Task A – Know the rules of communication
and customer service
Describe procedures for greeting customers and
identifying customers and closing and recording customer contact
When greeting a customer,
it is very important to remember that first impression counts. You only have
a few seconds to make your lasting impression. Your first impression can be
something as little as, body language, clothing and even your tone of voice.
So when meeting a customer for the
first time or even in an established customer advisory role it is imperative
1. Good Eye Contact – Eye contact is
the first form of nonverbal communication you can send others. Not enough eye
contact and customers may get the impression you are uninterested and too
much eye contact may seem inappropriate and can make a situation
2. Great Smile – A smile is
more than an expression. It communicates your thoughts it can influence
people’s perception of a company and inevitable how they see you.
3. Great Opener – In person or over
the phone, a customer’s attention are typically less than 5 seconds. This
means you have to maximise every word and make everything count. To grab the
customers attention immediately without giving a pushy impression is the key
the engaging customers.
In regards to recording customer
contact it is important to only record the necessary details and to ensure
that the correct DPA are followed.
When closing the customer, it is
important to make sure that the customer leaves still happy with the service
you have given. You must ensure the customer is aware of facts and is not
leaving the conversation unaware of any terms and conditions. DS1
Describe the regulatory requirements for dealing with
The Consumer Contracts Regulations – which came into force on 13 June 2014 to- give
customers rights when shopping online, so you’re covered if things go wrong.
This Act gives customers the option to cancel any order for goods sold at a
distance. The 14 Days start from the day they are received. However for a
service sales this starts at point of sale. This is relevant to Sage as one
of the main services we offer is a subscription service. This means that a
customer has the right to cancel their subscription within 14 days of the
start date. However during this time they are still liable for the charges of
the subscription during this time.
Contrary to the Subscription
cancelation – Sage also offers perpetual license agreements through physical
Disc downloads which are exempt from this 14 Day rule if the Seal on the
Software has been broken.
The Consumer Credit Act 1974 (amended in 2006) – This act regulates credit card purchases but
also gives you protection when you enter into a loan or hire agreement. It
also gives you the right to a cooling off period. This act ensures that consumers should be provided with relevant
information before they enter into a credit agreement. As well as this The
consumer Credit Act requires companies to asses consumers before granting
credit or significantly increasing the amount of credit available.
This is relevant in Sage as
each customer is assessed based on their credit score to determine on what
method of payment will be accepted, based on the relevance of the results of
this assessment. For example – 28 Days
invoice or Cash on order .
Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 – The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading
Regulations protects consumers from unfair or misleading trading practices
and ban misleading omissions and aggressive sales tactics. This includes
misleading offers, aggressive sales techniques and using any of the black
list of banned practices. These could be:
Bait Advertising – Luring consumers with
advertising around special process when the trader knows that is likely that
they won’t be able to honour this.
Bait and Switch – when a trader promotes one product
with the intention to sell another.
Limited offers – When a trader falsely advertises
that a product will only be available for a a short time in order to elicit
immediate sales and to remove the opportunity for consumers to take time to
think about the purchase
False free orders
– This is when a consumer describes a product or service as free, if
the consumer has to anything other then the unavoidable costs.
Pressure selling – Creating a strong impression
that acts like a hold over the customer, giving then the impression that the
consumer cannot leave until the contract has been agreed.
Aggressive doorstop selling – Conducting home
visits to the consumer ignoring requests to stop or to leave.
Within Sage, as a business it takes
appropriate steps to ensure that all sales agents are given the appropriate
sales training to ensure that this act and others are not compromised
The Data Protection Act – Gives you the right to know what
information companies hold on you and how they can use it. It also sets out
rules about the way companies handle your personal data.DS2 This Act also ensures that companies must take
appropriate steps to ensure that your Data is held securely. This do this by
setting up passwords and Data Checks to ensure that information is only given
out to people with appropriate permissions. For Example within Sage, There is
specific rules when taking or making outbound calls.
You must ensure
that the customer knows and agrees to the call being monitored and recorded
The customer must
supply the FULL company name – including any abbreviation
Must supple the
First line of the Address and Post code
Must be named as a
contact on the account or have full details of who would be.
On outbound calls –
You must ensure
that the customer knows and agrees to the call being monitored and recorded
The customer must
supply the company name – However is
the customer supplies you with majority of the name, Sage can confirm the remaining
abbreviations of the name to check that we have details correct.
Must CONFIRM the First line of the Address
and Post code
Must be named as a
contact on the account or have full details of who would be.
Task B – Know how to communicate with internal
or external customers in written or electronic form
Describe how to identify when a customer would
benefit from written or electronic communication
on the situation when communicating with a customer it may be more appropriate
or beneficial to discuss using electronic communication. Within Sage we have
many different ways for a customer to get in touch with us.
Chat – This is where a customer can log on to their own account within the
Sage website to speak directly with one of the Sage Agents. This method
allows the customer to spend time and read through the answers given. This
way is great for Speed – Communicating by chat is
almost instantaneous, which means less time for the customer to wait for
response or for information to be sent over.
Customers can also Email into sage with
issues. This is a great way to build relationships with agents as they can
email directly to a agent for a quick response. They can do this from
anywhere in the world meaning you have no geographic barrier – Customers can be accessed from any
location meaning customers can choose to shop or use services anywhere in the
world. Email can help increase rapport with customers as some customers are
unlikely to physically contact a store or company whether that be in person
or over the phone. It also allows a customer to retain the information they
have been given
As well as inbound E-Mails Sage can also send
specific marketing to consumers. We are able to target our marketing meaning customers will get offers and
promotions that will benefit or be of interest to them
also offer Webinars for customers to take part in training and conferences.
This improves efficiency and retention – Webinars allows customers to take
part in training from their own location meaning that it is more convenient
and brings training to them.
benefit for Sage using Electronic communication Lower Costs – Sending physical mail letters can be expensive where Email is virtually
free of charge to the business and the Customer. DS3
the importance of adhering to guidelines for written or electronic
It is important for
Staff to follow the correct policy and guidelines for written and electronic
to keep to the company branding and portraying the business image. For example,
using the wring style of text may not give a consistent image of the company
and create confusion within for the customer.
Also a company guidelines might be to proof
read text to unsure that there are no spelling mistakes which in turn again
can give the unappropriated message.
It is also important to follow set guidelines
because if a letter or an Email is off topic and does not give the correct
information a customer can use this information against the company because
they have written evidence meaning the company could be liable and may have
to honour deals or offers that wouldn’t normally apply.
Following guidelines for written
communication allows the company to send a consistent message to the customer
to ensure that the message that has been sent is the same within all
communications. Businesses must follow particular acts when selling and communicating
with consumers so it is important to follow guidelines so that no acts are
broke and laws are followed and no illegal practices are committed. DS4
Describe how the language used in written or
electronic communication affects customers’ attitude
It is important to
maintain the appropriate and tone and language structure for the said
For example when needed to portray a professional image it is important to
keep to a professional tone, not using slang and word abbreviations. It is
also important to use correct grammar and not to use local and dialect slang.
If trying to portray a professional image and you don’t follow a professional
standard the customers impression may become tainted and take you either less
seriously or less respected.
This can intern anger the customer and
potentially make a situation worse. It is important to match the customer’s language
whilst still maintaining a professional standard. Depending on the type of
communication is to how you would respond. For Example a conversation through
web chat and Social media might be a lot more casual compared to a Formal
letter on accounts and Payroll. DS5
messages will be portrayed in particular
ways. For Example within Sage – When a customer joins Sage and
receives the first contract or welcome letter: This will be written in a very
positive way, using positive language and giving a feel good moment for the
customer. However when sending a debt collection letter Sage will use more
informed language , giving more strength to words and highlighting important
sending written or electronic communications to customers it can either give
a positive or negative impression towards this customer. For example as
mentioned if you are sending a reminder for an overdue bill to a customer and
your first letter is very Direct, discussing legal implications immediately and
in essence being slightly forceful – The customer may become upset by this
and therefore have a negative impression. This In turn can lead to negative reviews
and the customer leaving the service. However if in the same situation your language
was less formal, empathetic and understand
the customer is more likely to have a better impression and could experience a
more positive interaction and lead to positive reviews and generate more customers,
Describe the importance of proof-reading before
sending written or electronic communications
Proof reading gives you a chance to check your work and
make sure that you have included everything in that you needed to say – For Example
Prices and terms and conditions. Without proof reading through your document
may mean that you have not included all the correct terms and conditions, meaning
the customer be agreeing to something that they are not fully aware of. This
could be conflict to Consumer Protection from
Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.
It also gives you an opportunity to check
for spelling and grammar errors, without doing this could give an
unprofessional view of the company leaving a bad taste in the customer’s
mouth. Checking for spelling and correct grammar is a huge important part of
written and electronic communication as without checking this it could lead
to potentially damaging your reputation as a business. If you have chosen
written or electronic communication it you’re a representation of your business
so it’s important to ensure that you follow all the correct steps to make a
clear positive image. With social media any miss spelling, grammar errors or unintentional
phrases could be shared online damaging your business.
Proof reading shows that
you take pride in your work and shows the customer that you are professional.
Whenever you send any communication from your work place you are representing
the company so it is important to keep the standard set by the company. DS6 In
Sage we must only send template emails to ensure that consistency is followed
and the company image is respected.
Task C – understand
how to communicate verbally and in written or electronic form with customers
Explain the need for procedures and guidelines for
verbal and written communications
It is important for a
company to have policy’s and guidelines in place for Verbal communications make
sure that the company standards are constantly been met and that the
information is consistent and in line with laws and legislations.
For Example when calling a customer compliance and data protection must be
Ensure you are speaking to the correct person
so that personal data is not given out to unauthorised parties.
Call recording statement – Customers must be
given notification and choice to take part in a call that may be recorded.
Failing to do so could lead to legal implications for the company.
Also it is important for guidelines to be in
place when you have verbal communications is to make sure that the correct
tone and level of company image is being portrayed correctly either through
face to face or on the phone. For example – When talking to a customer it is
important to present yourself in professional manor keeping to the company
In regards to Email and written policy it is
just as important to ensure that company brand is still followed as whenever
you send a written communication the paper trail is available and can be used
to contradict anything that you may say to deviate away from policy or brand.
As well as company impression Email policies are in place to protect clients
and the company – For Example Emails with Virus can attack a company CRM,
losing data to hackers and other security alerts. DS7
Explain how to adapt the use of language to meet
It is important to mirror match a customer’s
style of language – for example if
they are communicating very formally, it is important to match that style of
communication, if this is not done the customer can be left feeling
uncomfortable and will restrict the
rapport that can be built up.
Adapting the way you communicate with a customer
helps the customer feel relaxed and relatable to yourself. It also installs
confidence into the customer that you are taking to them on the same level.
As well as matching a customer’s language it is
important to recognise barriers that would restrict conversation. For example
if a customer does not speak fluent English you may need to slow down your
speech and pronounce each work correctly. Using broken English and being
aware of accents and dialects. The benefit to the customer is that they are
more likely to stay and use your company as you have took the time to
establish conversation that you both can understand DS8
When working in Sage you speak to lots of
different groups of people, some with better technical knowledge then others.
When discussing this with customers it is important to be aware to what style
of technical discussion you would have. For example when dealing with a IT
Department for a large company you may be more inclined to use technical
terminology more freely whereas when dealing with small business owner that
doesn’t have a great technical knowledge you may wish to take more time and
explain the situation more and explain what you are doing so that customer
feels more involved and aware to what is happening.
the strengths and weaknesses of verbal and written communication
Strengths of verbal –
The benefit of verbal communication is that a conversation can flow smoothly,
questions can be answered quickly and generally gives more of a human
connection. Verbal communication can also be tailored to the customer much
easier then written
Weakness of Verbal – A Negative of verbal communication is that customers may
take longer to get responses from that company. Customers will then either
need to contact you again verbally or respond by letter/email. Verbal
communication has more opportunities to stray from policy and sometimes lead
to the incorrect information been given.
Strengths of Written
– This can be easier for the customer to understand as they can take their
time to read and asses the information. They can also seek advice either online
or with friends to understand the communication better. Written confirmation
will often contain more facts and intern the customers can feel more informed
and feel stronger about a decision they make.
Weakness of Written – Sometimes written confirmation can be a
slow process and simple answers can take longer to get rather than a simple
conversation. As well as this written communication don’t display body
communication and facial expression
therefore the communication can sometimes feel a little robotic and therefore
is less memorable and less personal DS9
a great start to this question. You have mentioned some key areas to greeting a
customer, identifying a customer and recording a customer’s contact.
Its great to see you thinking about not breaking the
DPA when handling customers.
you have mentioned several acts in this section.
Can you describe each of the acts and how you must
abide by them when dealing with customers, not just define them.
Sales of good act.
some great information in this section identifying how a customer would benefit
from different forms of communication.
Consider electronic communication such as, emails,
texts, video conferencing, social media etc.
you have mentioned some good information in this section about professionalism
and accuracy of information which is excellent.
What else could we add?
Not breaking any laws?
some good information on how the language used affect customers attitude, think
about both positives and negatives for this section and see if we can come up
this is good, you have mentioned several things to why we proof read. I like
the fact that you have included to check details and not just spelling and
Answer all customer queries/questions
this is an excellent start to this section. You have mentioned some key bit of
information to why we need producers and guidelines.
Some great information on Mirror Matching and the benefit this has on a
customer. How else can we adapt the language, think about technical
terminology, different forms of communication, disabilities?
some good strengths and weaknesses mentioned this section. Is there any more
that we can add?