The Importance of Customer Service Skills

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  • Lesson Identification and TEKS Addressed

    Cluster : Hospitality and Tourism

    Course : Principles of Hospitality and Tourism

  • TEKS Student Expectations

    • (2) The student uses verbal and nonverbal communication to provide a positive experience for guests and employees. The student is expected to:
      • (A) develop and analyze formal and informal presentations
      • (B) practice customer service skills
    • (10) The student demonstrates research skills applicable to the hospitality and tourism industry. The student is expected to:
      • (A) develop technical vocabulary to enhance customer service
    • (11) The student understands the importance of customer service. The student is expected to:
      • (A) determine ways to provide quality customer service
      • (B) analyze how guests are affected by employee attitude, appearance and actions
  • Basic Direct Teach Lesson

    Instructional Objectives

    Students will:

    • identify and define vocabulary words used to enhance customer service
    • evaluate why it is important to use a guest’s name
    • discuss and explain what customer service is and why it is important
    • develop strategies to anticipate guest needs
  • Rationale

    The hospitality and tourism industry depends on customers and the success of the business depends on return customers. For this reason, quality customer service is important in the hospitality and tourism industry. In this lesson, we will learn how to provide that service and anticipate customer needs. Let’s get started!

  • Duration of Lesson

    Four 45 minute class periods

  • Word Wall

    Customer: A person who purchases goods or services

    Customer experience: The sum of all experiences a customer has with a supplier of goods and/or services

    Customer loyalty: People choose to use a particular shop or buy one particular product

    Customer service: The total customer experience with that business

    Guest: A customer who purchases products or services from a hospitality business

    Prompt service: Carried out or performed without delay

    Quality service: Service that meets or exceeds customer satisfaction

  • Materials/Specialized Equipment Needed

    Equipment:

    • computer with projector for PowerPoint™ presentation
    • computers with Internet access (be sure to follow district guidelines)

    Materials:

    • basket
    • cardstock
    • index cards

    Supplies:

    • For the teacher:
      • business suit
      • name tag
      • radio (two-way)

    • copies of all handouts (see All Lesson Attachments tab)
  • Anticipatory Set

    Before class begins:

    Prepare Worst Case/Best Case Guest Scenario Cards (see All Lesson Attachments tab) by printing on cardstock and separating the cards. Place the cards in a basket to be used in the Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience section.

    Distribute the graphic organizer KWL – Customer Service (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and instruct students to answer the first two questions.

    • K – What do you already KNOW about customer service?
    • W – What do you WANT to know about customer service?

    Ask the following questions:

    • What is customer service and why is it important?
    • Why is it important to always use a guest’s name when addressing them?
    • How did you feel when I used your last name?
    • Why do you think it is important to use the guest’s last name and not his first?
    • What is the big deal about using the guest’s name when you speak to them?
    • What is the name of the department in a large hotel that deals with guest services?

  • Direct Instruction with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Introduce lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute the handout and graphic organizer Note-Taking – The Importance of Customer Service Skills and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Hospitality and Tourism (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may take notes during the slide presentation.

    Introduce PowerPoint™ The Importance of Customer Service Skills (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and discuss the importance of quality service when dealing with customers.

    View the YouTube™ video:

    • Day in the Life of a Guest Services Manager – Disney Cruise Line Jobs
      Our Guest Services Manager supervises daily operation of the Guest Services front desk and creates daily work schedules while leading a team of Guest Services Hosts/Hostesses. This individual also handles any guest service issues and follows through with guest service recovery. Check out what a typical day for someone in this position might entail — from work to free time!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPEnl0NlVAM

    Demonstrate the characteristics of the hospitality and tourism employee who is focused on guest needs so that students understand the importance of quality service.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • provide a printed copy of the slide presentation

  • Guided Practice with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide the class into subgroups of four.

    Distribute index cards to each group.

    Assign students to write 10 different appropriate phrases on individual index cards that can be used in assisting customers.

    Phrases may include:

    • Please
    • Thank you
    • How may I help you?
    • Good morning
    • What can I get for you?
    • Is there anything I can get for you?
    • Would you like some water (drink, coffee, soda)?

    Allow each group to read their phrases and then tape them to the wall by the door as a reminder to use the phrases throughout the lesson.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • peer tutoring
    • allow extra time for assignment

  • Independent Practice/Laboratory Experience with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Divide the class into subgroups of two or three students.

    Distribute the graphic organizer Worst/Best Case Scenario (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and instruct the students that they should anticipate what the guest needs are before the guest actually needs the item(s).

    Place the Worst/Best Case Guest Scenario Cards (see All Lesson Attachments tab) in a basket and allow one member from each group to choose a card.

    Distribute Rubric for Worst/Best Case Guest Scenario (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students will understand what is expected.

    Students should brainstorm worst and best case strategies and how the guest will be affected by the outcome.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • encourage participation
    • peer tutoring

  • Lesson Closure

    Review lesson objectives, terms and definitions.

    Distribute the graphic organizer, KWL – Customer Service (see All Lesson Attachments tab) and instruct students to complete the last question.

    • L – What did you LEARN about customer service?

    Distribute the handout The Importance of Customer Service Word Search (see All Lesson Attachments tab) so that students may review the vocabulary words.

  • Summative/End of Lesson Assessment with Special Education Modifications/Accommodations

    Students will present worst/best case scenarios to the class in a role-play or skit.

    Teachers and students will provide feedback and other possible scenario solutions.

    Students will be assessed with the appropriate rubric.

    Individualized Education Plan (IEP) for all special education students must be followed. Examples of accommodations may include, but are not limited to:

    • check for understanding
    • praise participation

  • References/Resources

    Book:

    • Remarkable service: a guide to winning and keeping customers for servers, managers and restaurant owners. (2009). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

    Textbooks:

    • Hospitality services reference book. (2001). The Curriculum Center for Family and Consumer Sciences. Lubbock, TX.
    • Reynolds, J. S. (2010). Hospitality services: Food & lodging. Tinley Park, IL: Goodheart-Wilcox Company.

    YouTube™ video:

    • Day in the Life of a Guest Services Manager – Disney Cruise Line Jobs
      Our Guest Services Manager supervises daily operation of the Guest Services front desk and creates daily work schedules while leading a team of Guest Services Hosts/Hostesses. This individual also handles any guest service issues and follows through with guest service recovery. Check out what a typical day for someone in this position might entail — from work to free time!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPEnl0NlVAM
  • Additional Required Components

    English Language Proficiency Standards (ELPS) Strategies

    • word wall
    • draw visual representations of terms on word wall
    • add terms and definitions to personal dictionary
  • College and Career Readiness Connection

    AchieveTexas Career Cluster Crosswalks

    The Career Cluster Crosswalks housed on the AchieveTexas website http://www.achievetexas.org/index.html provide Texas teachers with a direct connection between their CTE course TEKS and the College and Career Readiness Standards (CCRS). Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Cross-Disciplinary integration are the focus of the CCRS. These college and career readiness standards are essential in the planning and delivery of CTE lessons. The extent to which the integration occurs is determined by the methods and strategies utilized by each teacher.

    Career Cluster Crosswalks for Education and Training, Hospitality and Tourism and Human Services Career Clusters can be found at:
    http://www.achievetexas.org/Career%20Cluster%20Crosswalks.htm

  • Recommended Strategies

    Reading Strategies

    Other articles pertaining to this lesson that students may read include:

    Reading strategy:
    Encourage students to “visualize” as they read. Many students are visual learners and will benefit from making sketches or diagrams on scrap paper as they read. Providing students with graphic organizers to help them organize their thoughts is also helpful.

  • Quotes

    The guest gets at least as much service with us as with some established airline, if not even more. And at by far a favourable price. Thus the passengers remain gladly with us.
    -Niki Lauda

    To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.
    -Douglas Adams

    Companies are starting to measure how effective their customer service is and trying to understand what they can do to improve the customer service process.
    -Sanjay Kumar

  • Multimedia/Visual Strategies

    PowerPoint™:

    • The Importance of Customer Service Skills
    • Presentation Notes – The Importance of Customer Service Skills

    Technology:

    • Infographics:
      • 25 Skills for Excellent Customer Service
        For any company, its customers are its priority. It is very crucial to master few customer service skills that will drastically improve a customer service representative interactions with their customers. A happy, satisfied customer is likely to return and/or tell others about the good experiences that they had when dealing with your company.
        http://visual.ly/25-skills-excellent-customer-service
    • TED Talks:

    Files for downloading:

  • Graphic Organizers/Handout

    Graphic Organizers:

    • KWL – Customer Service
    • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Hospitality and Tourism
    • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Hospitality and Tourism (Key)
    • Note-Taking – The Importance of Customer Service Skills

    Handouts:

    • The Importance of Customer Service Word Search
    • The Importance of Customer Service Word Search (Key)
    • Rubric for Worst/Best Case Guest Scenarios
    • Worst/Best Case Guest Scenario Cards
    • Worst/Best Case Scenario

    Files for downloading:

  • Writing Strategies

    Journal Entries:

    • It is important to use the guest’s last name when speaking with them because …
    • Customer service in hospitality and tourism is important because …
    • The best service I have received in a hospitality and tourism business was …
    • Anticipating the guests’ needs are important because ….

    Writing Strategy:

    • RAFT Writing Strategy:
      • Role – guest
      • Audience – concierge
      • Topic – securing sporting event tickets
      • Format – thank you

    Write a thank you letter to the hotel concierge for securing the great sporting event tickets.

  • Communication 90 Second Speech Topics

    • Three reasons why it is important to use the customer’s name are …
    • A great customer service experience I have had and why it was a “wow” experience is …
  • Other Essential Lesson Components

    Enrichment activity

    Students may roll-play different customer service scenarios with each other to practice the skills.

    Infographics:

    Infographics are graphic visual representations of information, data or knowledge intended to present complex information quickly and clearly.

    The infographic below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the image on a projector and lead a discussion concerning the information provided.

    • 25 Skills for Excellent Customer Service
      For any company, its customers are its priority. It is very crucial to master few customer service skills that will drastically improve a customer service representative interactions with their customers. A happy, satisfied customer is likely to return and/or tell others about the good experiences that they had when dealing with your company.
      http://visual.ly/25-skills-excellent-customer-service

    TED Talks:

    TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event.

    The video below is related to this lesson. Allow students to view the video and lead a discussion concerning the TED Talk.


    Students can compile a training manual for the front desk of a hotel on the basic steps to follow to provide great customer service.

    Sections of the training manual may include:

    • general responses to use for customer questions
    • information about the guest to keep for future visits
    • where to locate local entertainment tickets

  • Family/Community Connection

    Guest speakers

    Invite hotel/restaurant/travel personnel to speak to the class about how they strive to satisfy customer requests.

    Speakers may include:

    • concierges
    • food and beverage managers
    • hotel managers
    • tour guides
    • travel agents

  • CTSO connection

    Family, Career and Community Leaders of America

    http://www.fcclainc.org

    • Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation
      An individual or team event – recognizes participants who demonstrate their knowledge of the hospitality, tourism and recreation industries and ability to translate their knowledge into a hypothetical or real business. Project must relate to culinary, lodging, recreation, tourism or event coordination.
    • Interpersonal Communications
      An individual or team event – recognizes participants who use Family and Consumer Sciences and/or related occupations skills and apply communication techniques to develop a project designed to strengthen communication.

    SkillsUSA

    http://www.skillsusa.org

    • Customer Service Training Program
      Developed with input from SkillsUSA industry partners including Lowe’s, Mosaic, Irwin and Toyota, this new online program trains students on the practical skills required by customer service professionals. In 10 lesson levels, students learn what customer service is, why it is important and what constitutes excellent customer service. Through virtual, simulated scenarios, students test their knowledge and explore the qualities required for exceptional customer service skills in any field service Learning Projects
  • Service Learning Projects

    Successful service learning project ideas originate from student concerns and needs. Allow students to brainstorm about service projects pertaining to this lesson.
    www.ysa.org

    Possible ideas:
    Hospitality and tourism students may volunteer to provide quality service at an event, convention or exhibits in their city.

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