Chapter 4: Clients and Customers



In this chapter, you will

  • identify common Canadian workplace interactions and behaviours
  • identify appropriate body language and eye contact in casual group interactions
  • practise dealing with complaints
  • write a formal workplace email.


Watch this chapter’s video. You will watch an interaction among some employees at CDN Malls. Before watching the video, think about the importance of clients and customers to a business.


  • how important clients and customers are to a business
  • how important good service is to clients and customers
  • a time when you received good customer service; explain how you felt
  • a time when you felt you were not treated well as a client or a customer; explain what effect this had on your opinions about the business.

While watching the video, think about the questions below. Write down information that you think is important.

  • Who are the people?
  • What are they discussing?
  • What do you notice about how the people are interacting? Think about whether the conversation is formal or informal. Consider their body language and eye contact. Think about how the context of the conversation affects their level of formality.

Focus questions

Sandy, your Workplace Mentor

Hi! I am Sandy, your Workplace Mentor. Throughout this book, I will give you important pointers to help you understand the general environment in many workplaces in Canada.

4.1 Point to focus on:

  1. Zero-tolerance policy
  2. Non-verbal behaviour

In the video, you watched an interaction among some employees at CDN Malls.


Discuss the following:

  1. Who are the people in the video?
  2. What are they talking about?
  3. What is a zero-tolerance policy? What is the zero-tolerance policy Sima is referring to?
  4. Does CDN Malls value its customers? How do you know?
  5. Does CDN Malls value its employees? How do you know?
  6. What do you notice about the language the people in the video use when they interact? How formal/informal is it? Why?
  7. What would be appropriate behaviour in the following situations?


  • Read the descriptions of behaviour below.

Very casual

Completely relaxed; not considering audience,  context, tone, language, body language, and facial expressions
Casual Relaxed but considering audience, context, tone, language, body language, and facial expressions


Looking relaxed but consciously considering audience, context, tone, and language; demonstrating seriousness in body language and facial expressions
  • Check the appropriate behaviour for each situation in the chart below.
Situations Very casual Casual Serious
You are in the lunchroom at work. You and your co-workers are discussing last night’s hockey game.
You are making small talk with a group of colleagues before a meeting.
You are at a meeting in the workplace.
You are making small talk with a customer or a client.
You are talking to a customer or a client about a concern he/she has.
  • Discuss your answers. In what situations do you demonstrate the above behaviours in your culture?


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