CFR Customer Service Training | Curriculum Outline

The Center for Frontline Retail’s Customer Service Training is designed to instruct and prepare workers to gain employment, build their skills and advance their careers in the retail industry. Participants learn about a variety of topics including employer expectations, employee rights, superior customer service, professional communication, and conflict resolution. Participants explore, observe, and practice positive customer service and communication skills through interactive class discussion, role playing, and written exercises.

Day 1: Preparing for Work & Introduction to Customer Service

  1. Introduction: Participants are given an overview of the day, introduced to the instructor, the materials, and methods (including role-playing and exercises), and discuss learning objectives
  2. Icebreaker: Participants introduce themselves, and say a few words about what they hope to learn and their aspirations

III. Essential skills for job-readiness

  1. Employer expectations
  2. Employee communications
  3. Workplace behavior
  4. Teamwork
  5. Problem-solving skills
  6. Organizational skills
  7. Introduction to customer service
  8. Class discussion: Participants discuss their own expectations of customer service and experiences as customers
  1. How do we provide quality customer service?
  2. What is customer service and why is it important?
  3. What are attributes of high-quality customer service?


Day 2: Customer Service Skills

  1. Review: Role of customer service in the retail sector
  2. Building customer loyalty through customer service
  3. Common customer service challenges in small businesses and major retailers
  4. How is good customer service demonstrated?
  5. Communications
  6. In-person body language, voice, eye-contact, active listening, empathy
  7. Telephone or audio – voice, empathy
  8. Writing and e-mail
  9. Handling problems – identifying solutions and utilizing management structures

III. Best practices in customer service

  1. Role playing: Participants will be divided into teams and assigned a scenario involving a customer in person, on the telephone or in writing/e-mail. Teams will be asked to write a script for each scenario to demonstrate quality customer service and best practices while role-playing a customer and customer service employee. Participants in the audience will be asked to provide feedback.
  2. Summarize the attributes of quality customer service and best practices


Day 3: Team and Leadership Skills for Career Growth

  1. Review: Practices for effective communication, and the role of communication in retail
  2. Conflict resolution – vocabulary for communicating with co-workers, supervisors, and customers

III. Teamwork skills for the retail workplace

  1. Evaluating your teamwork qualities
  2. Being part of an effective team
  3. Leadership skills for the retail workplace
  4. Case study: Participants read a case study on customer conflict and discuss how to resolve the issue, applying appropriate language and deciding when to engage supervisors
  1. Increasing revenue
  2. Professionalism for advancement
  3. Helping to grow the business of your employer
  4. Role of the industry specialist

VII. Employee working conditions and benefits


Day 4: Numerical Literacy – Retail Math for Customer Service

  1. Literacy and numerical Skills
  2. Understanding and working with Numbers in Retail
  3. Reasoning with Numbers and other mathematical concepts
  4. Mathematical needs of Retail
  5. Modes of Payment
  6. Dimensions & Specifications

III. Calculations: Decimals, Taxes and Percentages

  1. Mental Arithmetic
  2. Written Arithmetic
  3. Productivity & Other Sales assessments
  4. Average Sale, Items per Transaction, etc.
  5. Add On, Cross Selling, and other selling techniques


Day 5: Wrap-up and Review & Job Search Workshop

  1. Career paths and ladders in the retail industry
  2. Customer service review
  3. What is expected by employers?
  4. Quality customer service and best practices
  5. Teamwork and problem resolution
  6. Personal development

III. Job search workshop

  1. Application process
  2. Resume skills
  3. Assessment tests
  4. References / referrals
  5. Interview processes and skills – Group, phone, individual
  6. Follow-up – During and after the hiring process

Graduates of the course who have completed all 18 hours are awarded “Certificate of Completion” through LaGuardia Community College of the City University of New York, Adult & Continuing Education Division.