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Customer Service in Retail Business
Human Resources » Case Studies

Chrm Message From: Sandhya Chib Total Posts: 22 Join Date: 10/02/2007
Rank: Executive Post Date: 21/02/2008 09:19:12 Points: 110 Location: United States


We are about to run a workshop on Customer Service for shop assistants (our client is a chain of grocery stores).  We have up to now delivered customer service training to professionals in the banking and financial sector only. That's why any ideas about role plays, games or other activities relevant to the retail business will be of great help.

Thank you!

Chrm Message From: siddharth Total Posts: 33 Join Date: 10/02/2007  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 21/02/2008 09:20:12 Points: 165 Location: United States
A fishbowl exercise with mock shopping role play works wonderfully.
Chrm Message From: sumitha.walia Total Posts: 20 Join Date: 10/02/2007  
Rank: Executive Post Date: 21/02/2008 09:22:40 Points: 100 Location: United States

1) Get the group into a circle/semi-circle/horseshoe (depending on numbers, room size and layout etc.) - 3 minutes

2) Explain the purpose of the exercise as learning from each other as to how to handle customers - remind everyone that they are customers too. - 2 minutes

3) Get volunteers to recall a particularly difficult customer relations situation they faced - either very well or very badly. - 2 minutes

4) Get some others to volunteer who feel they are good at dealing with difficult customers. Option - the group points to people who are known to handle customers well - 3 minutes

5) Four people volunteer as observers - 2 each for customer and server, focussing on substantive and emotional aspects respectively. They are instructed to take notes while observing (silently!) - 3 minutes

6) The person who faced the difficult customer plays the role of that customer. The other tries to deal with him/her as best as possible. - 10 minutes

7) The rest of the group watches attentively but silently

8) The observers are given time to prepare their reports - 3 minutes

9) The episode is analysed, with remarks made in the following order
- Customer substantive - 2 minutes
- Server substantive - 2 minutes
- Customer emotional - 2 minutes
- Server emotional - 2 minutes
- Group members who are watching - 10 minutes
- Server Role Player - 2 minutes
- Customer Role Player - 2 minutes

10) Generic conclusions are drawn by the facilitator, correlating with relevant insights from theories of human psychology, salesmanship, marketing consumer behaviour, NLP and other relevant fields (This is the key!) - 10 minutes

11) The process is repeated with a new set of volunteers, subject to time constraints, mood of group and need to break fresh ground. Each round should take about 60 minutes to do well.

A completely different angle is to get servers to handle the customers using 4 approaches oriented towards self, organisation, product and customer respectively. The audience is not told about these styles and neither are the customers All vote on which style is more persuasive and appealing The styles are then revealed. Analysis is done linking to theory in the concerned fields. Details are available in the classic book: "Developing Motivation through Experiencing by Rao & Pareek"

Hope this helps

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