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2 March 2016

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Businesses that are well known for providing superb customer service have several characteristics in common:

they understand what customer service really means
they understand their customers and aim to fulfil their needs in every way every single person in the organisation wants to achieve this aim.

Customer service is the customer’s complete experience, from the second they enter a business or view a website, to the after-sales service, such as spare parts or repairs. Superb customer service means providing services that customers did not even know they wanted, but are delighted to find are provided.

Identifying Customer Needs

Effective customer service involves satisfying customer needs, so the first step is to find out what these are. All customers contact a business because they want something. Businesses use several methods to identify the needs of their customers quickly. E.g. restaurants, supermarkets, Argos, Thomas Cook

how do you think Chelsea FC identify the needs of their customers?

Common customer needs:

Make a purchase
Order a product or service
Obtain information
Ask for advice
Enquire about an order
Change an order
Report a problem
Ask for assistance or help
Return or exchange goods

Presentation Skills

What do other people see when you approach them? Someone who looks smart and professional, or someone who looks like they fell out of bed 10 minutes ago? Presentation skills have nothing to do with good looks, but everything to do with a welcoming smile, appropriate clothes and a smart appearance.

Personal presentation – uniforms, guides on hairstyles, jewellery, discrimination Body language – posture, facial expressions, gestures
working environment – tidy work area, cooperation and politeness towards staff

Interpersonal Skills
These relate to your attitude and behaviour towards other people.

Attitude – Be positive, leave problems behind
Behaviour – Courteous, respectful, honesty, thoughtful
First impressions and greetings – Nice reception areas, formal and polite greetings Interpersonal skills – Listening carefully, note taking, asking questions, positive responses, courtesy, concern, confidence, interest, thoughtfulness, respect, tact, efficiency Responding to customer behaviour – Watch customer body language, listen for their mood, choose words and timing carefully, see the whole picture

Communication Skills
You need to speak to your customers and how you do this is important. You must take into consideration:

Tone of voice – The way in which you say something, expressing yourself when you speak Pitch – The sound that you make when you speak, high/low,

loud/quiet Language – Use appropriate language, avoid slang and jargon

Pace – The speed at which you speak, speak slowly and clearly Listening skills – Active listening (concentrating on the speaker, notice their feelings), Reflective listening (restating what you hear at points during the conversation to check your understanding)

Scope of job role – Staff should know what they can and cannot do as part of their job and the type of issues they must refer to a supervisor. This should not stop them using their own initiative to resolve a straightforward problem quickly, providing they do not make arrangements or promises that are outside their authority

Knowledge of Products/ Services – You can only give customers accurate information and advise them about the best options to suit their needs if you have a good knowledge of the products and/ or services available. Because you cannot always memorise these, you also need to know where to find the information, such as in a catalogue, brochure or database.

Type and Quality of products/services

Businesses monitor and evaluate their customer service so that they can remedy problems and introduce improvements. This can be done in various ways. The methods used usually depend upon the size and type of business.

Informal customer feedback – easy and cheap; an example is a waiter asking you how your meal is when you are eating Customer questionnaires/comment cards – issued by many businesses e.g restaurants; these give the business an idea of how effective their customer service is. Question) – What do you think a disadvantage of this form of monitoring might be? Staff feedback – this is invaluable, and not just because it is free; many staff receive or overhear customer comments, both positive and negative. In addition, if staffs are unhappy and leave to work elsewhere, it is sensible to find out why. Mystery customers – employed to visit stores to assess staff. They may also check competitor’s stores to compare service levels. (Question) – What things do you think a mystery shopper will be looking out for? Complaints and compliment letters – encouraged by many organisations as a form of feedback; If several similar complaints are received, there is obviously a problem that needs immediate attention. This is why organisations record the complaints they receive and then check to see if there are any common factors.

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BTEC BUSINESS LEVEL 2 UNIT 11 P1-P5. (2 March 2016). Retrieved from

"BTEC BUSINESS LEVEL 2 UNIT 11 P1-P5" StudyScroll, 2 March 2016,

StudyScroll. (2016). BTEC BUSINESS LEVEL 2 UNIT 11 P1-P5 [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 30 September, 2023]

"BTEC BUSINESS LEVEL 2 UNIT 11 P1-P5" StudyScroll, Mar 2, 2016. Accessed Sep 30, 2023.

"BTEC BUSINESS LEVEL 2 UNIT 11 P1-P5" StudyScroll, Mar 2, 2016.

"BTEC BUSINESS LEVEL 2 UNIT 11 P1-P5" StudyScroll, 2-Mar-2016. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 30-Sep-2023]

StudyScroll. (2016). BTEC BUSINESS LEVEL 2 UNIT 11 P1-P5. [Online]. Available at: [Accessed: 30-Sep-2023]

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