Brilliant customer service – face-to-face!



This practical one-day course has a simple objective: to raise customer service and support standards by instructing, equipping and inspiring participants to delight customers at every contact they have.

Participants will acquire essential face-to-face and interpersonal tools, skills and methods and will identify areas for improvement.

Training objectives

There are eleven key learning points:
  • Establish the standards and systems that can make every customer feel special – both customers and internal colleagues
  • Learn a range of professional interpersonal techniques, tools and skills to use to make customers feel valued and to deliver above expectations – building on the personal skills and experience you already have
  • Make a composed and confident first impression, meet and greet effectively, so that customers feel welcomed and well cared for, particularly when they have a problem
  • Personal skills for listening effectively and to enhance an understanding of what customers really want and expect, plus using the right words, phrases and polishing you use of eye-contact and body language, plus the use of key verbal techniques to create rapport and empathy
  • Identify different customer needs and situations and change your approach accordingly – how to have more control and influence when you need it
  • Deal with complex or multi-stage technical problems more effectively
  • Understand customer expectations and deliver more than you promise – go for the ‘wow!’
  • Maintain a positive attitude throughout the day – make every interaction feel like your most important
  • Satisfy complainers, calm upset customers and regain confidence and goodwill
  • Turn problems into opportunities – for either sales or greater customer satisfaction


This course is ideal for all those who either work at the front line of customer service working with customers or colleagues face-to-face, especially in retail, hospitality or service environments.


The training is very practical and objective. Very clear and specific skills, models and techniques are covered. The focus is on improving things that are already working, not going over old ground. Participants will discuss and plan new approaches to real-life examples taken from their own situations.

Each element of the course includes:
  • High-quality training presentation
  • Group exercises and team activities
  • High degree of participation and interaction

The course includes regular discussion, planning and other practical exercises to develop and practice the skills and methods presented. The presentations and exercises are tailored to specific situations from participants’ work. The style is up-beat and motivational.

Special features

A unique feature of the course is that it addresses both the standards and the skills people use over and above their technical knowledge. The course features the SPECIAL model:
  • Speed and Time
  • Personal and personalised
  • Expectations – manage and exceed
  • Competence and courtesy
  • Information
  • Attitude
  • Long-term relationship and follow-through

Each of these points is related explicitly to the jobs the course participants do and their interaction with customers face-to-face.

Special attention is also given to improved interpersonal skills. Participants are encouraged to take part in practical sessions and develop best practice ‘prompt sheets’.

The course can be tailored to include any specialist topics such as advanced communication skills, dealing with complaints, etc, according to organisational need or the skill level of the participants.

The expert trainer

Graham specialises in providing high-quality consultancy, coaching and training in customer service, sales and personal productivity. He has a vast range of experience and expertise in all aspects of customer service – from skills, through to standards and ‘systems’.

Over the last fifteen years, he has trained more than 5,000 people in customer service skills alone. His work has taken him all over the world and involved him in working closely with hundreds of different organisations from all business sectors, including Nortel, SaudiAramco, BT, FT Online, Apple Computers, Thomson Financial, Seico Insurance, British Film Institution, GPS UK, Cosmos Travel, Intel, Gateway Computers, Ambius (Rentokil-Initial), Ping Europe, GoNative, De LageLanden, Wincanton, Strutt & Parker, My Family Care, OpenText, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Skin Health Spa, North Herts Homes and many, many others.

Graham’s client list in other areas includes such organisations as Vodafone, AT&T, Orange, Pfizer, GSK, Boots, Unilever, American Express, Thomas Cook, Sony, ASOS, OpenText, Motorola, Cisco, MFI, Barclays Bank, LIFFE, Abbey National, Prison Service, Home Office, Law Society, BBC, Black & Decker, Daimler-Chrysler, Citroen, Weetabix, Nikon, Shell and many, many others. In addition he has written over a dozen books published in several different countries, including Companies don’t succeed – people do!, 90 Brain Teasers for Trainers, Customer Service Games for Training, Sales Training Games, Telephone Tactics and Working Smarter.

Known internationally as both a trainer and a popular motivational speaker, Graham believes that effective learning has to be interactive and challenging. All his learning events are built around practical exercises, role play and case studies. His training style focuses not on just explaining new ideas or developing new skills, but also on motivating people to use them and to develop themselves as individuals. This approach gets results, as the following comments from course participants show:

‘Brilliant course, really interesting and very focused to my job role and day to day work.’

‘Took away some very good ideas that I can use every day good examples too.’

‘Very confident in the subject, and amusing too. Made the course very interesting. A very clear sales model to use going forward.’

‘Full of useful hints and tips which I will apply to my job.’

‘Extremely well presented and structured’

‘A very intensive course and a lot of concrete tools provided.’

‘Useful data, tools and insights; engaging and interesting as always.’

‘Very good contained everything we do on a regular basis and problems we have come across the exercises made it very interesting too.’

Course outline

  1. Introduction
    • Personal objectives
    • Defining what is ‘Customer Service and Support Best Practice’ – knowing what your customers really want and expect from your company and from you personally, and the importance of the job you do in delivering both satisfied customers and job satisfaction
  2. Making every customer feel SPECIAL
    • The main types of service and support offered today – how do you rate?
    • The difference that makes a difference – examples of good and bad service situations
    • The seven qualities that make customers feel SPECIAL
      – Speed and Time
      – Personal and personalised
      – Expectations – manage and exceed
      – Competence and courtesy
      – Information
      – Attitude
      – Long-term relationship and follow-through
    • Applying the SPECIAL qualities to your job
    • Qualities of customer service and support ‘superstars’
  3. Face-to-face communication skills
    • Gaining rapport and connecting with customers face-to-face – becoming brilliant on the basics
    • How to quickly ‘tune in’ to different types of customer needs within 30 seconds of making eye contact, so that you can serve them more easily and effectively
    • Understanding body language and non-verbal communication
    • Specific gestures and phrases that put customers at ease – developing a winning approach
    • Different types of question that will help to get to the root of a problem quickly and efficiently, plus improving your active listening and drawing-out skills
  4. Practice and case studies
    • Gaining rapport and connecting with customers – advanced questioning and problem-solving skills
    • Case studies
  5. FISHing for customers
    • The four key principles of the FISH philosophy
    • Making them work in your job, team and company
    • How they change the customer’s experience
  6. Advanced customer skills
    • Identifying different personality types and behavioural strategies
    • The different types of difficult customer and how to deal with each one
    • Understanding non-verbal communication and how best to communicate with each customer type
    • Learn how to develop ‘behavioural’ flexibility to communicate well with even the most ‘difficult’ person
  7. Being more assertive, in a nice way!
    • Identifying bullying and manipulative behaviour and how to take control
    • Using the correct words and voice tone, plus key phrases that work
    • How best to ‘say no, then negotiate’
    • Remaining calm and focused, recovering from rude or aggressive situations
    • Getting through difficult days with a smile
  8. Putting it all together
    • Summary of key learning points
    • Action plan

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