Responsiveness: The willingness to help customers promptly
Assurance: The knowledge and courtesy you show to customers, and your ability to convey trust, competence
and confidence.
Empathy: The degree to caring and individual attention you show customers. In simple words, empathy means
putting yourself in customers shoes.
Tangibles: The physical facilitates and equipment, and your own (and others) appearances.
Qualities of a Customer Service Professional
Ability to Build Relationships
Ownership and Responsibility

Building Relationships
Relationships for the core of customer service. Successful service providers establish lifelong relationships with
Perception: Process by which people
translate sensory impressions into a
coherent and unified view of the world
around them. Though based on incomplete
and unverified information, perception is
the reality and guided human behavior.

Reality: Is the state of things as they actually
exist, rather than how they may appear or
may be thought to be. In its widest
definition, it includes everything that is and
has being, whether or not it is observable or

Strong relationships are building through effective communication, empathy and rapport.
Set of guidelines or code of conduct in business environment.
Includes attributes such as ethics, etiquette, appearance and attitude.
Ownership and Responsibility
Ownership and Responsibility for the third pillar in which customer service stands. It means going that extra
mile for the customer, which makes every interaction a memorable experience.
Ownership and Responsibility depend entirely on your attitude.

Communicate to Connect
What did you learn about communication from this activity?
Was there a process to the whole interaction?
Was it easy to make the alien understand what you wanted to
Did the alien feel that the person giving instructions was easy to follow?

Understanding Communication Dynamics
What is Communication?
Communication is the transfer of information from one communicator to another through use of written or
spoken words, symbols, touch or gestures.
Communication Process

Barriers to Communication

Types of Communication

Verbal Communication

Content VS Intent

Language helps us convey our message. The language we use determines how well will our message be
understood by the listener. For e.g. A non-English speaking person will find it hard to put his message across in
English and may make mistakes.
Choice of Words
Words that are used to communicate the message influence the outcome of communication process to a large
extent. For e.g. A person with high education level may use words that will be difficult to understand for a
Voice Quality
Voice Quality includes a combination of Pitch, Volume and Rate of Speech. It is indicative of the speakers
authority, purpose and intent. For e.g. A teacher who is explaining a new concept will speak in lower pitch and
slow rate of speech.
Tone of Voice
Intonation is a very important aspect of verbal communication. It mainly involves the tone of voice and sentence
stress. For e.g. A statement may sound like a question if intonated in that manner.
What do you mean?
My best friend lives in Agra.
My best friend lives in Agra.
My best friend lives in Agra.
My best friend lives in Agra.
My best friend lives in Agra.
Adaptation is a very critical component of verbal communication. It refers to the ability of a person to adapt and
change their communication style depending on their audience. For e.g. We will speak differently while
explaining something to a 4 year old child

Body language

Orientation means your stance, direction in which you are facing. It is generally considered rude to
have you back against a person who is talking to you.
On the other hand, while being seated, sitting opposite to someone can seem confrontational
Proximity focuses on how you use space and the physical distance
you maintain with people.
The perception of territory differs by culture.
What message are you sending if you keep moving closer to a person
who is backing away from you?
As the term posture itself explains, this part of body language deals with the
pose or stance while standing or seating.
What do drooping and slouching shoulders indicate?

Physical Contact:
Physical contact means touching other people while communicating with them and one must tread carefully in
this aspect of body language
Interpretation and acceptance of physical contact may vary in different cultures.

In Body Language, gestures mean action of hands. Some gestures have a universal meaning however
others are interpreted differently in different culture.
E.g. Thumbs-up sign in western cultures means a go-ahead or a sign of appreciation. In India the same
gesture may have a negative interpretation.
Eye Contact:
Eyes are called the windows to a persons soul. In our day to day life also we see a significant chunk of silent
communication happening through eyes, be it a parent instructing a child to behave or a child giving the
parent a pleading look to buy something.

Listening and Probing:

Barriers to Listening:
Physical factors noise, environment, interruptions etc
Jumping to conclusions and interrupting
Taking the speaker lightly and criticizing
Day dreaming and not making eye contact
Having your own agenda
Personal prejudices and biases
Types of Listening:

How to be an effective listener:
Be attentive to the speaker. Make eye contact
Be patient and avoid interruptions
Look for non-verbal cues
Give verbal nods and encourage the speaker
Ask questions to seek clarification and show interest
Rephrase and check for understanding
Dont get emotional stay objective
Take notes, in necessary
Responding Effectively:
Be timely
Be descriptive
Be useful
Do not answer a question with a question
Be active use Ask, Reply, Ask technique

Effective Questioning:
Questions serve a very important purpose in effective communication. Effective questioning helps to:
- Uncover hidden information
- Learn new things
- Clarify instructions
- Convey interest
- Develop understanding
Types of Questions:
There are two types of questions:
- Open Ended
- Closed Ended
Tips on asking effective questions:
Ask one question at a time and give time the other person to answer
Use funnel approach
Do not ask double-bind questions
Sequence the questions
Making A Lasting Impression:
Moment of Truth
In Customer Service, instance of contact or interaction between a customer and a firm (through a
product, sales force, or visit) that gives the customer an opportunity to form or change an impression
about the firm
There could either be:
- Shining Moments
- Dull Moments OR
Coffee Stains
Customer Interaction Process:
Understand Needs
Present Solutions
Add Value
Close with Pride

Before and After:

Confidence is the Key:
Treat yourself as if you were your own best friend
Be kind to yourself with your words and actions
Focus on the positive things about yourself
Praise yourself many times a day
Gracefully accept the compliments of others
Contribute to others with words and actions
Stand and act as if you ARE confident
Fly High:

How to stay motivated:

Manage your Customers
Types of Customers:
Irate Customers
Confused Customers
Business Like Customers
Aggressive Customers
Knowledgeable Customers
Talkative Customers
Irate or Angry Customers:

Achievement Drive
Initiative &
Confused Customers:

Business Like Customers:

Knowledgeable Customers:

Tough or Aggressive Customers:

Talkative Customers:

Handling Customer Complaints:

Why do Customers get upset:
Someone in the organization does not deliver on the promise made
Someone in the organization is rude or indifferent.
The customer does not feel listened to
Someone in the organization questions the customers integrity or honesty
A product does not function
A service is inadequately performed
The customer believes someone in the organization has made an inexcusable error
Someone or something causes physical, emotional, financial or any other loss or damage
Information provided, written or verbal, is unclear, incorrect, misleading, incomplete or
The customer has to wait for unreasonable amount of time
Why Customers Dont Complain:
They dont want to go through the hassle
They dont know where and how to complain
They dont think its of any use
They think they will be treated badly
They dont want to make a scene
They feel its easier to go somewhere else
They dont want to get an employee in trouble
They are in a hurry
They dont think that the employees are competent to handle the complaints
They dont want to run from pillar to post
Steps to Service Recovery:
Understand the Problem
Determine the Cause
Explore the possible acceptable solutions
Implement the best solution

Adding Value
Up Selling is when the customer comes to buy a particular product or service and we sell
something similar of a higher value.
For e.g. A customer wants to buy a car with basic feature and you sell a car with power steering.
Cross Selling:
Cross Selling is when the customer comes to buy something and we sell an additional product,
which is related to the main product and will add value to the purchase
For e.g. A customer buys a computer and you sell an anti-virus or any other software
Solution Selling:
Solution selling is a technique where the sales person does not offer the existing product or service
but offers solutions which will address customers concerns.
For e.g. A customer is planning to take his family on a vacation within a specific budget and the
travel agent offers a tailor made holiday.
Telephone Etiquette
Elements of a Call:
Opening, Hold, Transfer, Closing
Call Opening:
Greet the caller appropriately
Introduce yourself and your company
Ask an assistance question
Have a smile and energy in your voice
Placing a call on hold:
Seek permission to place the call on hold
Inform the caller of the reason for hold
Set a time expectation for the duration of hold
Thank the caller
Come back within the committed time
Thank the caller to being on hold
Transferring a call:
If there is a need to transfer the call, do so quickly and correctly.
In Cold transfer, you only inform the caller that you need to transfer the call and where you will be
transferring the call
In Warm transfer, you inform the caller that you need to transfer the call and place the call on hold
while you speak to the person you will be transferring the call to and come back to the customer to
finally transfer the call.
Call Closing:
Make sure that the caller has no more queries
Use thank you for calling or any other appropriate closing. Some companies may include
branding as a part of closing
Make sure that the caller hangs up before you do.
Dos and Donts of Telephone Etiquette:
Answer within three rings
Dont eat while speaking
Use Mute button to cough or sneeze
For placing the call on hold, use the hold button
Always use the correct hold and transfer procedures
Do sound enthusiastic and happy to help
Do not rush the callers
Be polite and courteous

Interviewee Skills
Benefits of a Job:
A job ensures and stabilizes your earning
You learn new skills and enhance your employability
It gives opportunity to get recognized and rewarded for good performance
Many companies provide additional benefits such as insurance for self and family
It will enhance your social status
What are the employers looking for?
Positive Attitude and Confidence
Good Communication Skills
Pleasing Personality
Self-driven and Motivated
Honest and Dependable
Team player
Goal oriented
Your Resume is YOU:
Your full name, address, mobile number and e mail address at the top of the page of your resume.
Write your objective in a short sentence describing what type of job you hope to obtain.
Those with prior work experience, begin with work experience with your most recent job, with
name of company, time spent in the company and your responsibilities.
If a fresh candidate, skip the above point and summarize your education..starting with your
degree/ high school certificate, name of institution, year of passing, courses undertaken
Mention the languages spoken, any computer programming knowledge under the heading
Additional Skills
Your Resume is YOU:
Header and Footer The first page
Contact details Use simple language
Reverse chronological order Avoid irrelevant details
Proof-read it twice Get someone to review your resume
Prepare before the Interview:
Gather information about the company Know where you are going
Look the part Rehearse beforehand
Secure your references Arrive early
Carry necessary documents
During the Interview:
Be confident
Dont lie
Ask questions
Listen carefully
Show enthusiasm
Demonstrate positive attitude
Frequently Asked Questions:
Tell me something about yourself
What are your strengths
Why should you be hired? What can you contribute to the company?
Tell us about your most embarrassing moment
Tell us about your most memorable moment
You might be asked to sell something present in the room like pen or a chair.