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Category Archive: Customer Care Training

  1. How to deal with difficult customers

    Difficult customers are one of the biggest challenges for the customer services team within any business. In the age of the internet they are even more of a threat because a dissatisfied customer can leave a conversation and post content online or on social media that does your business no favours at all. However, difficult customers also represent an opportunity to turn a situation from a negative to a positive – once your customer service team knows how to.

    Listen to difficult customers

    It’s not easy to listen to someone who is unhappy with a product or service – even someone who is angry about the experience that they have had. However, listening is exactly what difficult customers need. This makes the customer feel that their complaint is being heard and it may even calm them down so that a more rational conversation can be had.

    Empathise and engage

    It’s not difficult to understand what someone who has had a poor experience wants from the situation – to be heard and to be believed. Empathy is a powerful tool when dealing with difficult customers because it is reassuring and demonstrates concern for whatever discomfort has been suffered. Asking questions, repeating back what has been said and using verbal cues to indicate agreement can all deliver an empathetic message.

    Don’t take it personally

    It can feel really hurtful and personal when difficult customers attack the business or the service being delivered. However, it’s important to retain emotional control and remember that none of this is aimed at the individual having the conversation but at the wider business. Difficult customers often “shoot the messenger” but it’s important that there is no retaliation and that the customer service agent handling the issue doesn’t catch the emotions of the customer and turn the situation into a battle.

    Controlled vocals

    When a customer is angry the most effective way to handle this is not to mirror the aggression or volume in their voice. Slow, calm speech and a lowered tone of voice will have an instant calming effect, indicating that there is no emergency and everything will be ok. Often, customers who have been shouting will find anger draining away when met with a soft, quiet, calm voice without any aggression or antagonism in it. Sometimes, the way we speak is even more important than what is said – that’s why controlled vocals are a key part of dealing with difficult customers.

    Agreement and surrender

    The old saying that “the customer is always right” doesn’t have to be taken literally. But in a situation where you’re dealing with someone very irate and upset, agreeing with them can be a powerful aid in terms of diffusing the emotion involved. Sometimes, angry customers who suddenly find themselves “winning” may even start to backtrack or defend the customer service person they have been talking to, against their own interests. Often, this will make the customer more open to finding a solution to the problem, as opposed to taking out an emotional response on the customer service person they are dealing with.

    Training plays a key role in ensuring that your customer service team is ready and able to deal with difficult customers. If you’d like more information about our customer service training courses, and how they could benefit your business, please get in touch.

  2. 10 tips for great customer service

    Great customer service opens the door to business success. A loyal and well serviced customer base will provide any business with revenue and the potential for growth. When it comes to achieving impressive customer service there are some simple ways to get it right.

    1. Be accountable

    There are few things more off-putting for a customer than a customer service team that just won’t admit to mistakes. If there is fault, admit to it, apologise and take steps to make amends. Value customer complaints and action them if you want to convert them into positive, ongoing relationships.

    2. Say yes

    Accommodate what your customers ask for whenever you can – there’s no better way to achieve great customer service than to give customers what they want.

    3. Listen to your customers

    You’ll not only improve the customer’s experience by doing this but also learn what it is that makes your customers tick. This invaluable insight can be fed into many areas of the business that function on an understanding of what it is your customers really want.

    4. Train your staff

    Training is a positive investment that will give staff the confidence to deal with customers and produce a consistent approach to customer contact right across your business. You can’t be there to steer every conversation in the right direction so training gives your people the tools to do it for themselves.

    5. Ask for feedback

    Customers are a fantastic source of insight when it comes to working out how to improve your offering. Check in regularly with your customers to see how they feel about the service they receive, where the pain points are and what they’d like to get from your business that currently isn’t there. Listen carefully to what your customers say and you’ll be able to create a much more authentic and well-tailored experience for them in future.

    6. Go above and beyond

    If there’s one thing that guarantees great customer service it’s a business that goes above and beyond customer expectations. How could you make life easier for your customers, what can you give them that they won’t get elsewhere and what pleasant surprises can you offer?

    7. Use the language of your customers

    Great customer service is built on communication and that requires all parties to be speaking the same language. Customers want engaging, easy to understand communication and conversations so avoid using language that puts up barriers.

    8. Make customers feel valued

    Sincerity and enthusiasm are key elements to the kind of customer service that makes for positive interactions. It’s important to make customers feel like they are listened to, treated as individuals and that the business wants them to remain on board.

    9. Employ technology as a tool

    There are many tools available to improve customer service today, from a CRM system to automation and AI. Invest in technology that will enable you to respond faster and keep quality standards high.

    10. Value your staff

    It’s your people who are on the customer service front line. If they are confident, well treated and engaged with your business then your customer service will be improved as a result.

    Our customer service training courses provide firm foundations for fantastic customer service – contact PTP today to find out more about how we could support your business.

  3. How could customer care training improve your customer services?

    Customer service has a big impact on every business – 78% of consumers have abandoned a transaction or relationship if they have had a bad experience[1]. Plus, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for just one negative customer service experience. So, investing in being able to deliver great customer service is always going to be a good idea. There are many different ways to give your customer services a boost and customer care training provides a lot of opportunities for improvement.

    The improvements you could make with customer care training

    Better customer engagement

    If your staff have been properly trained then they understand not just how to give the customer what they need but also how to engage them further. So, a query could become a business lead or a satisfied customer may go on to become a brand ambassador and recommend your business to someone else. Customer care training gives your team the skills to go out and engage with your customers, and potential customers, above and beyond the basics.

    Knowing where the boundaries lie

    Customer service conversations are not personal conversations and most people understand the clear difference between the two. However, not everything is black and white and it can be difficult for staff to make the right decisions and distinctions if they haven’t had any training. If you’re investing in customer care training then you create a benchmark of behaviour across the board.

    Converting complaints into a positive customer experience

    Complaints handling is one of the most important elements of customer service. It’s not just about avoiding escalation or trying to ensure that the business doesn’t get a bad review. Complaints actually represent an opportunity to turn a bad experience into a positive one – as long as your staff have the right training. With customer care training you can convert those negative contacts to a positive outcome so that customers are more likely to return and to speak highly of your brand.

    Giving staff confidence

    Being the bridge between customers and a company can feel like a difficult position at times. Handling awkward or angry customers, dealing with queries you may not know the answer to and trying to ensure that all your interactions are in line with brand values is a challenge. Customer care training gives staff confidence. They will have the tools to deal with difficult situations and will feel well prepared when it comes to conveying what the business they’re working for is all about.

    Upgrading to outstanding

    A large proportion of consumers feel like they receive only average customer care, even from the big brands. So, improving customer services represents a real opportunity to distinguish your business in the market. Customer care training provides the opportunity to upgrade your customer services from ‘average’ to ‘outstanding’ to make your business more competitive as a result.

    If you’d like to know more about how customer care training can support excellent customer service please get in touch by calling the PTP team on 01509889632.

    [1] Source: American Express Survey, 2011

  4. Dealing with Difficult People Training a Hit

    dealing with difficult people2 weeks ago PTP delivered a 1-day course entitled Dealing with Difficult People to staff at University College Birmingham. They had many different roles from cashier to librarian and these were their comments on their feedback forms following the course:

    Best course attended yet, trainer kept it interesting and fun throughout.– Rachel Farrell

    Trainer was excellent. – Debbie Austin

    Very well presented, engaging & informative. Thank-you.– Martin Bennett

    I found today to be a very rewarding training session. – Nick Betts

    This dealing with difficult people course helps identify difficult personality types and how to deal with them effectively and provides the skills necessary for dealing with hard-to-handle people.

    Benefits of attending PTP’s Dealing with Difficult People Training Course

    • Recognise classic profiles of difficult people and strategies for handling them
    • Pre-empt challenging situations and avoid escalating them further
    • Recognise personality types with which you may clash
    • Handle aggressive behaviour
    • Calm angry, upset and unresponsive individuals

    More praise for PTP’s Dealing with Difficult People Training Course

    Very good course overall. Trainer got message across very well with good humour and examples – Gavin Ivery, Gillette Uk Ltd

    The content of the day was excellent, everything was covered clearly and thoroughly – Ben Brooks-Wilkin, S& B Herba Foods Ltd

    It was great, could not be better– Yasser Alloqmane, Ringley

    Initially I thought the trainer was a bit overly erring towards touchy, feely stuff BUT realised it was actually very beneficial and useful. A lot of class participation – Great! – Lynne Madgwick, National Air Traffic Services

    Very good course, common sense approach.– Natalie Ives, Savills Insurance Services

    Extremely useful course, very happy the material was adapted to suit delegates needs. Great, beneficial day – Louise Seavons, DLA

    The way we approach clients and colleagues – even those we find the most difficult – can either exacerbate or diffuse tense situations. This course will teach you the best methods to adopt taking into account your own personality traits with those you interact with. To view dates for this dealing with difficult people course in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Nottingham, Manchester , Leeds and Edinburgh please click here.

  5. Sales Training – Customer Care Training – 2014 Price Reduction

    2014 Sales Training & Customer Care Trainingsales training customer care training

    Courses from £195

    PTP is pleased to announce that for a trial period, we have reduced the price of our Customer Care and Sales Training courses. 1/2 day courses will be just £195 and 1-day open courses in sales training and customer care training will now cost just £295 and 1-day tailored in-house training for sales and customer care starts at just £850 for groups of up to 5 delegates.
    To view our 16 Customer Care Training courses click here
    To view our 50 Sales Training courses please click here

    Also we have managed to keep  all our Management, Finance and Personal Development courses at the same prices for 2014.
    To view our 78 Management Training courses please click here
    To view our 17 Finance and Planning  Training Courses click here
    To view our 26 Personal Development Courses please click here

    Special Training Offers – Sales Training, Customer Care Training, Management Training

    In addition to these price reductions and price freezes, you can get your training budgets to go even further with some specially selected courses below.
    Click on the course titles below to find details about the courses including hour by hour timetables, content and training benefits of each course….

    All those marked with an * you get the following discount structure:
    Book 2 places get 25% off each booking
    Book 3-5 places you get 40% off each booking
    Book 6-10 places you get 50% off each booking

    Training Offers in London

    Advanced Facilitation Skills – 2 days  15/16th January*
    Coaching & Mentoring  8th January*
    Developing Assertiveness Skills in the Public Sector  12th February*
    Essential Advertising 17th January – 40% discount
    Influencing Skills  29th January*
    Interpreting Financial Statements 7th January*
    Managing Budgets  23rd January – 25% discount
    Managing Effective Meetings  27th January – 30% discount
    Managing People on Projects  28th January – 25% discount
    Managing Remote Teams  5th February*
    Personal Effectiveness  28th January*
    Stress Management  15th January – 25% discount
    Successful Sales Presentations  29th January – 25% discount
    The Client Meeting – Face to Face Selling 19th February – 40% discount
    The Effective Administrator  23rd January*
    Time Management 9th January*

    Training Offers in the Midlands

    Advanced Closing Skills  12th March – Nottingham – 50% discount
    Assertiveness & Building Personal Confidence 8th January – Nottingham*
    Introduction to HR Skills   24th April – Birmingham – 25% discount
    Leadership & Management Skills  – 24th January – Birmingham – 30% discount
    The Roles and Responsibilities of a Director 14th January – Nottingham*

    Training Offers in Bristol

    Customer Satisfaction as a Selling Tool   3rd January – 40% discount
    Dealing with Incoming Calls Positively  22nd January – 40% discount
    Essential Management Skills – 2 days  7/8th January*
    Introduction to Management & Supervisory Skills  14th February*

    Training Offers in Leeds

    Advanced Presentation Skills 11th February*
    Assertiveness & Building Personal Confidence  9th January*
    Creativity and Innovation 2 days  3rd & 4th February – 25% discount

    Training Offers in Manchester

    Essential Management Skills – 2 days  7/8th January*
    Finance for Non-Finance Managers  16th January – 15% discount
    Introduction to Account Management  20th January – 20% discount
    Personal Development for Professionals  14th January*

    Training Offers in Edinburgh

    Essential Management Skills – 2 days  29/30th January – 35% discount
    Introduction to Management & Supervisory Skills  15th January – 20% discount
    Leadership & Management Skills  – 21st January*
    Practical Project Management – 2 days – 23/24th January*
    Sales Negotiation Skills  12th May*
    The Roles & Responsibilities of a Director 22nd January – 20% discount
    Time Management  6th February – 30% discount
    Train the Trainer – 2 days  6/7th February – 30% discount
    All those marked with an * you get the following discount structure:
    Book 2 places get 25% off each booking
    Book 3-5 places you get 40% off each booking
    Book 6-10 places you get 50% off each booking

    Normal fees for our Management Training, Finance and Personal Development courses before the above discounts are:
    1/2 day courses £250
    1 day courses £450
    2 day courses £850

    And for our Customer Care Training and Sales Training courses before the above discounts are:
    1/2 day courses £195
    1 day courses £295
    2 day courses £550

    In addition to the discounts above, you get a further 5% if you book and pay on-line. (Please note this is optional and you have the choice to pay by invoice when booking on-line.

    Kind regards

    Marc Holland
    Managing Director
    Practical Training for Professionals
    01509 889632

  6. Customer Care Training for Finance Staff ‘Excellent’

    Customer care training courses by PTP

    PTP’s customer care training course, Customer Excellence for the Finance Environment was delivered recently to two of Zoopla’s employees.

    Cynthia Taylor commented on this customer care training course,

    ‘I have enjoyed every minute of the course today. The trainer was excellent.’

    and Simon Jones commented on this customer care training day,

    ‘The level of engagement from the trainer was outstanding.’


    Benefits of this customer care training include:

    • A greater understanding of the customers needs and how they rate customer excellence
    • Understand why customers complain especially when there is a financial implication and how to put things right
    • A greater understanding of the basic financial acts that govern what we do
    • How to measure and track customer excellence

    PTP delivers 14 customer care training courses including:

  7. Telephone Training with PTP is Sweet

    Philip Baggard of Tate & Lyle Sugars recently attended our Dealing with Incoming Calls Positively, a 1-day training course in telephone handling skills.

    Philip got a lot out of his attendance of this telephone training course. He commented on his feedback form,

    ‘Excellent suggestions and advice to focus on areas of improvement. Excellent presentation and very good logical advice – Thank-you.’

    The benefits of attending this telephone training course

    • To increase confidence in taking all incoming calls
    • Understand the importance of customer care in a sales environment
    • How to handle complaints in a positive way

    Marc Holland, MD of PTP commented ‘We are delighted that Phillip got so much from this telephone training course. This course has been running successfully for many year and along side our Generating New Business By Telephone and Call Centre – Achieving Excellence is among our most popular telephone training courses. We have now introduce some shorter half day telephone courses which take place in our main UK venues, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol and London. They are: How to be Great at Cold Calling and Masterclass in Handling Incoming Calls. This now means that our customers can get the telephone training they require without taking up a full working day.’

In-House Training with PTP

PTP stands for Practical Training for Professionals and our aim is to make our training as practical as possible so delegates can return to the workplace with skills they can implement immediately. PTP now delivers training to over 40% of the FTSE 100.

What you get for your money

What is 1-to-1 training?

1-to-1 training can be based on any of the 100 plus courses that PTP provides, it includes an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site one to one training session at your premises with one of PTP's expert trainers and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

You have the option of a line manager being involved in both telephone conferences, the second telephone conference which can be for feedback and action planning is generally scheduled during the on-site visit.

Who does 1-to-1 training suit?

Individuals taking on a new challenge or responsibilities. Professionals who want a trusted "sounding board" and thinking partner. Executives or managers who want to enhance their leadership effectiveness to achieve organizational and career success. Executives and professionals wanting to compete successfully but still retain balance in their life. Individuals who want to understand their blind spots so that they don't stand in their own way on their path to success. Executives and Professionals who want to improve their interpersonal skills so as to be more effective with bosses, peers, subordinates, or people in general. How much does 1-to-1 training cost?

A 1-to-1 training session costs from as little as £400 + VAT and will include an initial telephone conference of up to 1 hour, a 1/2 day (3.5 hours) on-site training at your premises and then a further telephone conference call of up to an hour within 2 weeks of the on-site visit.

What is U-Choose?

Choose from any of the 150 plus courses that PTP provides, and choose from 1 of our 50 plus UK wide training venues. You must book for 2 or more delegates and at least 4 weeks in advance, but that’s it, the course you want where you want it. The reason we ask for a minimum of 4 weeks notice is to enable us to market the course you have scheduled to other companies and organisations. However, if we fail to sell any additional places we guarantee to run the course just for you.

How much does U-Choose Training cost?

U-choose costs the same as our normal open courses i.e. the normal delegate rate. This includes lunch and refreshments throughout the day, framed certification and comprehensive training notes. A U-Choose booking can only be confirmed once we receive payment which can be made via credit/debit card, BACS or cheque. Payment is due at least 4 weeks before the date you request. Please note to be eligible for U-Choose you must book a minimum of 2 delegates on the same course & date.