Course Description

Do associates lack the skills needed to respond effectively to dissatisfied customers?

Do service providers not engage customers to encourage expression of issues and concerns? 

Organizations that deliver superior customer service build customer loyalty and stay ahead of the competition. Sometimes though, an interaction takes a turn for the worse, and dissatisfied customers can mean lost business for service providers. 

Course Outline

This course equips learners with an important skill set essential to providing high-quality customer service. These skills will help service providers turn upset customers into satisfied, loyal ones. 

Walkers and Talkers: Learners explore the impact dissatisfied customers have on a business. Through an activity, they are introduced to two different types of dissatisfied customers--walkers and talkers. Participants discuss how important it is to encourage walkers to talk about their problems so they can be resolved. 

HEAT Model: Participants learn how Key Principles can be used to draw out a walker. A self-assessment helps learners identify their strengths and develop areas when responding to dissatisfied customers. They also learn how the skill set Hear them out, Empathize, Apologize, and Take responsibility for action helps them meet both the personal and the practical needs of the customer. 

HEAT Positive Model Video and Best Practices: Participants watch a video in which a customer service provider effectively uses HEAT when interacting with a dissatisfied customer. Learners are introduced to the best practices for taking the HEAT. Through an activity, they begin exploring these best practices. 

Hot Spots: Learners participate in a video-based activity in which they act as a consultant to video characters facing dissatisfied customers. Learners take part in an activity in which they take the HEAT in a variety of scenarios. 

Skill Practice and Action Planning: Learners participate in a skill practice and use the HEAT model to respond to a dissatisfied customer. They also discuss how being a service provider can be stressful and learn techniques to manage the stress. Learners complete an action planner, using it to explore how they will use the HEAT model back in their workplace. 

Talk or Walk? Challenge and Close: Learners participate in the game "Talk or Walk? Challenge" to review key learning points and techniques from the session. Working in two teams, they are given a challenge and decide whether to accept it (talk) or pass (walk) in order to accumulate points. 

Learner Outcomes

At the end of this training program, the learner will be able to:

  • Provide excellent service that meets or exceeds their customers’ expectations.
  • Recognize a dissatisfied customer and clarify the problem.
  • Respond to challenging customer service situations in ways that address their customers’ needs.
  • Have a positive impact on their organization’s business results by retaining valuable external customers and building strong relationships with internal customers.


Learn about more business skills topics here


It is suggested that participants complete Communicating for Leadership Success prior to taking this course. 

Accrediting Associations

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