Develop Essential Customer Service Skills
Get useful tips and strategies for working effectively with customers.
By completing this program, you will:
- Identify techniques to communicate successfully with customers.
- Identify strategies to better handle demanding or difficult customers.
- Demonstrate your dedication to lifelong learning and professional development.
- Fulfill one of four mandatory training requirements for the state's Administrative Assistant Traineeship.
You can expect to enhance your job-based skills in the Interpersonal and Customer Relations workforce development competency.
Explore all of the courses you'll take in this program. You'll find the course name, a description, and the length of time it will take to complete each course below. We recommend you complete the courses in the order they appear below.
Communicating Effectively with Customers (0.5 Hours)
Effectively communicating with customers is essential to the success of any customer-oriented business. Adapting to the different communication styles and emotions of customers will help you build customer relationships through better customer conversations. Improving conversations with customers enables an efficient, high-quality client service (CS). This course explains how to adapt to the different communication types and identify the common emotions that customers experience when contacting a support center. It also explains how to adapt your writing skills to communicate through e-mail and to document incidents.
Controlling Conflict, Stress, and Time in a Customer Service Environment (0.5 Hours)
Working at a customer support center or help desk environment can be challenging. Customers can sometimes be demanding and unreasonable, leading to conflict and stress. The customer service representative (CSR) who aims for service excellence can improve customer relationships by understanding the emotional needs of each customer and adapting to how they communicate. In this course, you'll learn how to identify and resolve conflict, negotiate with customers, and develop strategies to better manage time and stress, and you'll explore how a positive approach and attitude can benefit client service (CS).
Dealing with Customer Service Incidents and Complaints (0.5 Hours)
Failing to realize the importance of customer service and effective complaint handling leads to increasingly dissatisfied customers. Organizations must be able to address the needs of customers in an effective manner to succeed. This course is intended to show the proper procedures and processes needed to provide an efficient client service (CS). It covers how to improve customer relationships to reduce conflict and enable service excellence. You'll also learn how to provide accurate documentation for incident reporting.
Polishing Your Skills for Excellent Customer Service (0.4 Hours)
As a customer service representative (CSR), creating a support culture that focuses on your customers' needs is key. In this course, you'll learn how to enhance your interactions with customers to project service excellence. You'll explore how to establish effective customer relationships that involve customers in problem-solving. Finally, you'll discover how to improve communication for better client service (CS) in a cross-cultural customer support center or help desk environment.
Rapport Building in Customer Service (0.5 Hours)
Strong customer relationships are key to projecting service excellence. Building rapport is essential and requires knowing your customers, understanding their situations, and providing an empathetic ear for them to voice their concerns. In this course, you'll learn how to improve client service (CS) by building rapport with customers. It covers paying close attention to customer needs, connecting with the customer, and being positive. You'll also learn how to empathize with customers by relating your own experiences, reflecting their emotions back to them, and normalizing their difficulties.
Providing On-Site Customer Service (0.5 Hours)
When you meet customers on their turf, your initial meeting forms the basis of their overall impression of you, your abilities, and your company. You can enhance customer relationships by improving the impressions you make in the field using a few tried-and-true techniques. In this course, you'll learn about guidelines and techniques for each stage of an on-site client service (CS) visit: preparation, arrival, service, wrap-up, and follow-up. You'll also learn how to project service excellence by making a good impression in the field through starting on a positive note, setting clear expectations, listening actively, and working to improve customer understanding.
Providing Telephone Customer Service (0.5 Hours)
When you're providing customer service over the phone, without face-to-face interaction, it can be challenging to establish the right customer relationships. There are many techniques that can help you consistently deliver service excellence over the telephone. In this course, you'll learn basic etiquette tips for answering, managing, and ending client service (CS) calls. You'll also learn how to make a good impression by listening, using questions to probe for more information, minding your tone, and empathizing with the customer. Finally, you'll learn ways of reflecting or adapting to your customer's style.
Providing Effective Internal Customer Service (0.5 Hours)
When you do things to help other people within your company do their jobs better, you are providing internal customer service. The quality of that service often has a huge impact on the overall quality of client service (CS) delivered to external customers. In this course, you'll learn about types of internal customers and how to identify internal customer relationships. You'll also learn about the importance of getting to know your internal customers, identifying their expectations of you, and taking action on those expectations. Finally, you'll learn guidelines for providing internal customer service excellence.
Facing Confrontation in Customer Service (0.4 Hours)
Achieving service excellence is very challenging when dealing with angry customers. By following a few simple techniques to avoid confrontation, you can manage difficult customer relationships and project a high-quality client service (CS). In this course, you'll learn about typical trouble spots in dealing with angry customers and guidelines for avoiding conflict. You'll also learn how to handle a customer complaint by defusing the tension, investigating the problem, and coming to an agreement on a solution.
Using Active Listening in Workplace Situations (0.9 Hours)
Active listening skills are used by professionals in a wide range of occupations to enhance their work. In this course, you'll learn listening skills that can help in the workplace and techniques for becoming an effective active listener.
Listening Even When It’s Difficult to Listen (0.5 Hours)
Successful people are generally excellent listeners. They’re able to give others their full attention so that they can understand their needs and ask the right questions, even in difficult or stressful situations. They can also use their listening skills effectively to communicate their own goals and to build strong relationships with others. In this course, you'll learn common misconceptions about listening, how to hone your listening skills, and what to do when you encounter roadblocks to actively listening. You’ll also learn how being receptive to what others are saying can go a long way to breaking down the barriers to clear communication.
Navigating Challenging Situations with Diplomacy and Tact (0.5 Hours)
You’ll likely face unpleasant situations or tasks at some point in your career. Communicating with diplomacy and tact in these situations can inspire confidence. In this course, you'll learn to navigate difficult conversations and situations. You'll also learn how to communicate a difficult message effectively, write diplomatic and tactful e-mails, and handle angry and manipulative coworkers.
Using Communication Strategies to Bridge Cultural Divides (0.5 Hours)
It takes time to build working relationships with people from other cultures, but it only takes a second to alienate them by inappropriately crossing cultural boundaries. That's why building relationships across cultures is so important in the current global business context, where you have to share objectives and working space with people with diverse cultural backgrounds. In this course, you will learn about dealing effectively with cultural diversity to improve cross cultural communication and build rapport. You'll also learn about the misunderstandings and behaviors related to a culture that can hinder good communication and ways to overcome them. Finally, you'll learn strategies for giving effective presentations to people from low- and high context cultures.
Want to learn more? Once you've completed all of the required courses, consider continuing your learning with the following optional activities. Unlike the required courses, you do not need to complete these to earn your certificate.
Digital Books and Videos
Discover a world of resources with the Empire KnowledgeBank (EKB) and Skillsoft eBook and Video Portal. Search EKBSS_TMPL20150123135209420 in SLMS. You'll gain access to the following free digital books and online videos, as well as thousands more! Get directions on using the EKB and Skillsoft eBook and Video Portal.
- 10 Steps to Successful Customer Service, by Maxine Kamin
- Mindfulness at Work - How to Avoid Stress, Achieve More, and Enjoy Life, by Dr. Stephen McKenzie
- Powerful Phrases for Effective Customer Service: Over 700 Ready-to-Use Phrases and Scripts That Really Get Results, by Renee Evenson
- Success Under Stress: Powerful Tools for Staying Calm, Confident, and Productive When the Pressure's On, by Sharon Melnick
- The Customer Service Survival Kit: What to Say to Defuse Even the Worst Customer Situations, by Richard S. Gallagher
These courses are offered by the Partnership and are open to all CSEA-represented NYS employees. Webinars can be taken from any computer with a connection to the internet. You can also view recordings of webinars.
- Addressing Conflict in Customer Relations (webinar)
- Customer Service
- Dealing with Stress (webinar)
- Emotional Intelligence in Customer Relations (webinar)
- Managing Stress in Customer Relations (webinar)
- Stress in the Workplace
- Conflict Resolution: Phone Skills, Canity Training (2:00)
- Customer Service Training: Conflict Resolution (58:20)
- Dealing with Angry Customers - Abusive Language (0:58)
- Dealing with Difficult Customers - Let Them Vent (1:20)
- Defusing Stress with Mindful Mojo, Angela & Dennis Buttimer- TEDxGeorgiaStateU (16:46)
- Empathise with Anxious Customers (1:22)
- Leading with Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace (3:38)
- Must Watch: How to Beat Call Center Stress! (5:26)
All CSEA-represented NYS employees are eligible to participate.
Management/Confidential NYS employees with an Empire KnowledgeBank (EKB) license are also eligible to participate. Contact your agency training officer for information on obtaining an EKB license.
Supervisory approval is not required for courses taken outside the normal workday. It may be possible for employees to take courses during working hours with supervisory approval.
How it Works
Register for the program anytime between now and February 10, 2025.
Take all of the required courses online in SLMS anytime from February 9, 2024, to February 11, 2025.
To earn a certificate, you must complete all 13 courses and achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher in each course by the program's end date of February 11, 2025.
To print your certificate, login to SLMS, go to the My Learning page, locate the appropriate certificate program, and select the Print Certificate button. The Print Certificate button will only be available if the status is Completed.
To participate, you must follow our two-step registration process. The first step varies for CSEA-represented NYS employees and Management/Confidential NYS employees.
CSEA-represented NYS employees: Apply for a Partnership Online Learning License in the Statewide Learning Management System. Search P_OL_Program in SLMS. Please allow up to five business days for license approval.
NYS Management/Confidential Employees: Contact your agency training director to obtain an Empire KnowledgeBank license if you don't have one already.
Once you have an active license, you can register for the program in SLMS. Search P_CS24 in SLMS.
Technical Support and Questions
Please be sure you're using Google Chrome to access SLMS. If you don't have the internet browser on your computer now, submit a ticket to ITS to have it installed.
You will not be able to access any of the courses in the certificate program until you have followed the two-step registration process noted above. Please allow up to five business days for license approval. New state employees typically won’t get access to SLMS until after their first paycheck.
Still need help or have questions? Contact us at (800) 253-4332 or email [email protected].