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Customer Service Character

Customer Service

High-impact lessons for front-line teams.

World Media Festival Award 2016 Award

My partner’s going to hit you with a rhetorical question now. Do it.


Improve your customer satisfaction levels and increase customer loyalty with Video Arts Customer Service Essentials. This collection delivers  funny, memorable, short films and e-learning courses that change the way employees behave when they’re with customers. Starring Mark Heap, Lucy Liemann, Tom Bennett, Laura Aikman and Javone Prince and written by leading experts like Dr Peter Honey. Must-have resources for customer-facing employees.

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Available as video or e-learning courses

Finding out what they want

Finding Out What They Want:

It's not the age it's the mileage right?!

Customers don’t always know what they want. Whatever service you provide, encourage your customers to open up. Listen to their needs, desires and concerns.

Getting into their head

Getting Into Their Head:

He just wants the tie

The customer may need something more than what they’re asking for. Try to get to the truth of the matter by asking questions.

Knowing your stuff

Knowing Your Stuff:

Why are you curled up in a ball?

Knowing your stuff gets the customer onside. You should have a detailed knowledge of what you’ve got – your product range and its features. You should also know your policies, as well as having a wider knowledge of the business and the market landscape.

Showing them the benefits

Showing Them The Benefits:

But is it comfy?

Features like ‘it’s got auto-tension’ are factual statements but they won’t entice customers to buy. A benefit (like ‘it’s incredibly comfortable’) answers the question ‘What’s in it for me?’ People buy benefits – so explain them to them.

Company loyalty

Company And Product Loyalty:

A load of tat glued together

To the customer, you are the organisation, so don’t rubbish the company. You are key to building the customer’s faith in the organisation so be proud of where you work and what you do.

Team and customer loyalty

Team And Customer Loyalty:

Who sold you this then?

You are part of a team, so be loyal to your colleagues – support them and what they do. Be loyal to your customers too, you are not there to judge them and it will help you get the best for them.

Questioning techniques Part 1

Questioning Techniques (Part 1):

Do you recall what I said about recall questions?

To get to know your customers and their needs, use closed questions to get facts, open questions to learn more, and recall questions to build a history.

Questioning techniques Part 2

Questioning Techniques (Part 2):

Could you be any more guilty?

To help guide and control your customer’s interest, use rhetorical questions to confirm understanding, assumptive questions to create decisions, and leading questions to direct them towards a sale or solution.

Using your voice effectively

Using Your Voice Effectively:

That's your customer service voice is it?

Think about your pitch, pace and tone and use your natural voice when engaging customers. Be warm, and medium paced, without being smarmy or twittery. Try engaging customers by following their voice patterns a little, but don’t mimic them.



Deal with complaints effectively

It’s has been estimated that every dissatisfied customer shares their bad experience with another seven people. Enable all customer service staff to manage customer complaints effectively.

Mr Chatty

Mr Chatty:

My cousin Beryl bought one like this

If you have a chatty customer, use closed questions to keep them on subject, and don’t give up – even if they do drive you up the wall.

Mr Rude

Mr Rude:

A fight before breakfast

Never go into battle with a rude customer, that’s just what they want you to do. Don’t surrender either. Stand your ground, be polite and neutral.

Mrs Arrogant

Mrs Arrogant:

Bonjorno, Cheese Man

Don’t get cheesed off with arrogant customers. Be respectful. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how they want to be seen. Avoid confrontation and awkwardness by being tactful.

Mrs Picky

Mrs Picky:

Whatever it is, it has my full support

Never rush a picky customer. Understand the reason behind their need for extra detail. Use your product knowledge to give them a clear picture and if you don’t know, offer to find out. Try and remain friendly.

Agreeing actions

Agreeing Actions:

Thanks for calling the coastguard - goodbye!

When closing the call, don’t leave your customer ‘lost at sea’. Agree actions and how they’ll be followed up. Volunteer useful information and agree the next steps.

Controlling the call

Controlling The Call:

I could rustle up a Morris Dancer?

Control your call by sticking to a structure, asking open questions when you need to and show that you are listening. Record and repeat information so the caller feels connected.

First impressions

First Impressions On The Phone:


When you’re on the phone, answer right away and use a verbal handshake. Smile as you talk, and introduce yourself.

Demanding customers

Demanding Customers:

Customer care made PERFECT

Techniques for making demanding customers satisfied for front-line staff. Learn to apply the PERFECT technique (Polite, Efficient, Respectful, Friendly, Enthusiastic, Cheerful and Tactful) to Mr Snappy, Mrs Picky, Mr Yappy and Ms Flash.

A human touch

A Human Touch:

He's literally a customer processing machine!

Remember your customers are also your guests, so acknowledge them straight away, especially if you aren’t able to serve them immediately. Keep your approach fresh – you may have done this a thousand times but this is their first impression. Use the human touch, to give them an excellent first impression.

Dropping your emotional baggage

Dropping Your Emotional Baggage:

Oh, no, not you.

You can choose who you want to be at work. Leave your baggage at the door and give yourself a fresh start every day. Don’t let your problems become your customer’s problems or you’ll end up in a negative spiral. Think about enjoying the positivity of helping people.

How not to approach people

How Not To Approach People:

The five monsters of customer service

Be aware of your body language and don’t become one of the five monsters of customer service. Be available and open, don’t put barriers of any kind between you and visitors. Have a genuine smile, be natural and stay alert.



Oh you're legendary all right...

Make a great first impression, remember your STANCE. Smile, have a friendly Tone, your Appearance is important, as is using the customer’s Name. Always be Customer Focussed and maintain Eye-Contact so they are engaged and feel valued.


– Smile
– Tone
– Appearance
– Name
– Customer focussed
– Eye contact

If looks could kill

If Looks Could Kill:

The power of behaviour

How behaviour can be used to improve customers’ attitudes, and create new sales opportunities. This spoof detective film stars Dawn French and was written by behavioural expert Dr Peter Honey.

Email and web chat

Email And Web Chat:

Whaddup Custie?

When emailing and in webchat, you can be more informal that you might in a letter, but don’t take it too far. Check your emails, and respond promptly to those requesting action. Above all, be polite and don’t email when angry!

Social media and the customer

Social Media And The Customer:

*unamused face*

When using social media, empathise with customers publically, but take one-to-one discussions away from the public eye. Remember you represent the company, and don’t over promise.

Social media and you

Social Media And You:


On social media you’re never fully off duty. Make sure you maintain high personal standards. Don’t be critical of the company, colleagues or customers.

Dealing with objections

Dealing With Objections:

I thought this was a slam dunk?

When dealing with customer’s objections, don’t panic – play it cool. Don’t focus on the objection – instead, put it in perspective, or outweigh it with compensating factors.

Discovering their needs

Discovering Their Needs:

I wonder why he didn't buy any undercoat?

Discover the customer’s need. Even they might not be sure what it is. Explore with open questions and discover more about them. Listen and check the facts, you may discover more… and watch out for clues – there might be more services or products you can offer them.



I remember a couple buying the very same bed

Share positive stories from your customers to bring your products or services to life.

Behaviour breeds behaviour

Behaviour Breeds Behaviour:

I think I'm getting dizzy

People mirror the behaviour of others. Your behaviour will affect how others behave, for good or bad, so be aware of what you’re doing and how you’re doing it.


Behaviour can help or hinder

Behaviour Can Help Or Hinder:

Ooh that stings!

Your behaviour can help or hinder a transaction. Think about your verbal behaviour: don’t dominate conversation, or bully, and listen actively. Think about your visual behaviour: is your body language open and personable? Keep these two things in check for smoother, more pleasant transactions.

Choosing your behaviour

Choosing Your Behaviour:

I should put you in the crime section!

Behaviour is variable. Choosing the right kind at the moment of truth is critical. It isn’t difficult, it’s about awareness and discipline.

Asking the right questions

Asking The Right Questions:

It's the pen that's defective, not me!

When dealing with complaints, ask open questions to understand the issue and closed questions to confirm a resolution. Don’t let your emotions control you, be polite and remain positive.

Getting to a solution

Getting To A Solution:

Milan? Why is it in Milan?

Involve the customer in the solution. Ask them what their preferred solution would be, and offer them options.

Listening to the customer

Listening To The Customer:

Don't blame me, mate. You bought it.

When dealing with a complaint, listen and empathise, don’t sympathise. Allow the customer to talk – don’t get defensive, and summarise your understanding before offering solutions.


Our videos and e-learning courses come with handy infographics and workshop guides. Take a look at an example of the infographics from the Customer Service Essentials…

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