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Customer Service Training versus Customer Focus Training

By Ray Miller  - Published May 19, 2011

“... investing in developing the service knowledge and skills of customer-contact staff in only part of the equation” Free Customer Focus and Customer Service Article

Ask any of your frontline staff about what gets in the way of delivering exceptional service and they will likely tell you that it’s:

Customer Focus training not only addresses the education and training needs of customer contact staff but also provides a framework, process and strategies for how all other staff maximize their contribution to the success of the service delivery supply chain. Regardless of the role support employees play within an organization, what they do impacts customers in someway.

Understanding their role, why what they do is critical to the success of the customer experience and what they need to know and do in order to contribute to the success of the customer experience is essential. Particularly since an extremely high percentage of service problems are the result of a lack of communication, cooperation and teamwork between service providers and support staff.

But customer focus is a two-way street. As much as support staff need to enable customer-contact people to win with the customer, customer-contact staff need to help their colleagues to partner with them for the benefit of the customer. Customer Focus training addresses this.

Customer Focus training also addresses what managers at all levels of the organization need to know and do in order to embed customer focus throughout their respective areas of responsibility as well as, what they need to do in order to create a sustainable customer-focused environment.


The main reason for the failure of most service initiatives is not employees’ unwillingness to deliver exceptional service but managers’ unwillingness to make the changes in their leadership practices, processes and procedures or how they do business to reflect what their customers value.

Managers need to walk the talk, define service performance boundaries and standards, measure service performance, hold people accountable and recognize and reward service excellence. A good customer focus training program addresses these issues as well.

Customer service training address the symptoms of the problem. Customer Focus training provides the opportunity for a cure. It takes a commitment and hard work which is a worthwhile investment, that is, if you really want to keep your customers and grow your business.

If you would like to know more about how you can ensure that your training produces customer-focused results, email us at or give us a call at 1-416-698-8230.

*Source: 2010 and 2011 American Express Global Service Barometer.



Ray Miller is Managing Director of The Training Bank and author of That’s Customer Focus! ,The Customer Focus Companion, Maximizing the Customer Experience and 5 highly successful classroom training programs on the subject..

The Training Bank is a full service training and development firm which specializes in fully customizable Leadership, Customer Focus, Service Excellence, Management and Supervisory Development training.

Enhance your Customers’ Experience and sharpen your Customer Focus to differentiate your organization and build long-term loyalty and profitability.

Check out our book, That’s Customer Focus!: or our terrific Online Training Certification program called Maximizing the customer Experience.

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Maximizing the Customer Experience Online Training Program