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Business and Information Technology Education
Customer Service
This is a course of study in basic customer service concepts with an emphasis on exploring elements of the service industry, assessing customer needs, educating customers, selling processes, solving problems, making decisions, leading others, working in teams, applying technology, organizing and planning, building consensus, and setting goals. Students learn competencies required to pass industry certifications and to secure and hold jobs.
Karen Green
Program Specialist
Recommended: Business and Computer Tech OR
Fundamentals of Technology
Identify the objectives of performing world class service.
-Explain the importance of customer service specialist skills in technical training programs.
-Describe how formal company customer relations initiatives can be conveyed to customers.
-Contrast the difference between poor and good communications of CSS principles to employees and customers.
-Describe an example of both poor and excellent customer service.
-Explain the benefits when the service personnel actively support product sales efforts.
-Contrast the difference between employees well informed of company products and services and those who are not.
-Explain how to utilize the consumer perception of the company effectively to improve the service interaction.
-List several reasons better customer service can cause customers to choose a business over other similar businesses.
-List several reasons customers are "turned off" from doing business with a company.
-List several ways to keep up-to-date on your company's products and services.

Explore the value of developing Product/Service and Business/Consumer Relationships in the marketplace.
-Define the function of marketing in business.
-Define the value addition of service to sales and marketing efforts.
-Describe the cycle of marketing, sales, purchase, application, and service.
-Describe the relationships between the sales and service departments of a company.
-Describe the relationships between the marketing and service departments of a company.
-List marketing tools used to identify product consumers, product needs, and a viable arket price.
-List sales methods used to reach a consumer audience.
-Describe the difference between voluntary and involuntary sales.
-Explain the function of service in creating a market and generating sales.
-Explain the importance of product and service training to sales and service employees.
-Relate the importance to keeping a satisfied customer.
-Relate the importance of sales or service follow up in a business model.

Explore how to develop traits for successful business leadership.
-Explain the importance of being success-oriented in becoming a business leader.
-Describe why it is important to understand the power structure in the company.
-Describe some of the traits of successful customer service specialists.
-Demonstrate traits of successful customer service specialists.
-List the primary objectives of customer service
-List personal rules for success in customer service.
-Describe the need for understanding a company's organizational structure.

Explore the effect of employee legal responsibilitiesin the workplace.
-Explain why it is important to the customer service specialist that the company is not violating any laws.
-Describe how another employee's draining the company's resources can affect you.
-Explain how a company's not providing sufficient help-desk workers can defraud the customer.
-Explain how an untrained help-desk worker defrauds the customer.
-List some customer service specialist actions that might negatively affect the company's success.

Identify the application of technology in the workplace.
-Identify different technology applications in the workplace.
-Identify strategies to increase productivity with software applications.
-Demonstrate basic word processing skills.
-Demonstrate basic spreadsheet skills.
-Demonstrate basic presentation software skills.
-Demonstrate basic database skills.
-Demonstrate basic search skills on the Internet.
-Discuss why it is important that the customer service specialist to be an expert about the company website.
-Explain why sales, service, and marketing personnel must keep up-to-date products, accessories, and service.
-Explain why sales, service, and marketing personnel must be able to educate customers on the usage of products.
-Present examples of acronyms used at your business and discuss how these should be explained or defined for coworkers and customers.
-Describe an example of communication with a coworker or non-technical employee, using words which they might not understand.

Explore concepts, strategies, and systems needed to interact effectively with others.
-Present an example of explaining a highly technical subject to a customer, showing how to use comparisons with well-known human topics.
-Describe a case where a service/sales person can reduce customer tensions caused by a lack of knowledge, price or extent of a service function.
-List methods that might aggravate or enlarge a customer problem rather than reducing it.
-Explain the differences or liberties one can take when dealing with known acquaintances as compared to someone you are meeting for the first time.
-List methods to attempt to gain a customer's confidence.
-List examples where direct letterhead mail should be used rather than e-mail.
-List examples of telephone conversations in which security should be a consideration.
-List the five items you need to obtain from a customer having a problem with your product or service.
-Describe the importance of being prepared when the telephone is first answered.
-Explain why a cover sheet is vital when sending a fax transmission.
-Explain why you should remain at the fax machine until your document completes sending.
-List the three essential parts of an e-mail communication.
-Explain the importance of proofreading you e-mail message at least twice before sending.
-List the guidelines of cell phone usage.
-Describe proper etiquette in taking and relaying phone calls to other people at your place of business.
-Explain the importance of knowing effective methods of dealing with conflict.
-Explain possible disadvantages of employee-coworker dating
-Discuss some good methods for dealing with stress in the workplace.
-Describe some different types of workplace violence.
-Explain why having good people skills is important in the workplace.
-Describe the four basic personality types.
-Explain the benefits of understanding your personality type and the types of the people you encounter.
-Discuss some disadvantages of displaying improper emotions at work.
-Explain a good method for taking the emotions out of decision-making.
-Explain how a person's attitude toward change can increase or decrease stress.
-List some different types of resistance to change that you might encounter.
-Discuss the importance of a person's attitude.
-List some tips that will help a person deal with change.

Explore the implications of safety practices and procedures in the work environment.
-Discuss the relationship of human error and on-the-job accidents.
-List the importance of caution when climbing and heavy lifting are required on the job.
-Discuss the basics of safely packaging shipping items.
-Explain the importance of safety in the use of equipment and on-customer premises.
-Describe what the customer service specialist must know about electrical safety.
-List several normal safety rules for employees.
-Explain reasons for some safety rules that at first may not seem reasonable.
-Describe environmental conditions that might present safety hazards under certain circumstances.
-Describe vehicle, company or in-home situations in which special care must be exercised by circumstances.
-List local, state, or federal rules meant to prevent accidents.
-List the effects of improper habits such as poor posture, eating/drinking at work, lack of exercise, smoking, etc.

Explore concepts and strategies needed for career exploration, development, and growth.
-List reasons a job description can benefit a customer service specialist.
-Describe why a career might be preferable to a job.
-List the steps included in a career path and a training plan.
-List items of importance in employee evaluation.
-Describe how an employee's attitude can affect his/her evaluation.
-List how an employee's growth in knowledge and skills affects evaluation.
-Relate how an employee's records of his/her accomplishments and training might affect evaluation.

Explore techniques, strategies, and systems used to foster self-understanding and enhance relationships with others.
-Describe how a worker's failure to understand the mission of his employer could be detrimental.
-List several factors you consider good about your company, office, or products.
-List the aspects you consider good about your job at the company
-List several features that give you pride in your company.
-Explain the negatives associated with a worker who has no loyalty to his company or its products.
-Resolve customer-coworker problems.
-Discuss the important steps of good customer/client relations.
-Discuss how a company can promote good coworker relations.
-List the steps involved in arriving at a solution to a customer service problem.
-Explain the importance of listening when dealing with a customer.
-List several reasons a customer or coworker may become highly emotional.
-Explain ways to respond to highly emotional people to help reduce negative reactions.
-Contrast the response of an unsympathetic service person to that of a sympathetic treatment of an emotional person.

Explore techniques and strategies used to foster positive, ongoing relationships with customers.
-Explain what is meant by a customer service person doing more than expected.
-List some examples of how completed service products' appearance can show quality.
-Describe some of the traits of successful customer service specialists.
-List three personal rules for success in customer service.
-List some effective methods of handling irate customers.
-Present an example of double-checking that could save recall service event or head off a customer problem.
-Explain the detrimental effect of sales and service personnel doing "all of the talking" to a customer.
-Discuss some of the filters a listener brings to a conversation.
-List some tips for interpreting body language.
-Describe techniques for effective listening on the telephone.
-List some positive replacements for common negative words and comments.
-Discuss the importance of feedback in listening.
-List dos and don'ts in becoming an effective speaker.
-Describe why customer feedback is essential to your business.
-List methods a customer service specialist can use to collect customer feedback.
-Discuss why it is important for a customer service specialist to be an expert on the company website.
-Explain the use of surveys to encourage customer feedback.
-List parts of a working feedback system.

Explore the value of involvement in student organization/professional organizations to develop leadership skills.
-Identify the purposes and goals of the student organization.
-Enhance leadership and teamwork skills through participation in the student organization.
-Explore networking opportunities.
-Describe why teams exist in the business environment.
-Explain the hierarchical structure of a typical business team.
-List constraints on an organizational team.
-Describe the logical steps involved in a team's problem solving. Accountability Measures, Assessments, or Evaluation Procedures-
Required (1) Brainbench Certification:

Brainbench :
-Customer Assistance
-Telephone Etiquette
-Interpersonal Communications
-Listening Skills

Recommended ODCTE Certification:
ODCTE: -Skills Standards

Recommended Industry Certification:
-Retail Readiness Industry Alignments
NRF (National Retail Federation) - Customer Service Certification
National Skill Standards - Customer Service and Sales
Marketing Essentials, 2006, Glencoe McGraw Hill, Woodland Hills, CA
Marketing LAPS, (Learning Activity Packets), MarkEd, Columbus, OH
Marketing Dynamics, 2006,Goodheart Willcox Co. Clark, Brenda; Sobel, Jennie; Basteri, Cynthia Gendall. ISBN 1590705866

Retail Readiness Certification Prep, 2005, Thomson/South-Western
Customer Service Excellence 2004: Exemplary Practices in Retail 11221

By James Tenser, Soyeon Shim, Ph.D., and Melinda Burke
Published by NRF Foundation, 2004

Retailing Smarts Series, 1999, National Retail Federation and Crisp Publications, Inc
National Retail Federation
DECA Guide
Career Majors That Sequence This Course
Career Cluster Pathway Career Major
Marketing, Sales & Service Professional Sales and Marketing Assistant Sales Manager
Marketing, Sales & Service Professional Sales and Marketing Customer Service Representative
Business Management & Administration Administrative & Information Support Executive Administrative Assistant
Marketing, Sales & Service Buying and Merchandising Fashion Buyer
Marketing, Sales & Service Marketing Communications and Promotion Marketing Assistant
Marketing, Sales & Service Marketing Communications and Promotion Marketing Communications Associate
Marketing, Sales & Service Buying and Merchandising Merchandise Manager
Marketing, Sales & Service Integrated Marketing Mobile Marketing
Marketing, Sales & Service Professional Sales and Marketing Professional Sales Representative
Marketing, Sales & Service Marketing Communications and Promotion Public Information Specialist
Marketing, Sales & Service Marketing Communications and Promotion Public Relations Manager
Marketing, Sales & Service Management and Entrepreneurship Retail Management
Marketing, Sales & Service Professional Sales and Marketing Sales Assistant
Hospitality & Tourism Travel and Tourism Tourism Assistant
Marketing, Sales & Service Buying and Merchandising Visual Merchandiser