Managing Customer Service – Moving Beyond Contempt into True Interaction


About the Course

The front line for customer care in housing associations is the doorstep. It can also be the reception, the telephone, email and even the Twitter stream.

Maintenance staff, rent collectors, Tenants’ Association representatives and other key people deal directly with customers. Not all of these encounters are satisfactory, for either customer or service provider. Often the main impression of service from a tenant’s point of view, often reflected in customer care surveys, is this face to face process. Some people manage this well and have a natural aptitude for it. For others, face to face customer service is problematic, especially when encountering challenging behaviour and also difficult situations which are the fault of no one.. Tenants come from different backgrounds, age groups and represent different kinds of diversity.

Course Approach

This workshop-style course takes a very hands-on and practical look at front line customer care. Participants will explore and try out a range of successful approaches to:

– dealing with difficult and challenging customer care situations

– ensuring that key information is effectively communicated

– managing expectations and dealing with conflict; the line between anger and aggression

– how to move from confusion to clarity

– managing expectations

– dealing with the stress of the doorstep

– moving beyond colluding with mediocrity

– finding the enjoyment of face to face customer care

– ensuring that doorstep meetings represent an experience of high quality customer service

Course Outcomes

By the end of the workshop participants will have drawn on their own experiences of this particular but vital skill: how to manage the relationship with tenants when working on the front line of customer care.

Fun, engaging, inspiring, and challenging, the workshop draws on real scenarios, key ideas on managing face to face, with plenty of opportunity to practise new behaviours and develop skills

About the Facilitator

Paul Levy has worked on customer care with over 30 housing associations in recent years, as well as leading workshops all over the world exploring how to ensure customer service is authentic and effective. He is director of CATS3000, a change consultancy based in Brighton, UK.



About Paul Levy

Paul is a writer, thinker, facilitator, theatre-maker, and conversifier. He is the author of the book, Digital Inferno.

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