NC 685: Customer Service for Retail

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Winter 2021
Credits: 0
Total Contact Hours: 24
Lecture Hours : 24
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 48
Transferable to CSU: No
Transferable to UC: No
Grading Method: Non-Credit Course

Catalog Course Description

This course introduces learners to the basics of customer service and communication in retail work environments. Students will learn how to communicate effectively and maintain positive interactions with customers in a variety of service formats. They will also learn the importance of product knowledge, sales trends, and customer needs. Open entry/exit. 24 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Develop appropriate communication skills for retail work environment.
  • Learn about and identify diverse communication styles and service formats.
  • Develop appropriate attitudes when servicing customers.
  • Identify and recognize miscommunications and develop the tools to de-escalate high intensity situations with customers.
  • Learn appropriate language for admitting mistakes, giving instructions, and asking follow-up questions in a polite manner.
  • Understand the needs and expectations of customers and the dynamics of interpersonal encounters.
  • Demonstrate improved communication skills with customers in a retail work environment.
  • Learn about customer motivations.
  • Understand the importance of product knowledge.
  • Demonstrate appropriate personal presentation, body language, and behavior.
  • Learn about up-selling and cross-selling.

Major Course Content

  1. Definition of and introduction to the importance of customer service
    1. Added value to company, business, or organization
    2. Customer relationship and loyalty
    3. Brand loyalty
  2. Introduction to the characteristics of good customer service and skills needed to meet or exceed customers’ expectations
    1. Rapid response times
    2. Customer feedback collection and analysis
    3. Customer self-service
    4. Omni-channel support
    5. Emotional intelligence
      1. The five features of emotional intelligence
    6. Creative problem-solving
    7. Clear and consistent communication
  3. Demonstration of appropriate attitudes and behaviors with all customers
  4. Introduction to communication skills: verbal and non-verbal, including tone of voice, body language, word choice, outer appearance, etc.
  5. Introduction to effective de-escalation of high-emotion customer interactions, i.e. using appropriate language for admitting mistakes, calming strategies, affirmation and awareness.
  6. Introduction to correct and incorrect ways and techniques for servicing customers
  7. Introduction to up-selling and cross-selling
  8. Understanding of the importance of product knowledge, sales trends, and effective use of data to sell goods and services
  9. Introduction to strategies for handling multiple customers and customer complaints
  10. Understanding of the 'lifetime value' of a customer
  11. Introduction to the 'deadly sins' of customer service

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

- Customer Service in the Retail Revolution - PDF:

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

- Respond to a real-life customer complaint in email format. - Write an observation report of a salesperson and customer interaction. Please include answers to the following questions: 1. What did the salesperson do right or wrong? 2. How did the customer respond? 3. What was the body language between both individuals? 4. Were there other customers being taken care of at the same time? 5. If so, how did the salesperson deal with them? 6. Did the salesperson have certain behaviors that may have benefited the sale or other positive outcome? Did you notice any negative behaviors?

Examples of Outside Assignments

Observe a salesperson and customer in any retail context. Take detailed notes and prepare them for an observation report.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture