Goal:To develop and strengthen customer service representatives’ (CSRs) competencies for handling phone calls with dissatisfied customers.


One of the institution’s headquarters in Poland opened up a new call service for clients accessible 7 days a week. In order to promote the phone support, it was decided that the service would be free of charge for the clients.

At first, the call service was a novelty and the majority of the clients still preferred the traditional way of contact via mail. Soon, however, the call service began to predominate. Gradually, a rising number of employees were asked to answer clients’ inquiries over the phone. After a while, it became clear that the each of the customer service team’s members needed to answer a large volume of calls. That created a lot of tension within the team. An urgent need to findi a better way how to deal with dissatisfied customers was identified.

Activities undertaken:

Once we were briefed on the client’s situation, we prepared our training proposal to be discussed in person with both line managers and CSRs. Following the meeting, our training offer was amended to suit the client’s needs more accurately. At the same time, we pinned down the goals we wanted to achieve.

Next, we conducted a 16-hour meeting, during which the participants had an opportunity to practice customer service skills. We were pleased to learnthat our training was so highly evaluated that we were invited to conduct a follow-up training in a month’s time.

Before the second training we had a chance to review some of the clients’ recorded conversations. That helped us to prepare a training scenario closely adapted to the clients’ specific needs and the market demand. As a result, it was decided that the best study results would be achieved if CSRs had an opportunity to practice their skills based on real-life situations.


During the first training the CSRs were motivated by trainers to share their experiences on customer service. Additionally, we presented to them a number of techniques of dealing with dissatisfied customers that could be used in their daily work. Not only had we discussed the techniques, but also took time to practice them in detail. Mock conversations with clients were recorded and then analysed in a group.

During the second training, it turned out we had gladly discovered that a large number of employees implemented the skills and techniques acquired during the first training. Therefore, the biggest emphasis was put on reinforcing customer service and a further exploration of the communication techniques.

Consequently, CSRs were happier in their jobs. The clients’ satisfaction levels were raised, which resulted in a smaller number of phone calls.