Client Facing Skills

Duration:

1 day

Overview

The aim of this programme is to ensure that staff respond to a client’s needs in a professional and company focused manner, whilst still appreciating that each client will have their own view on “excellent client contact” actually involves.

The workshop encourages the group to think about and understand what drives the behaviours of others and how this translates in to rewarding and mutually beneficial interactions between staff and clients.

This course provides tools, techniques and practice for all those who need to make significant improvements in their communication skills and ensure the human element is taken in to consideration in all areas of client contact.

Who will the course benefit?

Anyone who wishes to improve their client facing skills in face to face meetings, telephone conversations or via e-mail.

Course Objectives

This course will enable delegates to:

  • Understand what client service really means

  • Understand how we perceive our clients and how that affects our behaviour towards them

  • Choose from a variety of strategies in order to handle different behaviours

  • Understand different communication styles and the drivers behind those styles.

  • Build positive client relationships

  • Control conversations in such a way that the client feels like they have had a conversation with a “real” person!

  • Improve their listening skills

  • Create rapport with people to remove communication barriers.

  • Be aware of the importance of body language, and understand these non-verbal signals

  • Recognise conflict in themselves and others and communicate appropriately in that situation.

Course Content

Meet delegates

  • Introduction to the trainer and topics for the day.

  • After the course administration, delegates are invited to introduce themselves to the whole group and set objectives for the day.

Impact and behaviour

A lively session based around a couple of exercises which demonstrate the impact we have on others including our clients:

  • Exploring the difference between impact and behaviour

  • Exploring the key elements to providing effective feedback

  • Identifying the impact participants want to have with their clients

  • Identifying the elements of the voice and how small changes in the voice can be used to create a variety of different impressions

  • Feedback from all on how to use the voice to create the right impression

Controlling conversations

A session of self learning from practical roleplay situations based on the skill of taking control of conversations. Includes an explanation of the conversation cycle, questioning techniques and an exercise on listening skills.

  • Introduction to the four stages of the conversation cycle – Inform, Invite, Listen, Acknowledge

  • Defining “Inform” and how it’s used to relay information, build client confidence, show next steps and avoid being side tracked.

  • Demonstrating the frustration for clients when operators leave gaps in the conversation and the negative perceptions that can be created.

  • Defining “Invite” and how it’s used to gather information. How to use different types of questions to gather different types of information. How to “funnel” your questions. The danger of using many closed questions.

  • Defining “Listen” and exploring the barriers to listening.

  • Exercise to show how difficult it can be to listen accurately, even to very short pieces of information.

  • Feedback on difficulties completing the exercise.

  • How to improve listening skills relating back to the behaviours observed during the exercise

  • Defining “Acknowledge” and how it’s used to keep conversations flowing and the danger of using inappropriate acknowledgements!

  • How the conversation cycle is often only used in part in the workplace and the negative effect this has on interactions.

  • Exercise – controlling conversations

  • Discussion with the group on how the use of the conversation cycle creates shorter, more harmonious interactions with clients and how this can improve the feedback in client satisfaction surveys.

Rapport building

Rapport building techniques allow delegates to become more aware of a client’s style and manner. A couple of exercises are included to give feedback on individual rapport building skills.

  • Gather delegates’ thoughts on how body language, the voice and the words make up the different parts of a message.

  • Defining rapport building

  • How to build rapport over the phone using different elements of the voice

  • Discussion and workshop on how to create rapport when using emails, including language patterns, formatting, salutations and signatures.

  • Exercise on using one strong language pattern to create rapport in emails.

Dealing with difficult clients

This session examines why some clients are difficult and what they expect. It gives tips on how to handle them with proven methods. The session includes role play exercises designed to encourage delegates to use all of the skills they have learnt on the course. They will use the conversation cycle, build rapport, positive words and effective questioning techniques to resolve a client’s complaint in a professional and assertive style.

  • Why clients can be difficult

  • Examining what clients really want when they complain

  • Understanding the dangers of apologising early in a conversation

  • How to use a proven technique to calm angry clients and create rapport with them

  • Creating the right opening line

  • Creating a list of words that can be used to inspire confidence with clients and an exploration of the words and phrases that irritate us all!

  • How these phrases can be used when you’re unable to answer a client’s questions.

  • Explore the use of assertive behaviours to take control of client complaints.

  • A final roleplay which enables delegates to calm an angry client and go onto resolve their issues using all of the techniques covered during the day.

End of programme

Delegates to spend time in pairs creating an action list of points they will change upon their return to work.

Course is then closed with a summary and a final opportunity for questions and feedback.

Logistics

Timings: This is a 1 day programme running from 9am to 5pm.

Number of participants: We can accommodate a maximum of 10 participants

Cybèle Team: 1 trainer for the day

Programme materials: Will be supplied by Cybèle including joining instructions for distribution in advance of the programme.

Equipment needed: Training room large enough to house 10 people comfortably with space for smaller group work and room to move around. Also a flipchart & paper; projector & screen please.