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Training for Customer Service and Team Building

Marie DiRuzza
Assistant Director, Desktop Services Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Importance of Training for Customer Service



To the Customer you ARE the company


with Happy Customers are more successful

Financial Benefits Happy Customers come back Happy Customers tell their friends


good Customer Service doesnt come naturally to everyone.

How do customers evaluate service Quality?

R Reliability Deliver on Promises with dependability &


Assurance - Knowledge, courtesy, ability to convey trust,

competence and confidence

Tangibles - Facilities appearance, comfort, look and feel of

Marketing materials, etc.

Empathetic - Degree of caring and individual attention the

customer receives

R Responsive - Willingness to help promptly without


Reliability - The Service Promise

Organizational commitments

Promises made via advertising, marketing, policies, contracts, etc.

Customer expectations are often based on assumptions and past experience Agent to customer promises

Common Expectations

Personal Promises

Often the challenge is to reshape customer expectations. Are you training your folks how to do this?

Assurance & Tangibles

Assurance Factor

Product Knowledge & Company Knowledge Listening Skills Active listening skills Communications Skills - includes verbal and written (in-person, phone, and email service) Problem-Solving Skills
Take pride in your environment, yourself, your workspace and any forward-facing delivery mechanisms (online and marketing materials too!)


Empathy & Responsiveness


Recognize the Emotional State of the Customer; validate their feelings Treat each person as an individual
Respond quickly Set Expectations deliver on those expectations


Research shows that the most frustrating part of waiting is not knowing how long the wait will be.

Training for Customer Service


for Active Listening, Questioning,

etc. Use Case Studies to open discussions Group Activities

Role Playing, scavenger hunts.



Active Listening

Pay attention to Content & Intent Ask great questions

Use activities that hone questioning skills

See the big book of customer service training games


Tune in to the other person Limit distractions Dont jump to conclusions Take notes and reflect information back Be prepared use a Question Map/Flowchart Turn off your own worries

Responsibility of Leadership

The following quote from The Leadership Challenge, outlines the responsibility of leadership in Customer Service Delivery

Lindsay Levin took over the reigns of her family automotive business, Whites Limited, at only 29 years old. She talks about what she knows about enabling her folks to provide great customer service.

Anderson, Kristin & Zemke, Ron. Delivering Knock Your Socks off Service. United States of America: AMACOM, 1998. Carlaw, Peggy & Deming, Vasudha Kathleen. The big book of customer service training games. United States of America:McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 1999. Friedman, Nancy a.k.a The Telephone Dr. The Berkshire Leadership Group Steven Green presenting Delivering Exceptional Customer Service

Weisler, Kirk. Teambuilding Made Easy. SupportWorld Magazine. Also available at:


Marie DiRuzza