Chapter 4: Clients and Customers

25 Speaking

Pronunciation

Task 1

address deserve minimize reviews
adequate exercise monitor rough
alternative feedback on the go see red
apologize follow up open posture sensor
assure frustrated patronage sincere
beyond your control gift certificate patrons stock up on
caution handle reassure stressful
challenges hassle rectify summarize
compensation hostility refer sympathize
complaints impact regret upgrade
concern input regretful woes
confirm log renovation
creatures of habit maintain resurface

Ray, your Strategy Coach

Task 2

Listen to the audio for Task 2. Pay attention to how the speaker groups words together. Mark any pauses you hear with a /.

Discuss the pauses you marked.

Practise reading along with the audio, pausing where the speaker pauses.

If a customer has taken the time to come to the Guest Services Desk to make a complaint, then he or she is really upset. The customer wants to know that you are interested in what he or she is saying and that you are actively listening to the complaint. Be polite and listen carefully. Make eye contact and maintain an open posture when speaking to the customer. Avoid crossing your arms as this can be seen as a sign of hostility. Confirm the information that the customer is giving you to make sure you have the facts.

Speaking practice

Listen and repeat

  1. Listen again to the audio for Listening 2. Listen to how Raja handles the complaint.
  2. Now read the script for Listening 2. Find the parts where Raja does the following and match each one with the correct letter.

a) Confirms that he has understood the situation

b) Apologizes

c) Sympathizes

d) Requests customer input

e) Summarizes the customer’s concerns

f) Explains what the next steps are

g) Thanks the customer for the feedback and business

  1. Discuss your answers.
  2. Listen again to the audio and repeat after the speakers.

Practice

You are an employee at CDN Malls. A customer, Dan Jansen, is complaining to you about an overflowing garbage container in the food court. Complete the following dialogue and practise it with a classmate or instructor. Remember to sound calm and use appropriate eye contact when you are the employee.

You: Good afternoon.
Dan Jansen: Hi. I’m Dan Jansen. I was just at the food court. The garbage container near Tasty Fries is full, and there’s some garbage on the floor.
You: (Confirm that you have understood the situation.)
Dan: Yes, that’s right.
You: (Apologize and sympathize.)
Dan: Thanks. Just thought I should point it out.
You: (Acknowledge what Dan said. Then explain what action you are going to take.)
Dan: Sounds good.
You: (Thank the customer for the feedback and business.)

Discussion

Discuss the following:

a) Why was it not necessary to request the customer’s input in this situation?

b) Why is it important to confirm what someone has said?

c) Why is it important to explain what action is going to be taken?

d) Why is the listener’s eye contact and body language important?

Speaking progress check

Rubric

Read the information in the rubric on the right. It explains what you need to focus on in this activity.

Complete the speaking task on the next page with your instructor or a classmate. Pay attention to the expectations in the rubric.

Chapter 4: Speaking Progress Check
  • Topic: Workplace communications
  • Task: Dealing with a complaint
Name:

Date:

Criteria Yes Almost No How can you improve?
Confirm that you understand the situation.
Apologize and sympathize with the “customer.”
Explain the action you are going to take.
Thank the customer for the feedback and business.
Maintain appropriate eye contact throughout the interaction.

Task

Context

You are an employee at CDN Malls. A customer is complaining to you about some ice cream that somebody has dropped on the floor. Handle the complaint appropriately. Follow the instructions below. Your instructor or a classmate will play the role of the customer.

Instructions

  1. Read the full dialogue and think of appropriate answers. Read the cues carefully. They will tell you what to do. You can make notes to help you. You have five minutes for this.
  2. Now role play the dialogue with your instructor or a classmate. Use appropriate eye contact and body language.
Customer: Good morning. I just wanted to inform you that somebody has dropped ice cream on the floor right in front of Heavenly Shoes.
You: •      Respond appropriately to the greeting.

•      Confirm that you have understood the situation.

Customer: Yes, that’s right.
You: •      Apologize and sympathize with the customer.
Customer: Thanks. Just thought I should point it out because it could be dangerous.
You: •      Acknowledge what the customer said.

•      Explain what action you are going to take.

•      Thank the customer for the feedback and business.

 

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