Customer Service Training Modules

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1. Customer Service Diagnostic Questionnaire
2. Personality Styles Inventory

Course Name

Telephone Etiquette Icon

Telephone Etiquette
(30 - 60 minutes)

According to Letitia Baldrige, "The manner is which a company's phone is answered gives strong signals to the caller regarding the corporate character of the organization."

Pay attention to how the phone is answered by everyone in your organization. It's not just the receptionist who answers the phone. Almost everyone has one on their desk. And, most of those people talk to internal or external customers.

Telephone behavior sets customer expectations of your company's ability to help. This Telephone Etiquette course provides the necessary guidelines to ensure a positive impact to all callers.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Answer the phone within the recommended maximum number of rings
  • Know that customers begin to get upset after the maximum number of rings
  • Make a positive welcoming impression on customers with voice and greeting
  • Know how to affect voice tones and the impact they have on the customer
  • Know how to address customers
  • Know when and how to put customers "on-hold" and how to take them "off-hold"
  • Know the maximum time intervals in which customers can be left "on-hold"
  • Take messages that provide the critical information needed for an appropriate call back
  • End calls positively and efficiently with "long-winded" customers
  • Make customers feel glad the called


Trust and Rapport Building
(30 - 60 minutes)

When customers don't feel comfortable with your company because they didn't get the warm comforting feelings when they interact with someone representing you, its usually because that person did not establish rapport! Customers will seek to do business with people they feel comfortable with and that they can trust.

Establishing trust and rapport is essential to building working relationships with customers.

This course will show you how to use the specific skills which make trust and rapport building quick and easy with almost every customer. The content is directed to sales personnel, customer service personnel, and people in customer service roles who are also responsible for sales.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Define trust as it relates to customers
  • Define rapport and how it impacts customer attitudes and behaviors
  • Differentiate between motive and technique
  • Recognize the importance of the customer's four business needs
  • Recognize and use six different methods that create and strengthen trust and rapport in a business setting

Active Listening Logo

Active Listening Skills
(30 - 60 minutes)

Many costly errors (and arguments) occur because the person getting instructions for a task to complete did not "actively listen." Active listening is a way to improve relationships with both internal and external customers as well as a means to reduce costly errors that result from misunderstandings.

In this course the participant will learn the five core listening skills and the context in which they should be used. Understand how to use active listening to enhance trust and rapport and to directly improve relationships.

This course presents methods that will allow you to provide feedback to the speaker in your conversations in such a way as to enable them to know the extent to which you heard and understand the meaning they are attempting to convey.

After completing this course you will be able to:

1. Differentiate between active and passive listening
2. Define and demonstrate the following Active Listening Skills:

  • Acceptance Response
  • Repeating
  • Paraphrasing
  • Clarifying
  • Summarizing
3. Use transition sentences
4. Understand the "Psychological Truth" about the power you create using listening skills
5. Know when and when not to use these listening skills

Problem Solving Logo

Problem Solving
(60 - 90 minutes)

The costs associated with not having a systematic problem solving model are phenomenal. Usually these costs get blamed on "bad" judgment or poor decision-making ability.

Unfortunately its usually not bad judgment or poor decision making that's creating the errors. Rather, it is simply a lack of knowing how to use a clearly defined systematic problem solving process.

Problems are challenges that provide opportunities for us to help ourselves and others meet needs.

Self-esteem is directly related to our belief and confidence in our own problem solving abilities. Having a clearly defined problem solving process will help you successfully and consistently meet the challenges you and your customers face while at the same time, avoid the hazards sure to come without such a process.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Recognize and avoid the hazards associated with not using a systematic problem solving process
  • Define and use the seven steps of problem solving process
  • Describe how the customer and our business benefit when you use a systematic problem solving process
  • Differentiate between the best solution and the solution objective
  • Demonstrate the ability to work through a sample problem using the Problem Solving Process format taught in this course

Defusing Anger Logo

Defusing Anger
(60 - 90 minutes)

When a customer becomes upset or even angry, we often try to take action to solve the problem as quickly as possible. This is not usually the right strategy. Why? Have you ever heard that you cannot reason with an angry person?

No matter what you do to try to satisfy the customer, the anger is still there. You don't have to lose a customer just because they got upset!

The strategies taught in this course enable you to help the customer release the anger and become your advocate - even if you cannot solve the problem!

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Define anger and its purpose
  • Recognize the stages of grief that lead into and out of anger
  • List the three ways of expressing anger
  • Describe the relationship between anger and rational thought
  • Describe physiological effects from and responses to anger
  • Describe the three things angry people want and the sequence in which they want them
  • Use active listening skills to communicate understanding
  • Use the sixth active listening skill, "reflecting emotion," to defuse the emotion
  • Recognize phrases that can evoke anger and those phrases that can prevent anger when interacting with a customer

Managing Expectations

Managing Customer Expectations
(90 - 120 minutes)

Managing customer expectations is usually a simple task of agreeing on what is to be done and all parties delivering on that agreement.

However, when unexpected complications occur, pro-active communication, defusing negative emotions, and previously agreed upon fall-back plans can impact the service recovery outcome.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Define and set expectations that can be met
  • Manage expectations simple and complex expectations
  • Use pro-active communications to present project status updates, and to deliver both good news without creating unrealistic expectations
  • Deliver bad news with minimal disruption to the customer relationship
  • Re-define and re-set expectations in light of unforeseen circumstances that prevent the original expectation from being fully met
  • Debrief and evaluate performance

Interpersonal Communications Strategies

Advanced Interpersonal Communications Strategies
(60 - 90 minutes)

People have personality preferences that determine how they like to interact. Interacting according to their preferences expedites building trust and rapport.

In this popular course you will learn to identify how you and your prospects like to be treated. With this information you will be able to quickly select interaction styles that are in direct alignment with the prospect's personality.

The interaction strategies you will learn in this advanced course are essential to long-term relationship building.

By identifying our own style and comparing it with the styles of others, we can understand and learn strategies to interact and communicate with people who have different styles in the manner in which they would prefer to interact and communicate.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Identify your own personality based interaction and communications style
  • Recognize the basic characteristics of different styles and preferences
  • Determine the preferred style of others
  • Develop a strategy to interact successfully with people whose styles differ from your own
  • Use style strategies on the phone or in-person
  • Strengthen relationships quickly and easily

Email Etiquette Logo

Email Etiquette
(60 - 90 minutes)

Communicating with both internal and external customers by email is now as routine as talking with them on the phone. Just as "Telephone Etiquette" is a mission critical skill set, so is Email Etiquette in today's marketplace.

In fact, for many companies, email communications are many times more frequent than actual telephone calls. What this means is that one unintentionally aggressive message in a stressful encounter can cause significant damage to a long-standing relationship all of which could have been prevented with a brief training course in Business Email Etiquette.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Define the purpose for business email “etiquette”
  • Know if email is the correct communication vehicle for what you need to say
  • Understand the permanency of email
  • Know how to use top and bottom information such as addresses, cc’s, subjects & signature lines
  • Use "Plain Text" or "HTML" format as appropriate
  • Know how to structure the message for business purposes
  • Understand “Emoticons” and abbreviations
  • Develop an email thread and know when to start a new one
  • Know what to forward and what not to forward and other tips

Stress Control Logo

Stress Control
(60 - 90 minutes)

Stress Control is a life skill that will help keep the medical costs down, reduce turnover and dramatically improve customer perceptions of service competency.

Show a customer how stressed you are and you'll raise their anxieties about your competency to do the job! Its one of the easiest ways to send customers running to competitors.

One research study by stress experts shows that 75% of all visits to primary care physicians are for stress related issues. Other studies report much higher percentages.

In this course you'll learn the mental, emotional and physical signs of stress. You'll also learn the five phases of the stress response process and several coping methods effective in each phase. And, you'll develop a personal "stress control plan" to fit your exact needs.

After completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the symptoms of stress
  • Identify personal sources of work-related stress
  • Identify resources for reducing stress on the job
  • Develop and use coping strategies to reduce the affect of stress
  • Develop a stress control plan of action based on sources of stress and support resources

Goal Setting Logo

Goal Setting
(60 -90 minutes)

It's easy to understand how people with goals accomplish significantly more than people without goals. People with goals have direction. They have a target. They have something to work towards. This provides motivation to achieve.

If the goal is something you really want, that strong positive emotional desire gives you a favorable edge to realizing the goal.

And, the more frequently you review the goal, the more you focus on it, the more you will recognize the resources and opportunities you need to move toward achieving your goal.

Motivation to achieve comes from having a clear target, developing a strong emotional desire, creating a doable action plan, allocating the resources (especially time) and taking action.

Business goals that are in alignment with personal goals are more motivating than goals that are not in alignment, not related in anyway, or are counter to personal goals. Goals that help cause you to stretch increase motivation.

Goals that are written provide a mechanism to review, refresh, and stay focused on what you want. People with written goals accomplish significantly more than people who only have goals in their heads.

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Develop positive goal statements with measurable action plans
  • Identify the resources you need and the source of those resources you need to achieve your goals
  • Learn how to energize your goals
  • Select multiple areas to set goals to create balance in your life

Creating Customer Loyalty

Creating Customer Loyalty
(90 - 120 minutes)

In a tight economy, when customers are few and far between, keeping your customers off of the competitors' customer list is imperative for survival and critical to sustain growth.

The purpose of this course is to provide the participant with the knowledge, skills and strategies necessary to create loyal customers. It will incorporate skills and content from previous courses.*

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Define the key characteristics of a "loyal customer"
  • Understand how doing the basics well forms the foundation for customer loyalty
  • Know how to recover from a service misstep
  • Create customer loyalty "attitudes"
  • Know how you personally can have a positive impact on customer loyalty
  • Set the stage to enable customer loyalty
  • Use a "Customer Interaction Analysis" to stay on track with your customers
* Prerequisite courses - the content taught in the following list of courses will be used in the process to create customer loyalty:
  • Telephone Etiquette
  • Trust and Rapport Building
  • Active Listening
  • Problem Solving
  • Defusing Anger
  • Managing Customer Expectations

Coaching Materials Available Online

To qualify to access the coaching materials: You must be personally registered and complete the courses with a passing score. The students you coach must also be registered to take the courses.

Customer Service Excellence Job Aides:
These are brief checklists of key skills and concepts for all courses. Open, print (color or black & white) and cut to size.
The job aids can be used as observation checklists to meet Level III evaluation requirements.
They are great for skill reinforcement reminders in the participant's workspace.

Customer Service Excellence Practice Session Slides
Using the job aide cards, these MS Power Point ® * slides with leaders guide instructions included in "notes," will enable your facilitator the means to build spontaneous fully tailored roll-plays and practice sessions on the fly.

Coaching Guide
This guide provides the basics of how to "Coach."

* Power Point is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp.

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