Articles on Sales Training, Sales Coaching, Customer Service, Sales Performance, Productivity, and Profitability.

Customer Service Skills Training

Staff friendliness is the most valued aspect of the customer service experience and 94 per cent of shoppers will stay loyal to an outlet even if prices are cheaper at a nearby store.

They are the key findings of research conducted by the service experience agency GAPbuster Worldwide for the launch of National Customer Service Week (Monday, October 4).

According to the research, in order of importance, customers are looking for:

  1. Staff friendliness
  2. Staff knowledge
  3. Efficiency of service
  4. Reliability
  5. Professionalism
  6. Responsiveness
  7. Product range/appeal
  8. Value for money (attractive pricing)
  9. Taking ownership of service
  10. Atmosphere
  11. Store presentation/environment
  12. Accessibility


The My Customer Rules research was conducted with 250 national consultants of GAPbuster Worldwide.

46% of respondents rated staff friendliness Number 1, while 73% rated staff friendliness as a top 3 preference.

When asked: “If prices were slightly higher at this outlet than at similar businesses in your area, would you still choose to visit this outlet?” 94% said, “Yes”.

These are the new rules, said Tricia Olsen, Customer Service Week convenor and CEO of International Customer Service Professionals which has the Australian-New Zealand licence to stage Customer Service Week.

The results may challenge managers in sales, marketing, store designer and HR to rethink their priorities, she said.

The human factor plays the biggest part in the service experience, she said. The top 6 out of 12 service elements ranked by customers who experience exceptional service all related to personal interaction with the staff member on the frontline.

“Customers are looking for staff that take time to build a meaningful and trusting relationship, are efficient, show compassion, have good product knowledge and go out of their way to be friendly,” Ms Olsen said.

“Customers want to be treated as a person, not a faceless shopper with a purchase card.”

Ms Olsen said personal interaction was placed above price, yet many businesses believed they could compete on price alone.

The research reinforces the notion that people are the brand, she said.

“Millions are spent developing a brand perception, however, it is only when the customer makes contact that the perception is tested.”

Ms Olsen said friendliness could only come when employees were genuinely happy in their job, and product knowledge and efficiency could come only come from experience and effective training.

For Customer Service Week, Australian and New Zealand businesses are being encouraged to boost morale, motivate staff, reward frontline representatives, raise company-wide awareness of the importance of customer service, thank other departments for their support, and let customers know about their commitment to customer satisfaction.


  • Prosell offers a program that combines sales training and sales coaching.  It is based on recognised research, which tells us that training alone has limited impact and that when supported by skilful coaching, has 74% more chance of being implemented.
  • Prosell has resources to deliver these programs across Australia, covering Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra.



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