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MODULE 505 CUSTOMER SERVICE EXCELLENCE Contact Person Dr. Mario Denton Crown Financial Ministries Marketplace Programme Director for Africa Africa Director for FCCI (The Fellowship for Companies for Christ International) CEO STRONG MESSAGE BUSINESS CONSULTANT Let's keep the good marketplace vibes alive. Let's network. Tel (w) + 27(0) 82 88 29903. E-mail address: Website: and click on marketplace E-mail address: website: Skype: mario.denton


Introduction Module Objectives Why Customers Leave. Sins of Service . Definition of Customer Satisfaction Customer Expectation Areas Customer Retention Grid

Understanding Your Customers Who Are Your Customers? Cycle-of-Service Model Exercise: Our Moments-of-Truth . Critical Moments-of-Truth Analysis Measuring Customer Satisfaction Everyone Serves the Customer Internal Relationships Service Pledging Ensuring Loyalty


Creating a Positive Total Customer Experience Basic Needs of All Customers . Treating Your Customer as a Partner Take a Positive View of Your Customer Communicating Effectively with Your Customer Establishing a Connection with the Person . Telephone Techniques Actively Listening to Your Customer Calming the Upset Customer

Maintaining Customer Loyalty Unhappy Customer Repurchase Propensity Recovery Process Five “A’s” to Recovery Step 1. Acknowledge the Customer Step 2. Assess the Situation Step 3. Affirm Your Understanding . Step 4. Analyze Alternatives Step 5. Agree on a Plan. About Us - Instructor Biography

Module Objectives 3

Providing world-class service is not simply a matter of pleasant employees who say “please” and “thank you.” World-class service is an all-encompassing approach to making excellence “business as usual.”

This seminarfocuses on the tools and techniques that align employee behaviors with the core components of a service-driven organisation. In this program, you will learn: • The fundamental principles of customer service excellence • To understand customer needs and expectations and how to meet them • How to deal with customers when serving them • How to handle customer problems

Protocol We believe you will gain greater benefit from this program if you will follow these guidelines:

Consider this workshop to be a learning laboratory Suspend judgment of new ideas

□ Seek relevance in everything you hear, see or do □ Ask questions □ Participate freely in team activities □Share your knowledge and experience □ Enjoy your time here


Introductions Please introduce yourself at your table stating: • Your name • Your company and position • A “brief” description of either a good or bad experience you’ve had as a customer

“Great customer service is not the result of one big thing. It is the result of many little things done extremely well.” -- Dennis Snow Former Director Disney University

Why Customers Leave1 Team Exercise: Working as a table group, come to consensus about the percentages why you believe customers leave: • ___ % Lured away by competition • ___ % Unhappy with the product • ___ % Moved away • ___ % Died or went out of business • ___ % Developed other relationships • ___ % Poor service – an attitude of indifference toward the customer on the part of some employee

Sins of Service2


Poor service can come in a number of ways. List some critical and avoidable “sins:”

□ A____________________ □ B____________________ □ C____________________ □ C____________________ □ R____________________ □ R____________________ □ R____________________ Source: TARP (Technical Assistance Research Programs), White House Office of Consumer Affairs, Washington, D.C.


Albrecht, Karl, At America’s Service, Warner Books; Reprint edition (May 1, 1995)


Customer Satisfaction Definition: Performance plus Expectations = Customer Satisfaction Expectations: What the customer ________________ Performance: What the customer _________________ If performance . . . Does not meet expectations, the customer is ______________ Meets expectations, the customer is _____________________ Exceeds expectations, the customer is ____________________

Customer Expectation Areas Quality/Accuracy: Product Service 6

Timeliness: Response/Delivery Value: *Price/CODB *Cost of Doing Business with you Timeliness

Team Exercise: Cost of Doing Business What cost does your customer incur when you are late or don’t deliver the quality they expected?




Customer Retention Grid 1. Define the meaning of each of the following terms and the implications to you if your customer feels this way: Advocate __________________________________________ Loyal _____________________________________________ At Risk ____________________________________________ Searching __________________________________________ Gone ______________________________________________

2. Label each box of the grid below with one of the terms above. Note: several terms are used more than once









experience? Were your customer’s basic service needs met? Needs Exceede d Needs


Met Needs Not Met Dissatisfied



Introduction Customer Retention Benefits More and more companies have come to realise that retaining customers is a key growth strategy. Organisations that systematically improve customer satisfaction to create loyalty find that their investment pays high dividends.

Loyal customers4: • _________ with the company longer. • __________ their ____________________ with the company. • Demonstrate less _________ _________________. • ____________________ your products and services to others.

Interesting Facts 1. It costs between ______ and ______ times more to attract a new customer than to keep an existing one.

2. Companies can boost profits anywhere from _______% to _______% by retaining merely _______% more existing customers.

3. Only ______ out of twenty-five dissatisfied customers will express dissatisfaction.


4. Happy customers tell _________ to _________ others of their positive experience. Unhappy customers tell _________ to ________ others how bad it was.

5. _________ of customers do not feel valued by those serving them. Keeping Customers In order to avoid losing customers, you need to know: __________ your customers are __________ they expect And then ___________ it! Stevens, Mark, Extreme Management: What They Teach at Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management


Program, Warner Business; (March 15, 2001) © Hogan Center for Performance Excellence and Northlake Consulting

Who Are Your Customers? Providing excellent service means understanding the specific needs and priorities of your various customer groups.

Most businesses have several groupings or “____________” of customers who tend to have similar needs and priorities. Knowing the distinct needs of each group helps you develop targeted products, services and marketing approaches.

For example: Airlines have several key customer segments including: o Business Travelers o Leisure Travelers o Commercial Cargo


o Post Office

Define Your Customers: 1. Describe the types of external customers you deal with most often. 2. How do their needs and expectations differ (by type of customer)?

Customer Type

Needs/Expectations (in priority order)

Understanding Customer Type Needs/Expectations (in priority order)

Cycle-of-Service Model A Cycle-of-Service model shows the main Moments-of-Truth where your customer comes in contact with your company.

Moment -of -Truth : Any episode in which the customer comes in contact with an organisation and gets an impression of its service.

Each point in the cycle is a Moment -of -Truth !


Cycle-of –Service Model Begin cycle Call to get quote Receice quote Place order Received promised delivery date Call to get status of order Receive shipment Compare packing list to Purchase order Unpack shipment Stock goods Receive invoice Pay invoice

Our “Moments-of-Truth” Create a Cycle-of-Service and Moments-of-Truth model for your basic cycle. (Select a typical “transaction” cycle for your business.)

Critical Moments-of-Truth Analysis 1. Select a critical Moment-of-Truth from your Cycle-of-Service model. That is a moment, if not managed positively, will almost certainly lead to customer dissatisfaction.

2. Identify each step in that Moment-of-Truth from your customer’s viewpoint.

3. For each step list: • What does the customer expect? • What would detract from your customer’s experience? • What would enhance your customer’s experience?


4. Analyze: • How frequently do the detractors occur for your customers? What do you have to do to eliminate them? • How can you ensure that the enhancers happen nearly all the time?

Moment-of-Truth: Call to Get Quote

Step (From







More than 3-4 rings

Answered within

Not answered

3 rings by a person

Gets recording

(not a recording)

Can easily reach the

Gets voicemail

First person to

correct person

Placed on hold

answer call able to

Transferred to the

handle request


Calls your

Answered quickly


wrong person Multiple transfers

Gives name

Recognised as a

Asked too much



Friendly greeting

Cannot fi nd customer

Customer record



quickly accessed Recognised by name

Gives quote

States needs one time


Asked customer to


repeat needs


Not familar with

Knows right

products-unable to

questions to get

get proper information

needed information


Acceptable price and

Cannot meet

Gives price and


promise date

customer price or

promise date that

promise date

exceeds (i.e. better


than) customer expectations


Step (From












Measuring Customer Satisfaction An organisation’s ability to ensure compliance with customer needs and expectations and to maintain customer loyalty depends on its ongoing knowledge of how the organisation is perceived by its customers.

Measuring customer satisfaction can be done in a variety of ways. Many organisations use a combination of different methods such as those listed below:



Advantage / Disadvantages

Customer Report

Brief survey of key factors

Short, easy for


affecting customer

customer to complete.


Gives more timely

Customers are surveyed

information than

monthly, bi-monthly and

surveys with greater

quarterly. (See example on



next page)


A brief questionnaire

Extremely timely

Response Card -

specific to a

information. Requires

Follow-up Phone

single customer

greater volume to



spot larger trends. Usually low response rate.

Formal Customer

Moderate to lengthy



survey questionnaire

information regarding

inquiring about

the overall customer

many aspects of

experience. Identifies

overall customer

trends across a

satisfaction. Survey

broad customer

methods are

base. Information

paper or on-line.

is historical and is a

Conducted annually

lagging indicator of

or semi-annually.

customer satisfaction.

(See example on page 15)


Customer Report Cards Usually given monthly or quarterly to principal contacts in key accounts. Customers rate key “care abouts” with a letter grade reflecting past month or quarter performance. Responses below a certain level are followed up quickly for corrective action.

How are we doing? Please rate each of the following with a letter grade reflecting our performance in the past month (quarter, etc.) A=Excellent B=Good C=Mixed D=Fair-Poor F=Failing Item


On-Time Availability and responsiveness to your needs Product and service quality Order accuracy Sales support Technical support

Please comment below on grades lower than “B”:

Formal Customer Survey Formal customer surveys are usually given annually to many or all customers in your database. Formal surveys usually have a series of questions covering the breadth of the organisation’s contact with the customer. Key measures usually include: • Overall satisfaction • Your company vs. competitors


• Repurchase propensity • Importance vs. Priority of “Care Abouts”

Example : Bank Customer Survey Customers TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF 1. What is your age? 2. What is your annual family income (000s) 3. What is your total investment portfolio balances (000s) 4. Do you have a personal loan with us? 5. My accounts are primarily: 6. Is First Bank your primary bank or fi nancial institution? 7. Has First Bank’s service level improved or declined? 8. Are you aware we offer insurance services? 9. Are you aware we offer investment services? 10. Have you recently visited our web-site at

Please rate us on the following characteristics by checking HIGHER numbers for BETTER scores and LOWER numbers for WEAKER scores. HOW DO WE SCORE? HOW IMPORTANT THIS TO YOU?

SERVICE 1. Courtesy of our employees 2. Speed of our service


3. Errors corrected promptly 4. Professionalism of our employees 5. Hours of operation

LOCATIONS 6. Convenience of branches 7. Privacy in branches 8. Convenience of ATMs 9. Neatness/Cleanliness of branches 10. Parking

PRODUCTS & SERVICES 11. Checking Services 12. Fees & Service Charges 13. Savings/CD Services 14. Investment Services 15. Loan Services 16. Telephone banking 17. PC banking 18. Account statements 19. Rates on loans 20. Rates on savings


YOUR BRANCH LOCATION & COMMENTS______________ _______________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________

OVERALL SATISFACTION 21.What’s your overall satisfaction? 22. Would you recommend us to a friend? 23. Will you consider us for your next loan? 24. Will you consider us for your next new deposit account? 25. Will you consider us for your next investment service? 26. How does our service compare with other fi nancial companies you use? 27. How does our service compare with other fi nancial companies in general?

Everyone Serves the Customer Everyone Serves the Customer - or they support someone who does.

Where Do You Fit? Circle the letter of the statement that best describes where you fit in the picture above. (A) = Frequent customer contact, direct delivery of product or service (B) = Infrequent customer contact, indirect delivery of product or service (C) = No customer contact, but I’m involved in product design or delivery


(D) = No customer contact, I support other company personnel

Internal Relationships In each of our jobs, we have customer/supplier relationships with other people. Who provides you with materials, information or services? Who do you provide materials, information or services to?

Service Pledging Service Pledging is a process that helps internal “customers” and “suppliers” clarify expectations and pledge a level of mutually agreed upon support. The example below shows how two departmental teams of a bank negotiated their mutual service needs.

Corporate Trust Pledges to Finance TE TRUST pledges to FINANCE 1. By the 25th of each month, provide forecast for remainder of current month and for remainder of year.

2. Provide a copy of A/P transmittal and/or T & E Report with explanations of transactions to prepaid expenses or customer reimbursable expenses by the first business day of the following month.


Finance Pledges to Corporate Trust TE TRUST FINANCE pledges to CORPORATE TRUST 1. Provide monthly, by the 10th business day, a printout of status on customer prepaid expenses and customer reimbursable expenses.

2. Provide monthly, by the 10th business day, general ledger reports for cost center.

3. Provide procedures or information about what is needed for forecast.

UNIVERSAL MUTUAL PLEDGES TE TRUST UNIVERSAL MUTUAL PLEDGES 1. Communicate with honesty and understanding; discuss problems with those involved. 2. We will treat each other, regardless of position, with courtesy and respect. 3. All service problems will be treated as “OUR� problem and we will work together on the immediate solution. 4. We will recognise that we are here to serve our ultimate client, the customer, and will focus our efforts on providing unsurpassed quality service.

Ensuring Loyalty The best way to ensure that customers remain loyal to your company is to be sure that they have a positive total customer experience. Creating a positive total experience is


like a game in which the customer makes all the rules and keeps score. Whether or not your company wins, or even gets to keep playing, is completely up to the customer.

Basic Needs of All Customers All Customers need to: • Feel _____________ • Feel _____________ • Feel _____________ • Know you will ______ _______________ ___________

Creating a Positive Total Customer Experience As a representative of your company, your job is to provide the kind of service that creates that total positive experience. Key strategies that help you provide that experience are: • Treat your customer as a ___________. • Take a ______________ of your customer. • _______________ ________________ with your customer. • Establish a ________________ with the person. • Actively _______________ to your customer.


• ___________________ customer satisfaction.

Treating Your Customer as a Partner Customers sometimes perceive customer service representatives as standing between them and the solution to their problems. Bob knew he needed to talk with customer service about his order. It was late in the day and he knew he needed to move up the ship date. But he dreaded making the call because he knew it would be the same old runaround. He could almost hear the rep now: “I’m sorry Sir, but I can’t do anything about that. Here’s why…”

Providing excellent customer service means working with your customer to create a solution to meet his/her needs. When serving a customer, ask yourself these questions: • What __________ does my customer need / want? • How can __ ______ my customer get these results? Discuss the following questions:

1. Give examples of situations where you or a co-worker “partnered” with a customer to enhance their experience with your company. How did it benefit your company?

2. What are some additional, specific situations where you can or regularly do partner with your customers? What are things you can easily change that will allow you to help them get the results they need?

Take a Positive View of Your Customer 24

You cannot provide a positive experience for your customer unless you take a positive view of your customer.

Jack was excited about visiting WidgetCo’s manufacturing facility. He was encouraged that the production area looked clean and the workers seemed efficient. But when he got to Customer Service, he understood why his recent experiences with them were less than desirable. There, right on the wall in the Customer Service Team area, was a dart board with a picture of a man in the center with a caption that read “Our Customer.”

Give a number between 1 to 10 that best reflects your own attitude toward customers (be honest with yourself):


1. Least

10. Most

Like Me


1. I love helping customers. 2. Customers are the reason for my work, NOT an interruption to my work. 3. I’m eager to help them when they call. 4. Problem solving is fun 5. I like connecting with customers on a personal level 6. My customer is my partner. When he/she succeeds, succeed. 7. Getting a customer “fixed up” energizes and motivates me.

Reflecting on the areas that were “Less Like Me,” note below what you can do to help shift your attitude to the right.


Communicating Effectively with Your Customer At every point of contact with customers, you communicate something. Unfortunately, it may not always be the right thing.

Connie has just purchased a new printer for her computer. When she tried to hook it up, she discovered that she had purchased the wrong type of connector cable. She returned to the computer store and explained her problem to a representative at the customer service counter. Without even looking up from the game he was playing on his computer, he said in a monotone, “Yeah, we can exchange it.” “Just leave the old one here and go pick out the right one.” he added, still not looking at Connie.

While Connie was relieved that the store would easily exchange the cable, she felt uncomfortable about the way the customer service rep greeted her. She wondered if they really valued her business.

When we think about communication, we usually think about the content of the words we use. But as the example above illustrates, the way the message is delivered is as equally important as the content.

When you speak, customers listen to the tone of your voice and judge whether or not: • You seem ________________ • You show ____________ and ____________ for their needs Here are some guidelines for using your voice effectively: • Use a steady, moderate ______ of speech • Increase the ________ in your voice when speaking on the phone • Keep a _________ in your voice


Pair up with another person at your table. Turn your backs to one another and take turns saying the following while frowning or smiling. The other will try to guess whether it was said with a smile or a frown: • How can I help you? • I can help you with that. • I’m glad you chose to do business with us today.

The Right Words Sometimes it is not what your message is but way you deliver it. Customers get different impressions from the words you use to express yourself so it pays to be careful and avoid creating doubt in the listener’s mind. Here are some phrases you should strive to eliminate from your customer service vocabulary:

1. “ I don’t know.” There is never a need to say this. You may not know but you are

better off saying something positive such as, “That’s a good question. Let me check and I’ll get back to you with the answer (give a time).”

2. “ We can’t do that.” This phrase is a real turn-off to most people. It slams the door

shut to possibilities. There is no such thing as “can’t” in a world in which everything is negotiable. Instead, say, “Boy, that’s a tough one. Let me see what I can do.”

3. “ You’ll have to...” Your customers don’t have to do anything. t’s much less bossy to

say, “If you would...”, “Our next step is to...” or “You may need to...”


4. “ No problem!” While on the surface this may sound like an acceptable phrase, the

implication is that you are “doing the customer a favor” when in fact you are doing what they expect. It’s more courteous to say, “My pleasure,” or simply, “You’re welcome!”

5. “ No” at the beginning of any sentence. This conveys rejection and halts the thought

process. It is better to give a positive alternative. Instead of “No, your order does not qualify for this price,” say “The quantity you’re ordering is below the discount rate for that price.” Remember, choose positive words even when your message is not what the customer wants to hear. If we choose the wrong words, we run the risk of “triggering” an emotional response from the customer.

When you cannot do what the customer wants, tell them what you ________ do rather than what you ________ or ________ do.

Using the right words Work together in groups of two or three to create a positive alternative to the following messages:

Negative message

Positive message

“We don’t have that item in blue.” “I can’t get that shipped until Friday.”


“Our policy doesn’t allow me to give you a refund.” “The only thing I can do is …” “Purchasing didn’t order the raw materials needed to make this item on time.” “I really don’t know the details of that situation. You’ll have to talk to…” “Why didn’t you …?” “What you should have done is …?”

Message Positive Message 2 Work together in groups of two or three, make a list of negative messages that you sometimes have to give customers and create a positive alternative to these messages:

N Negative message

Positive message

Message Positive Message Avoid Jargon


If a word or phrase isn’t common knowledge, or you wouldn’t use it with people outside your organisation, don’t use it with customers. They may not understand your jargon and may be too embarrassed to ask for a definition.

Jargon consists of words or phrases unique to your company or industry. Take the next few minutes to work with your table group and list as many acronyms and phrases that you think could be classified as jargon.




Establishing a Connection with the Person Establishing a person-to-person connection with your customer is a key factor in providing service excellence. You begin, of course, by giving the customer your undivided attention. Then use the following to build rapport: • Use the customer’s name and title • Break the ice • Avoid jargon • Show empathy • Mirror the customer’s speaking style

Use the Customer’s Name and Title Learn the customer’s name and title and begin using it immediately. Move to a firstname basis only if the customer wants to be less formal. Check the pronunciation of last names with the customer, it shows respect.

“ Let me make sure I’ve got your name correctly. Is it pronounced ….?”

British Airways has all their employees use customer names in every transaction. At the end of three months, a customer survey revealed that satisfaction rose 60%.


Break the Ice Working with a customer can be much more relaxed when you have broken the ice in ways similar to your every day connection with friends. Make a list of some good icebreakers:


Telephone Techniques Many of us have little or no in-person contact with customers. Most or all of our customer contact and service is done via telephone. This section provides useful techniques for telephone service providers.


What to say when you answer the phone 1. Greeting _________________________________ 2. Identify __________________________________ 3. Move ahead _______________________________ Smile while you say these things!

When you must place someone “on hold” 1. Let the caller know they will be put on hold. Tell them _______

______; ask if ______________. “Mr. Smith, it will take just a moment to locate that order. May I ask you to hold while I get it?” “Mrs. Garret, I have to call shipping to get that information. Would you mind holding for just a minute?” 2. Make the time “on hold” __________________________. 3. Offer to _____________________________ if you can’t make it a brief hold: “ Ms. Wilson, this may take about five minutes. Would you like to hold or shall I call you back?” 4. Always _______________________ for waiting patiently and use __________.

Tips for transferring calls 1. Number one rule: _______________________________________

_______________________________________________________. 2. If it’s truly something you can’t handle, tell the caller ________

__________________, but _________________________________. 3. Always tell the caller ________________________________. 4. Invite the caller to ________________ if he/she is ____________. 5. When possible, alert __________________________________

and give him/her ____________________________________.


6. If you receive a transferred call and have been alerted about the situation, tell the

caller _______________________.

Question? What should you do if you receive a call from someone who was transferred or put on hold and is now angry as a result?

Actively Listening to Your Customers Listening is not the same as hearing. Hearing is the physical act of processing sounds. Active listening means trying to find the real meaning of the words as well as the unspoken message behind them.

Your goal in providing excellent customer service is to understand your customer and let them know that you understand.

Five Steps of Active Listening These five steps will help improve your ability to actively listen to your customers: 1. Be ready to listen. If present with your customer, look at them and assume an “open�

'posture. If on the telephone, stop focusing on other work such as what is on your computer screen. 2. Be ready to take notes when appropriate. Have paper and pencil handy or have your

computer ready for the next customer contact. Let the customer know you are taking notes. They will be more likely to slow down and organise their thoughts. When taking notes, record the person’s name as well as the date and time of the conversation.


3. Show that you are listening. When talking on the phone, use attentive words like

“okay” or “I see” to give oral confirmation that you are listening.

4. Ask questions. Ask clarifying questions that help you understand the customer’s


5. Restate the customer’s points. Match back the customer’s points to assure them that

you accurately understand their message their way.

Begin your “match back” with an opener such as: “Let me see if I understand you correctly…” “So far, I gather that …” “What I’m hearing you say is …” “If I have this right …”

Be sure that you: • Are __________ and ____________ • Match back their info ___ ______ __________ they presented it • Present your match back as a __________

Five Steps to Understanding a Foreign Accent The following techniques are also helpful when communicating with people who have regional accents as well as senior citizens. Here is an effective, five-point listening program6:

Don’t Pretend to Understand!


If you don’t understand the person you’re speaking with, it’s perfectly okay to gently tell them you’re having difficulty understanding them. Ask if they could slow down just a little bit. Then you’ll be able to get all the information correct. That’s what they want to hear. Hanging up without knowing what the caller wanted is not good customer service.

Don’t Rush. Rushing threatens callers. Take the time – it’s usually only a few extra seconds – to do it right. Listen to the caller’s pattern of speech, you’ll be able to pick up key words. Repeat the key words back to them. They’ll appreciate the fact that you’re really listening.

Don’t Shout. Like the old joke goes . . . people with foreign accents aren’t hard of hearing. Nor do you need to repeat one word over and over to be sure they understand.

Don’t Be Rude. We usually don’t mean to be rude when talking to someone with a foreign accent. However, if you’ve ever told someone, “I can’t understand you,” or even, “What did you say?” you’ve been a little rude. It’s much better to stop, take full responsibility and explain you’re having a little difficulty understanding them . . . and if they would repeat themselves again, you’ll be able to assist. These are subtle little differences, but key ones.

Keep a Job Aid Available.


If you’re receiving calls from a particular ethnic group, keep a handy “Job Aid” near your phone. All you need are a few common phrases to get you off the hook. For example, a Spanish speaking customer who’s having difficulty understanding you would appreciate ‘uno momento, por favor’ no matter how poorly you pronounce it. This allows you time to bring someone to the phone who will be able to assist. Source: Nancy Friedman, President and Founder of Telephone “Doctor”, Inc.


Calming the Upset Customer There are two aspects of every interaction with a customer. There are the ___________ of the situation and the customer’s __________ about them.

On a recent Memorial Day weekend, our neighbor Mary’s phone service went out. She came to our house to call in the problem. After talking with the phone company service representative, she was quite impressed. Mary said, “That service rep really cared about me. She apologized and said, ‘I’m sorry for your inconvenience, Mrs. Riley, I know this is a holiday weekend and you didn’t need to be dealing with this.’ Only after apologizing did the service rep begin collecting the information she needed to put in the service order.

Customers who are experiencing problems are often frustrated and/or upset. Only when the customer knows that you ______ ____ and they feel _________ can the discussion move along in a productive way.

Here are some guidelines for dealing with frustrated or upset customers: 1. Remain _______ yourself. Losing your “cool” only serves to escalate the situation. 2. Let the customer ______

• Don’t ___________


• Allow time for the __________ ________ Accept what the customer is saying without interruption or defensiveness.

3. Deal with ___________ ______ • Show _________ • ____________ what the customer said • Use a ________________. Whether right or wrong, the customer’s perception of the situation is his or her reality. It’s OK to apologize or express regret: ”I’m really sorry this has happened.” ”I realize that this has slowed your production.” ” I’m really embarrassed that we keep making the same error.” 4. Avoid emotional ________ ________ 5. ________ the customer for bringing the problem to your attention

When you are empathetic, you show concern for the customer’s feelings and thoughts. Looking at a concern from the lens of your customer is a good way to show that you and your company care about them. It also helps you gain a perspective on their problems.

Reflect the customer’s feelings A business-like way of dealing with customers’ feelings is to ____ __________________ those feelings back to them by using reflector statements worded in a ___________ to ____________ format: • “I can see that you are upset about this . . . “ • “I can hear the anger that you must be feeling over this . . . “ • “I sense how frustrating this experience has been for you “ Be sure that the reflector you choose matches the customer’s level of _________.


“Sensing” words / phrases “I see that. . .” “I can tell. . .” “I’m sensing. . .” “It looks to me like. . .” “It sounds to me like. . .” “I get the feeling that. . .”

Words for reflection “emotions” apprehensive about concerned for troubled by uncertain over furious about overjoyed with agitated about resentful about out-of-sorts about irked over piqued about impatient at aggravated about


appalled at exasperated by anxious about madder than heck about contented with committed to uneasy about delighted by satisfied with happy with disgusted over dissatisfied with tired of flustered about at ease with agonized over depressed by bitter about regret that offended at ticked off


feel intensely about resigned to enthusiastic about excited over fearful that disturbed by discontent about disappointed by irritated with relieved over pained by ruffled about frustrated about bored with happy with serious about passionate about offended by heartbroken over sorrowful about

Unhappy Customer Repurchase Propensity7


Unresolved Problems Decrease Customer Loyalty “ Unresolved problems decrease customer loyalty 10 – 30 percent. For every fi ve customers who perceive they have had a problem or an unpleasant surprise, you risk losing some, if not all, of the future revenue from at least one of those fi ve customers.” What percentage of customers who have had a problem with your company will return if… Selling Quality to the CFO, By John Goodman, Pat O’Brien, and Eden Segal (TARP Case Study)


Did not complain: 10% Problem was not resolved: 18% Problem was resolved 55% Problem was resolved quickly 82%

Recovery Process Quality problems and process breakdowns are an inevitable part of every business. But as we have seen, smooth recovery from problems can impress customers as much or more than troublefree products and services.

Problems are really opportunities to dazzle customers ! There are, of course, a variety of problem types each with its unique handling and resolution. Some are easily resolved in a matter of minutes. Others require extensive analysis and involved resolutions. Yet in nearly all cases there are basic techniques that, when followed, will restore customer confidence and satisfaction.


Whether you are the recipient of customer problem calls or just a participant in resolving them, you should understand how these problems are best handled.

Five A’s to Recovery In this section we will explore fi ve steps to recovering from problems:

Step 1. Acknowledge the Customer Step 2. Assess the Situation Step 3. Affirm Your Understanding Step 4. Analyse Alternatives Step 5. Agree on a Plan

Step 1. Acknowledge the Customer Once the customer makes it clear that there is a problem, you must acknowledge that fact. Acknowledging that the customer has a problem does not mean you fully understand the problem or that you accept blame. It merely means that you recognise that the customer has encountered some aspect of your service that is causing displeasure. By recognising that a problem exists, you will help defuse any anger or hostility the customer may be feeling.

You have received the call from a customer who says, “ This is the third time this week that we’ve had this problem. What’s wrong with you people over there, can’t you get this right?”

1. What might be an appropriate response to the customer’s initial statement?


2. What other guidelines can you recall about dealing with upset customers? -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Step 2. Assess the Situation After you have heard the complaint in full, begin to ask clarifying questions. Use your probing skills to get as much information from the customer as you need to understand the circumstances of the problem. As you seek information, demonstrate your interest in the customer’s situation by taking notes and matching back what you heard.

Probing Skills Probing skills involve the use of two kinds of questions: • A CLOSED probe is any question which limits the expected answer to a short one or two word response such as Yes/No. Closed probes begin with phases like: “Did you…?” “Will you...? “Can you…? “How many…? • An OPEN probe is a question or statement that invites the respondent to give a more extensive response. Open probes begin with words like: “Who…?” “Why…?”


“What…?” “How…? “Where…?” “Tell me about…” “When…?” It is important to phrase questions carefully when assessing the nature of the problem. The customer may be annoyed, frustrated or angry. You obviously want to avoid exacerbating the situation any further. Be sure to ask, “What can we do to make this better?”

1. A customer has reported a shipping quantity error. What probing questions might you ask to get the information you need to work the problem?

2. What probing questions might you ask a customer who is calling to complain that the product they just received does not operate according to their expectations?


Step 3. Affirm Your Understanding

When all the facts appear to be gathered, it is time to affirm what you have learned from the customer. This allows the customer to confirm what you know and to add additional information as needed. Affirming your understanding will further help to defuse any negative emotions the customer may have (validation and empathy). The customer needs assurance that you’ve not only heard what was said but that you understand the problem and plan to act on it.


Your conversation with your customer reveals they received a recent invoice charging for twice as many products as they ordered and received. The customer reported the problem and was told that a corrected invoice would be issued. Today, they received a late notice threatening to hold future shipments until the “delinquent invoice” is paid.

What statements can you make to assure the customer that you understand the problem? What are some key words or phrases you can use? Adapted from Thomas K. Connellan and Ron Zemke, Sustaining Knock Your Socks Off Service, New York AMACOM,



Step 4. Analyse Alternatives Now, it is time to begin putting together a plan that will meet the customer’s needs while maintaining a good relationship. In most situations there are several approaches that will satisfy the customer. You and the customer must analyze the alternatives and find the best possible solution.

1. What are some ways you can involve the customer in the development of a solution? -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. What are some things to avoid and some things to be sure to do as you analyse alternatives? Avoid:


Be sure to:

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Step 5. Agree on a Plan Once you and the customer have discussed possible alternatives, you are now ready to commit to a plan. Some solutions may require further research or data gathering. You may have to check with a manager to obtain authority for your solution or you may have to check with other departments to ensure you can deliver what you promise.

Be sure to follow up with the customer later to make sure everything turned out as planned and that the customer is satisfied.

1. If you and the customer have agreed on a satisfactory plan to resolve the problem, what should you do next?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------2. What commitments should you make when a plan is not evident or you and the customer cannot agree on a resolution to the problem?


We hope this has been an informative and productive programme for you. It is our sincere wish that you will take away several ideas that you believe will improve your ability to serve your customers. Take a moment to list those ideas below then share them with your table team.

Dig deeper and learn more (Optional) This section includes various support material for further inspiration and encouragement and relates to the material covered in this section ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Nr 505 A 505 B 505 C 505 D

Name Who will win Healthy alliances Accountability Mandate

Date of completion

Inviting Jesus Into Your Life The Bible makes it clear that we have to do something to accept the gift that God offers. This is an act of faith. The Disciple John writes, “God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.� John 3:16


Believing involves an act of faith based on all that we know about Jesus. It is not blind faith. It is putting our trust in a Person. In some ways, it is like the step of faith taken by a bride and a bridegroom when they say, “I will,” on their wedding day. The key is three things: Sorry... Thank you... Please...

“Sorry” You have to ask God to forgive you for all the things you have done wrong and turn from everything that you know is wrong in your life. That is what the Bible means by “repentance.”

“Thank you” You believe that Jesus died for you on the cross. You need to thank Him for dying for you and for the offer of His free gifts of forgiveness, freedom and His Spirit.

“Please” God never forces His way into our lives. You need to accept His gift and invite Him to come and live within you by His Spirit. If you would like to have a relationship with God and you are ready to say these three things, then here is a very simple prayer you can pray that will be the start of that relationship: Dear God - I am sorry for the things I have done wrong in my life. Please forgive me. I now turn from everything that I know is wrong. Thank you that Jesus died on the cross for me so that I could be forgiven and set free. Please come into my life by Your Holy Spirit to be with me forever. Thank you, Jesus. Amen Now what? If you have prayed this prayer, it is important to tell someone! This may be your Group Director, a fellow member of the group, perhaps a boss or co-worker who accepted this great gift of life at an earlier time. Then, find a way to get connected in a local church that loves Jesus and has a heart for the new believer.


Progress Report James 1:22-25 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it-- he will be blessed in what he does.� (NIV) Name and Number of Module ________________________________________ Participant’s Name: ________________________________________ The Biblical Truths (Principles) I learned from this module: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------I intend to apply this Truth (Principle) in my business by: --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------________________________





SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Warren Hogan had spent several years learning and applying Crosby and Juran-style methodologies for process improvement (later known as TQM - Total Quality Management at Texas Instruments and AirBorn. Over the years, several top facilitator/trainers have joined the Hogan team to provide some of the best business training available to companies today. The Hogan Center is considered a leader in its training programs boasting memberships of six Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award winners and 10 Texas Award for Performance Excellence recipient winners.

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Victor Sassone who is a recognised Consultant and Coach, with nearly forty years of business leadership and organisational development experience. Vic retired from the IBM Corporation where he learned the principals of business excellence while serving in various management, senior and educational positions and specialising in helping organisations employ the principles of the Malcolm Baldrige Award for Performance Excellence. A number of Vic’s clients have been recognised for performance excellence at both the state and national levels. Vic’s purpose is to honor God in all he does as he serves in ministry to men and in the marketplace.

Material adapted by Dr. Mario Denton Mario is the International Field Continental Programme Director – Market-place for Crown Africa, the Africa Director for FCCI (The Fellowship for Companies for Christ International) and the CEO of Strong Message Business Consultancy. He


is an international teacher and industrial psychologist and uses his strong academic and corporate background and his uniquely effective coaching to help people tap into their inner being; to utilise their strengths and expand their skills to make a difference in the workplace. He and his wife, Mariene, are based in Cape Town, South Africa, and are blessed with three grown sons. Copyright. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by an information storage and retrieval system without permission. Regarding permission to reprint material from this material, please write to Dr Mario Denton:

Crown Companies Legacy Leaders Providing mature business leaders an opportunity to continue to use their skills productively for the Glory of God. Do you desire to pass on the baton to business leaders to transform their business? Legacy leaders are business leaders who have a desire to continue to use their skills productively to mentor and coach and train the other business leaders as well as training the next generation of business leaders for the glory of God Crown Companies exists to equip and encourage business leaders to operate their business and conduct their personal lives according to Biblical principles


Legacy leaders •

Are experienced in business

Understand and are committed to the vision of CROWN Companies

Have implemented biblical principles in his or her own personal life and business

Are mature in the Christian faith and are of proven character

Have a passion to see other business leaders succeed as determined by God’s standards

Legacy leaders may possess: •

The capability to be an encourager, coach, mentor and discipler.

The ability to provide wise business counsel to other business leaders

The time and or resources to come alongside other business leaders

Teach us to number our days that we may present to you a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90: 1 Legacy leaders serve in a wide variety of capacities, including: •

Mentoring individual business leaders

Working with groups of business leaders

Serving as a ambassador for CROWN Companies your church and community

Traveling abroad to assist in business leaders in other countries

Do you want to make a difference in the lives of others for eternity? How can you serve the Lord as a legacy leader and begin sharing all that the Lord has entrusted to you? 1. Pray now where the Lord will use you in the lives of other business leaders to impact the Kingdom of God for His glory


2. Contact Crown Companies at or the Crown companies office at 3. Visit our website at for more information, tools and resources and become a member to enjoy the support, counsel, fellowship of other members and extensive material that are available

Crown Companies: Reclaim the workplace for Christ Is the vision of your church also to bring the people of your community into a life -transforming encounter with the Kingdom of God? The workplace is a key battle ground for achieving the above vision. Mature and equipped believers should live their faith in the workplace. But many need help in understanding what that means as well as support in carrying it out If you want to live your faith in the workplace, we helping to make it more effective of God’s


Kingdom on earth, then we at Crown Companies want to come alongside you with support and equipping you. Our mission and intention is to develop flexible training programmes and processes to assist you in this regard Imagine a workplace where ….. •

There were biblically-based, explicitly defined values

Ethics and integrity are paramount

Love and servant leadership governed relationships

Pursuit of excellence was the norm

Collaboration was sought but obedience and commitment to final decisions wee followed

Selfish ambition was nonexistent

Accountability was enforced – in a supportive manner

START WITH A WORKPLACE MINISTRY IN YOUR CHURCH Equip your workplace leaders to become ministers Helping them to become sensitive to the lost Help the workplace leaders of your church get a vision for joining God in the workplace ministry

Crown Companies: Become the business leaders God intended you to be Sometimes it is a matter of survival but you have to become the business leaders God intended you to be.


The purpose of Crown Companies is to help business leaders: •

Draw closer to God

Establish a committed and vibrant relationship with the Lord

Develop deep, meaningful relationships with like-minded peers

Learn what it means to run a company for Christ

Help other workplace leaders to do the same

This is accomplished through •

Monthly leadership groups

Workplace conference

Materials and resources and Training on our website

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30-31 Search the untold riches of the Bible to find scriptural perspective for operating a company as a steward of Christ with like-minded peers and colleagues. Join a small group facilitated discussions relevant to •

Sales and marketing strategies

Effective time management

Cash flow and profit

Planning goals and implementation

Motivating people

Problems solving

For my thought are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts Isaiah 55: 8-9 START WITH A SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION IN YOU AREA


Do you need someone to pray with you – someone who understands the pressures of running a company, someone who cares? Do you desire to integrate your Christian faith into the daily operations of the business God has entrusted you? For more information on a small group in you area contact Dr Mario Denton at And I say unto you, “ Ask , and it shall be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. ‘. Luke 11: 9-10

Crown Companies: Every believer a minister in the workplace Common dilemmas in the workplace 57

Isolation: Feeling the pressure of being responsible for many people

Need encouragement but rarely received it

Need people that they can honestly communicate

Equipping the workplace You have an opportunity to make a difference in the workplace God has called you. Meet monthly with other business leaders to receive instruction and training from other top business speakers on how to integrate your Christian life into your business Form a small group of leaders who serve one another in a well-informed, support group where burning issues like the following can be discussed •

Develop a strategic plan tailored for each member’s business

Developing an action plan for ministry

Developing your company’s mission and vision

Product and service excellence

Giving back to the Lord

Long term financial planning

Building a high performance team

Hiring smart

Sharing your faith in the workplace

Problem solving

Customer service

START WITH A LIFE-CHAINGING SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION IN YOU AREA Do you desire to integrate your Christian faith into the daily operations of the business God has entrusted you?


For more information on a small group in you area contact Dr Mario Denton at


505 Customer service excellence  
505 Customer service excellence  

Skype: mario.denton Crown Financial Ministries Marketplace Programme Director for Africa Dr. Mario Denton Africa Director for FCCI (The Fell...