Practical Application: Assessing Face-to-Face Customer Service Skills

Instructor: Yuanxin (Amy) Yang Alcocer

Amy has a master's degree in secondary education and has taught math at a public charter high school.

Use the self-assessment questions in this practical application to assess face-to-face customer service skills. You will also find some tips on how to improve in this vital skill area.

Face-to-Face Customer Service Skills

In today's internet-connected world, face-to-face customer service skills are still crucial to success. Despite the convenience of the internet, people still go out to eat in restaurants, shop in brick-and-mortar stores, and visit entertainment venues like theaters and theme parks. At all these places, it is the face-to-face customer service skills of the employees that makes a particular location or brand stand out from the rest.

Self-Assessment Questions

Use this list of questions as a self-assessment tool to help improve in this skill. These questions are broken up into two sections: one for verbal communication skills and the other for non-verbal communication skills.

Verbal Skills

Verbal skills are the skills associated with any interpersonal communication in which spoken words are exchanged. You can reflect upon your own skills by reviewing the questions independently or by asking someone you trust about what they observe in your verbal communications. A 'yes' answer to the following questions signals proficiency in this area; a 'no' answer to any of the following questions signals room for improvement.

  • Is my spoken volume loud enough?
    • Spoken words need to be loud enough for the listener to hear and understand what is being spoken.
  • Is my tone of voice friendly and polite?
    • An angry or sarcastic tone usually doesn't sit well with customers and it shows disrespect on the part of the customer service representative. A friendly and polite tone of voice gains trust and respect from the customer.
  • Am I really listening to the customer?
    • Verbal communication isn't all about speaking. It's also about listening and responding in kind. If a customer feels that his or her thoughts are being overlooked as of no importance, he or she will be less likely to make a purchase. Listen carefully and respond in a way that shows that the customer's thoughts have been taken into consideration and that there is a solution to his or her mentioned problems if any.

Body Language Skills

While verbal communication is important, the non-verbal components of communication are equally, if not more, important. Body language can actually negate verbal communications. For example, if a person's body language is not genuine, then whatever that person says will not be considered truthful.

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