Chapter 4: Clients and Customers

22 Reading

Ray, your Strategy Coach

Hi! I’m Ray, your Strategy Coach. I will give you some important tips to help you build your learning strategies.

4.1 Reading in detail and checking your understanding

Before you read

Discuss the following questions to help you prepare for the reading.

  1. Look at the title of the reading text that follows. What do you think this reading will be about?
  2. Look at the headings. What information do you think you will read about in this text?
  3. Why does CDN Malls need a process to handle customer complaints?


Read the following text, paying attention to the strategies suggested for dealing with customer complaints.

Handling customer complaints, page 1 Handling customer complaints, page 2 Handling customer complaints, page 3

After you read


  1. What is this reading text about?

a) Customers who complain too much

b) The customer complaints database

c) The way to handle customer complaints

  1. Customer complaints

a) help CDN Malls improve

b) are usually impossible to deal with

c) should always be referred to someone else

  1. Why do staff need to follow the five-step process listed in the text when handling customer complaints?

a) To enter the necessary information in the complaints database

b) To deal with customer complaints professionally

c) To make sure that management will follow up on the complaint

  1. What do customers expect when they make a complaint?

a) That they are being listened to

b) That some action will be taken

c) Both a and b

  1. Give an example from the text of a closed posture.


  1. According to this text, the most important thing when handling complaints is

a) finding an immediate solution

b) expressing a sincere apology

c) asking for the help of a supervisor

  1. Reassuring statements can

a) calm customers by making them feel that you are on their side

b) show customers that you want their input

c) help customers understand the CDN Malls complaint process

  1. Why does CDN Malls have a complaints database?

a) So management can check and follow up on complaints

b) So customers can feel that something is being done

c) So staff can get help from management immediately

  1. Why is it important to summarize the customer’s complaint?

a) To make sure you got all the facts

b) To share it with others

c) To calm the customer down



  1. Find the following words in the text “Handling Customer Complaints.” Use your own words to describe them. Talk about their meaning in the reading.

a) confirm (Point 1)

b) follow up (Point 3)

c) maintain (Point 1)

  1. Fill in the sentences with suitable words from the list in the box.
handle apologized regret confirm
sincere sympathize complaints hostility

a) The team could not agree on a solution, and they started to argue. There was a lot of              at the meeting.

b) She was not sure how to              the complaint, so she forwarded it to the manager.

c) When the store closed early for no reason, there were a lot of              from customers.

d) I am glad that you               to that person for the mistake we made.

e) She felt very sorry about the incident, and it was clear that her apology was            

f) Please             the information with the person on the phone so we know it is correct..

g) We              to inform you that we are no longer offering the discount.

h) It is important to             with customers when they have complaints.

  1. Match each situation to the appropriate vocabulary phrase below.

Sympathize with customers

Apologize for inconvenience

Confirm your understanding

Handle a complaint effectively

Situations Vocabulary phrase
a) An angry customer was shouting at the Guest Services Desk. When the customer left, he was speaking in a normal voice and thanked Paul.
b) Raja told the customer that he would also be frustrated if the elevator wasn’t working.
c) Sima had a conversation with Raja about next week’s schedule. Later, she sent Raja an email with the list of shifts he requested. She asked Raja to read the information and tell her if it was correct.
d) Susan arrived late to a management meeting. She didn’t want to interrupt the speaker, so she waited until the end of the meeting to say sorry for being late.


Some words in English are used as both nouns (person, place, or thing) and verbs (action words). The spelling is the same, but the meanings are different, depending on how the words are used in the sentence.

Part 1

Here are three words from the text. Read the words and their definitions. Discuss which definitions match the way the words are used in the text.

Noun: 1) a difficult situation 2) a dose of an addictive substance
Verb 1) to deal with or correct a problem 2) to attach something so it cannot move
Noun: 1) a topic that is discussed 2) a version of a newspaper or magazine
Verb 1) to announce something publicly 2) to give or supply something to someone
Noun: 1) a particular space or area 2) a portion or amount of space available to someone
Verb: 1) to put something in a particular place 2) to find employment or a home for something

Part 2

Find two words in the introductory paragraph of the text that have the same spelling for both the noun and the verb but can have different meanings. Write them here:



Use the dictionary. Write one definition for the noun form and one definition for the verb form of each of the two words.

Use the words below in sentences of your own. Use them in the form specified.

issue (noun) fix (verb) place (noun) handle (verb) experience (noun)


Refer to the reading “Handling Customer Complaints” and do the following:

  • Identify and explain the steps that employees at CDN Malls follow when a customer has a complaint.
  • Discuss why employees need to understand and follow processes in the workplace.

Reading progress check

Construction can cause customer frustration and inconvenience. To minimize this, it is important that CDN Malls communicates with customers about any upcoming construction. Communication should be clear, easily available, and answer as many potential customer questions as possible.

Here is a construction notice for customers. Before you begin reading the notice, read the questions in the Comprehension section so you know what information to read for. Then read the construction notice and answer the comprehension questions that follow.

Construction notice, page 1 Construction notice, page 2


Answer the following questions:

  1. This document is specifically for

a) CDN Malls’ customers

b) CDN Malls’ staff

c) CDN Malls’ tenants

  1. Which one of these statements is a fact?

a) Construction will be complete in January next year.

b) The East Parkade will remain open during construction.

c) During construction, the parkade will only be resurfaced.

  1. Which one of the following statements is true?

a) Traffic cannot enter from 14th Street, if coming from the west.

b) It is better to enter from 9th and 11th Streets, if coming from the west.

c) Entry is possible only from 9th and 11th Streets, if coming from the west.

  1. Customers can email Susan Granger when

a) they want further information about the construction

b) they have concerns about the construction

c) both a and b

  1. To make this notice more helpful for customers, CDN Malls could add

a) a photo of Susan Granger

b) a drawing of what the parkade will look like after construction

c) a map to direct customers


What do the following words mean? Match each word with the correct meaning.

Word Meaning
a) considerate have an effect or influence
b) remain important
c) impact thinks about others and is careful not to inconvenience others
d) unaffected showing no changes
e) valued continue to be the same; to stay
f) concern worry; anxiety



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