“A man without a smiling face must not open a shop.” Chinese Proverb

I have been asked for service skills training from several clients, particularly in the healthcare industry.  One comment from a leader in a medical center really struck me.  “If they would only smile, we would do better.”  This is the measurable result required of the work.  WOW!  This got me to asking, what is the latest thinking and trends in customer service particulaly in healthcare?  How far are we from the ideal?  How is it defined?

We know good service when we receive it, and a smile goes a long way!  But, have you and your organization tried to define it?  When you look up a definition, you will get many different definitions for it.  True customer service is defined by how well an organization exceeds the needs, wants, and desires of the customer, both professionally through the service or product and personally by exceeding the emotional needs of the customer.  While defining customer service is unique for each organization, the good news is that you have access to a host of resources to align human performance to this core value of many organizations.  These are great starting points if you are working on some of the basics such as smiling a genuine smile.

Subsequent blog posts in March will reflect on how the customer service value and philosophy show up in talent management and training.  For now, I share some of the research I have enjoyed.


The following articles, blogs, and white papers proved very helpful in researching service issues to use in creating training programs and cases.  There are so many links from which to choose, though.  What sites do you like?

  1. On Trends: 
    1. http://www.1to1media.com/view.aspx?docid=33321
    2. http://www.youngupstarts.com/2011/12/22/7-customer-service-trends-to-watch-and-leverage-in-2012/
    3. http://www.knowthis.com/principles-of-marketing-tutorials/managing-customers/customer-service-trends-customer-self-service/
  2. On Service in Health Care:
    1. http://www.pacificmedicalcenters.org/images/uploads/KCMS_Customer_Service_in_Healthcare.pdf
    2. http://www.hospitalimpact.org/index.php/2011/03/01/ignoring_customer_service_in_healthcare
  3. On the Critical Role of Employees:
    1. http://www.strategicdriven.com/marketing-blog/bid/69761/Empowering-Employees-to-Deliver-Excellent-Customer-Service
  4. Quotes:  http://amazingserviceguy.com/resources/Best-customer-service-quotes_Kevin-Stirtz.pdf


Customer Service Skills Training:  Principles of Outstanding CS

The focus of this series is to teach handling service scenarios through a variety of examples. Examples are provided for many environments such as retail, face-to-face customer service, help-desk, client meetings, call center support, medical support and so on.  Modules and Objectives include:

Customer Service Principles (2 hours)

  • What are the fundamentals of customer service principles?
  • How to interact with different types of customers and different personalities?
  • What customers want and how to satisfy them?

Questioning Techniques (2 hours)

  • How to encourage a customer to give you more information by using correct questioning techniques?
  • How to use leading questions?
  • How to sequence your sentences for maximum effect?

Emotional Intelligence (2 hours)

  • How to empathize with customers and maintain rapport?
  • How to show you understand the customer and care about their problems?

Customer Service Scenarios (2 hours)

  • What does it mean to handle a customer professionally?
  • What are the common challenging customer service scenarios and how to handle them?  (Including angry customer, swearing customers, mistrustful customers, demanding customers, a developing long line)

Handling Complaints   (2 hours)

  • How to handle complaints?
  • What are the principles of handling unhappy customers?
  • How to deliver a “Soft No”?

Telephone Skills (2 hours)

  • How to handle phone calls?
  • How to put a customer on hold?
  • How to refer a customer to a colleague?
  • How to end a phone call?

Body Language (2 hours)

  • What body language signals are most critical for a great first impression?
  • What gestures put customers at ease and let you establish rapport with them?
  • How to spot the lies through body language?

Click Here to bring this training to your team!


 Customer Service Books

  • The Kindness Revolution: The Company-Wide Culture Shift That Inspires Phenomenal Customer Service
  • Customer Service for Dummies


  • The Brave New Service Strategy: Aligning Customer Relationships, Market Strategies and Business Structures

Customer Service Courses

  • HDI – Customer Support Specialist, Professionalism
  • Excelling at Customer Service


  • Excel at Customer Service
  • Customer Support Specialist

Click Here to learn how you can access these materials today!


About bsbpartners

Successful businesses drive results through their people. BSB Partners, Inc. is a management consulting firm focused on enhancing employee performance through talent management, leadership development, professional training, team building, and coaching. At BSB Partners, we focus on goals to help individual, teams, and organizations develop and manage to their strengths. At BSB Partners, we believe in collaboration -- to better serve client needs, we partner with organizations and individuals to provide the optimal solution for client success. Additional information at www.bsbpartners.com
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