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101 Ways to Improve Customer Service: Training, Tools, Tips, and Techniques

ISBN: 978-0-7879-9482-2
400 pages
July 2007, Pfeiffer
101 Ways to Improve Customer Service: Training, Tools, Tips, and Techniques (0787994820) cover image


101 Ways to Improve Customer Service provides a variety of training and development interventions that can be put to use right now with frontline service employees. Your customer service representatives directly influence the perception that customers have of your products and services and ultimately your company.  It is vital that your employees develop service strategies to create a positive image, communicate effectively, and build customer rapport to support the underlying values and beliefs of your organization.
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Table of Contents

Contents for the CD-ROM xvii

Introduction: Getting the Most from This Resource 1

Topical Index of Interventions 9

Section ONE Awareness 13

Training 1 Collection Inspection:Observation 15

Training 2 Conjecture Lecture: First Impressions 17

Training 3 Information, Please:Observation and Information Gathering 21

Training 4 It’s a Jungle out There: Stereotyping 23

Training 5 Just My Luck: Personal Perspective 27

Training 6 Making Sense of It: Sensory Acuity 33

Training 7 See Saw:Visual Perception 37

Training 8 Stressing the Positive:Workplace Stressors 41

Training 9 What Now? Perceptual Expectations 47

Tool 10 On the Line: Credibility 51

Tool 11 Power Up: Assertiveness 53

Tip 12 Flex Your Mind:Mental Flexibility 57

Tip 13 Keep It Cool: Job Pressure 59

Tip 14 Stress Buster: Stress Reduction 61

Technique 15 Meltdown:Dealing with Anger 63

Technique 16 Plead Your Case: Influencing Change 65

Section TWO Communication 67

Training 17 Blueprints for Success:Verbal Instructions 69

Training 18 From Me to You: Focus on Others 71

Training 19 Negative Ten-dency:Word Usage 75

Training 20 Poker Face:Nonverbal Communication 79

Training 21 Say What You Mean: Concise Verbal Communication 85

Training 22 Seeing Is Believing: Body Language and Culture 89

Training 23 Summary Judgment: Listening 93

Training 24 Tongue-Tying Twisters:Word Enunciation 95

Tool 25 Listen Closely: Responsive Listening 99

Tool 26 Mind the Message: Communication Processes 101

Tool 27 Probing Points:Questioning 105

Tool 28 Sound Advice:Voice Quality 109

Tip 29 Crossing the Border: International Communication 111

Tip 30 E-Service: Electronic Communication 113

Technique 31 Attention, Please: Keeping the Customer’s Attention 115

Technique 32 Return Policy: Feedback Guidelines 117

Technique 33 Six Degrees of Persuasion: Influencing Through Listening  119

Section THREE Planning 121

Training 34 Color Quest: Limited Resources 123

Training 35 Commercial Appeal: Product or Service Offerings 125

Training 36 Flow Motion:Work Process Improvement 127

Training 37 Hardware: Classifying Resources 131

Training 38 Heads and Tails: Optimizing Resources 135

Training 39 Last Straw: Goal Setting and Resources 139

Training 40 On Target: Goal Alignment 143

Training 41 View from the Top: Personal Change Management 147

Tool 42 Desk Stress: Organization 149

Tool 43 Pass It On:Delegation 153

Tip 44 Flag It: File Management 155

Tip 45 Just the Fax: Fax Information File 157

Tip 46 Library Dues:Development Resources 159

Tip 47 Memory Ticklers: Information Recall 161

Tip 48 New Kids on the Block: Orientation 163

Tip 49 To Do or Not to Do:To-Do Lists 165

Technique 50 Setting the Bar: Service Standards 167

Technique 51 Tackling Time Wasters:Time Management 169

Section FOUR Problem Solving 173

Training 52 Comic Relief: Analyzing Problem Situations 175

Training 53 Dialing Dilemma:Telephone Logic Problem 179

Training 54 It’s All in How You Look at It: Problem Interpretation 183

Training 55 Medical Breakthrough: Logical Problem Analysis 187

Training 56 Miss Interpretation: Problem Interpretation 193

Training 57 Nominally Speaking:Nominal Group Technique 195

Training 58 Role It Out: Situational Role Play 199

Training 59 Sensible Solutions: Alternative Solutions 205

Tool 60 Breaking Barriers:Obstacles to Problem Solving 207

Tool 61 Creativity Quotient: Self-Assessment 211

Tip 62 A CAP-ital Idea: Creative Action Planning 215

Tip 63 Feelings Check-In: Conflict Reaction Assessment 217

Tip 64 Share to Be Aware: Interdepartmental Problem Solving 219

Technique 65 Crash Control: Conflict Management Styles 221

Technique 66 Fair Play:Win-Win Negotiation 225

Technique 67 Stage Right: Creative Process 229

Section FIVE Quality 231

Training 68 Getting the Word Out:Quality Components 233

Training 69 Inconvenience Store: Service Strategies 237

Training 70 Like It or Not: Service Analogies 239

Training 71 Making the Connection: Customer Expectations 245

Training 72 Overcharged and Underrated: Exceeding Expectations 249

Training 73 Picture Perfect: Communicating Quality 253

Training 74 RATER of the Lost Art: Customer Perception of Quality 257

Training 75 Right Approach: Service Attitude 261

Training 76 Service Link: Creative Analysis of Service 265

Tool 77 Cream of the Crop:Quality Competencies 269

Tool 78 May I Help You? Telephone Etiquette 273

Tip 79 Behind the Scenes: Support Role Recognition 277

Tip 80 Getting Down to Business: Customer Comment Cards 279

Tip 81 Hit the Heights: Customer Service Week 281

Tip 82 Knowledge Is Power:Technical Training 283

Technique 83 Concession Stand: Acknowledging Customer Concerns 285

Technique 84 Write On: Letters of Complaint 287

Section SIX Teamwork 289

Training 85 Candy Land: Group Decision Making 291

Training 86 In and Out: Internal Customers 295

Training 87 Mind the Details: Individual vs.Team Performance 299

Training 88 On Course: Communication, Reliability, and Trust 303

Training 89 Open Account:Team Environment 307

Training 90 Port of Call: Partnering Strategies 313

Training 91 Seeing STARS: Group Interdependence 315

Training 92 To the Letter:Time-Constrained Team Performance 325

Tool 93 A Matter of Trust:Team Member Trust 329

Tool 94 Team Checkup: Group Effectiveness 333

Tip 95 Bank on It: Peer Recognition 337

Tip 96 Get on Board: Peer Feedback 339

Tip 97 Rely on Me:Team Trust 341

Tip 98 Rivalry or Revelry: Constructive Competition 343

Tip 99 Team Talent: Resource Directory 345

Technique 100 Confront with Care:Team Conflict Management 347

Technique 101 Opposition Position: Constructive Competition 349

Appendix A: Internal Customer Service 351

Appendix B: Call Centers 355

Appendix C: Retail 357

Appendix D: Sales 359

About the Author 363

How to Use the CD-ROM 365

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Author Information

Lorraine L. Ukens is the owner of Team-ing with Success, a consulting and training enterprise specializing in team building and leadership development. Her wide range of business experience, spanning more than twenty-five years, is applied in designing, facilitating, and evaluating programs in a variety of human resource development areas. Ukens is the author of more than ten books including the best-selling simulation, Lost in the Amazon and her most recent collection of activities, The New Encyclopedia of Group Activities, both from Pfeiffer. She received her M.S. degree from Towson University where she taught as an adjunct faculty member from 1997 until 2005.
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"Perception is everything when it comes to the success of an organization. Finally, a book that outlines the art of frontline success and the positive domino-effect it produces when the customer is satisfied."
—Eric Seaborg, president, Aspect Associates, LLC

"A collage of brilliantly simple and useful advice! These are real lessons in the fundamentals of customer service that everyone talks about, but few practice."
—Stacy Gasper, sales representative, Kansas Pathology Consultants

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