Business Lesson 7: Customer Service

Business Lesson 7
Customer Service


John has settled into his new work environment. Unfortunately, today he is experiencing his first customer complaint.
Let’s see if all of John’s training has done him well:

Customer: I am not happy with the quality of your product.
John: I understand your frustration madam; I am taking care of this problem immediately.
Customer: I had to travel all the way from Birmingham just to return it.
John: I apologise for the inconvenience. I’m sure I can take care of this for you in no time at all.

John has done very well. He has said all the right things, and has managed to keep his composure. However, the customer is very persistent.

Customer: Can you hurry up please? I don’t have all day.
John: I assure you that I’m trying my best and working as fast as I can.
Customer: I don’t have the patience to wait right now…
John: Your satisfaction is our top priority madam; would you like to have a seat whilst I process your return?
Customer: That sounds great, thank you, but how much longer will it take?

John is very patient and has used all of his new customer service knowledge to calm down a very unhappy customer.
Let’s see the outcome:

John: I am just finishing up right now. There you are madam, a full refund of £104.
Customer: Thank you very much, I do apologise for being rude earlier, I was very frustrated. When I purchase something, I expect to get my money’s worth.
John: I understand, and no need for an apology. Thank you for bringing this issue to our attention, we appreciate customer feedback about our products. Here is a coupon for 25% off of your next purchase because of the hassle.
Customer: Wow! Thank you very much John. I’m very satisfied now.
John: My pleasure madam; enjoy the rest of your day!

John handled the situation perfectly. Great work John. So you can see yhe importance of Customer Service in the work place.



Due to his positive attitude and customer service expertise, John is promoted to Customer Service Manager.
On his first day as manager, he encounters his first unsolvable problem. The frustrated customer has entered the store with fire in her eyes and guns blazing.

Customer: I want to speak to a manager right now!
John: At your service madam, how may I help you today?
Customer: I have only been wearing this sweater for a short time and the colour has completely faded. Not to mention that it has shrunk a lot. I want a refund because I’m tired of the poor quality of your company’s products!
John: I understand you’re upset. The sweater is cashmere and therefore extremely delicate. Did you follow the washing instructions on the label?
Customer: I just put it into the washing machine with my other clothes.
John: Okay, I understand. However, cashmere needs to be dry-cleaned. A regular washing machine fades the colour and shrinks the fabric.
Customer: What are you telling me, that this is my fault?
John: Of course not madam, I’m only explaining the washing procedure. Unfortunately it’s not our policy to refund washed or worn items. However, I want to improve this experience for you. Can I offer you an exchange for the same sweater? This way you can enjoy the product you originally paid for and also stay within our company’s policy.
Customer: Yeah… That seems fair. Okay, I will accept the exchange. Thank you for your help.
John: No thank you needed, I’m glad I could be of service to you.

Thankfully, the customer was reasonable and accepted John’s suggestion. However, one important step still remains. John must follow up with the customer.
(phone rings)

John: Hello, Mrs. Walker? This is John from Harrod’s. How has the new sweater been treating you?
Customer: John, hello! It’s great, thank you very much for the washing advice.
John: That’s great to hear, did you have any questions about the sweater, or maybe some washing instructions for other items?
Customer: No, thankfully I have learned to read instructions carefully. I appreciate you following up with me. And I look forward to seeing you again soon at Harrod’s.
John: Likewise Mrs. Walker, have a great weekend!
Customer: You too John! Take care.


Vocabulary List of TEXT 1


customer service

an idiom

the work environment

the inconvenience

the outcome

a full refund

the hassle


to apologise for

to settle into a new job

to experience something

it did him well

to return an item

to keep one’s composure

to hurry up

to not have all day

to try one’s best

to process a return

to calm someone down

to finish up

to bring an issue to someone’s attention

to handle a situation well




right now


Vocabulary List of TEXT 2



a manager

washing instructions

on the label

washed or worn items

an exchange for


to be promoted

to encounter

with her eyes in fire and guns blazing

to wear a sweater

to be dry-cleaned

to fade the colour

to shrink the fabric

to follow up with the customer


due to









Customer Service

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