Online Class: Customer Relationship Management

Customers love and cherish companies that treat them the way they (the customer) want to be treated. People are now prepared to pay more for good service.

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Course Description

We are exposed to customer service (of one kind or another) at least once a day, every day of the week, fifty-two weeks of the year.  There are times when individuals, organizations and companies take the provision of good service, and the people who deliver it, for granted.  We should not – giving top quality Customer Service is an art form. 

Customers love and cherish companies that treat them the way they (the customer) want to be treated.  People are now prepared to pay more for good service.  So the providers of the good service – YOU – are gems beyond price these days. 

Whatever your reasons for considering this course, we can promise you that you will get even more than you might have thought from its contents.  You will most likely pick up things you might not have considered before, or even been aware of – CRM for example!

This course will focus on these topics:

1. A Customer Centered/Focused Organization
How important is good customer service really?   The evolution of Customer Service,   TQM,   Perceptions,   The ‘Hot Button' of the ‘90s  

2. Taking an honest look at your own customer service
Your current customer service profile,   Self-evaluation – honestly!   How does your company rate?   Protocols,   How do you & your company deal with Feelings?  

3. Your company's Customer Service focus
In-focused,   Customer-Focused,   The 3 Basic Elements of Excellent Service,   Are you friendly to customers?   Customer Friendly Reflections,   Expanding your understand of your Company's Definition of Service

4. Developing a Winning Customer Service Strategy
What are your current Customer Service Strategies?   Key Strategies ,  Top Down Approach,   Actually using the Feedback you ask for,   Know thyself & it shall be true!   The creation of client centric practices,   The sheer economic necessity of Top Customer Service

5. The "Plus's" of exceptional Customer Service
Critical success factors ,  Consistency,   Criteria,   Recognizing Excellence/Reward & Recognition Factors,   Awareness,   Education   

6. The WOW Customer Service Training & Service Excellence
The wisdom of choosing appropriate training,   Brainstorming & Problem Solving   Customer Service Enhancers,   TIPS - The Coaching Approach,   The Listen & Learn Approach

7. Which is the way to go:  Surveys/Questionnaires, Interviews or Focus groups?
Surveys,   Questionnaires,   Interviews,   Focus Groups,   Who should conduct or run them?   Which one should you use?   HOW TO prepare a Top Customer Service Survey  

8. Acquiring Customers & Keeping Them
Put yourself in the customers shoes,   What does my customer actually want?   Standards – making, measuring & managing,   What you can measure you can manage,   Reinventing your processes to suit the customer,   Quality Groups   What NOT to Do if you want to keep your customers  

9. Those ‘Extras' & Miscellaneous Factors
Body Language,   It's How You Say It that really counts,   Your computer isn't always your best friend,   The differences between data and information,   The 2 "E's" – Ethics & Espionage

10.     When the Going Becomes Rough -- What to Do!
When you need to say NO and how to say it!   Seeing Red and Dealing with It!   Take the Initiative and Bounce Back  

11.     Working in the World of the WEB!
The Internet has changed the rules & HOW!   Automating the personal touch?   Clicking with your Customers,   Developing Trust & Loyalty – online,   Customer Acquisition,   Some rules for staying on the road to Success with E-Commerce  

12.     CRM – It's not just an Option – It's here to STAY!
Exactly what is CRM?   Is it the Latest & Greatest?   How do we use it?   Automating the personal touch,   Defining the technical requirements,   Choosing the right CRM tools,   The amazing power of CRM,   The correct CRM program for you,   What defines success with CRM?
13.   Customer Service Management Options of the Future!
People Orientated?   Technology Orientated?   Strategies,   How to best organize Customer Service for the future

Course Motivation

A Customer-Centered Organization

Customers appreciate and respect companies that treat them the way they wish to be treated, as opposed to the way most companies actually treat them.  

There are two rules you should follow when dealing with people: the Golden Rule and the Platinum Rule. While the Golden Rule is always a good principle to keep in mind when dealing with everyone, let alone customers, the Platinum Rule is even better.  

The oft-quoted Golden Rule states: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Here's the Platinum Rule: "Do unto others as they would like to have done unto them."

The big difference is, of course, that you should not concentrate on what you think customers might like and treat them accordingly, but go to the trouble of finding out what the customer wants and giving it to them. 

How Important Is Good Customer Service?

The relationships you build with your customers do not need to take a long time. Essentially, they need take only a moment or two. Necessity often dictates that is all the time you have. How well you communicate with your customers, and whether you treat them efficiently and courteously make up the essence of superior customer service. 

After all, what does a smile cost? If you can address a customer by name, that is superb. Stop to think how you felt the last time you attended a shop or restaurant and the server smiled and addressed you by name?   

Let us quickly look at the flip side: What is your gut reaction when you go to a restaurant and the servers address you in a way that has certainly become too common, such as, "Hi, guys," or "Good evening, guys?"

The Evolution of Customer Service  

Several business movements have influenced, or completely changed, the way both individuals and companies treat customers and prospective customers. Remember the days when you called with an inquiry and heard a revolting message saying, "Please call back between the hours of 8 and 4," or something similar?  Many companies did not even offer an opportunity to leave a message.  

While this level of service was acceptable at one time, it certainly has not been for many years. Business principles such as Total Quality Management, market share, and other concepts have made a difference, with one thing in particular influencing the push toward better customer service and higher expectations in the service industry: the Web.  

When the Internet first enabled 24/7 access, customers responded with much higher expectations for answers to their questions and general information. The ability to initiate transactions on a timeline dictated by customers was a big plus. Our Internet search capabilities have made gathering information much easier, and we can conduct it largely on our own terms. Additionally, the great number and variety of mobile devices fuel most consumers' expectations for quicker and easier access to both information and services. To a large extent, we are living in an era of anywhere, anytime service. 

Several factors have made it increasingly difficult for companies to secure customer loyalty: Customers demand excellent service and assign value to companies that give it to them. Customers' experiences have subsequently emerged as critical factors in companies first gaining, and then maintaining, a competitive advantage against their competitors. The days when companies could afford to care little about their customers have long gone. Those who ignore this dynamic will very quickly find themselves lagging behind competitors, or going broke. 

TQM (Total Quality Management)
During the 1980s and 1990s, the letters TQM became an even more well-known acronym than the BLT (bacon, lettuce, and tomato).

TQM refers to a set of management practices implemented throughout an organization and geared to ensure the organization consistently met or exceeded customer requirements; i.e., enhancing the customer experience by delivering quality products. The idea is that the company or individual could gain the edge over competitors by adhering to optimal production processes, conforming to standards, and empowering staff to report any defect in production or service. 

The concept, introduced by W. Edwards Deming, was practiced first in Japanese industry in the 1950s. It started to become steadily more popular in the West around the early 1980s. "Total quality" describes the culture, attitude, and organization by which a company operates to  provide customers with products and services that more than satisfy their needs. This culture requires a dedication to quality in all parts of a company's operations, with defects and waste being removed and tasks being done right the first time around.  

Many companies have experienced difficulty in implementing TQM. Research has revealed that only around 20 percent to 30 percent of companies that have undertaken the practices have achieved any real improvements in productivity, quality, competitiveness, or economic returns. This has resulted in many people becoming cynical about TQM. Yet, a close look at the more successful companies shows a higher percentage of  them employ TQM techniques than less successful and inefficient companies. 

What people perceive is the reality for them. Never forget that. It may not be quite true, and it may be unfair, but it is reality.

For instance, if customers perceive they have received poor treatment, that is their reality. It may not have been the intention of the person serving or helping them to be of  little or no help, but that is the impression left with the customer. 

Impressions of your service will depend totally on customers' memories of certain moments: those little encounters they experienced with you or your company. Are your customers' memories of you favorable? Are those little happenings negative or positive? 

Think of the perceptions you created in your customers' minds in the past and learn from them, good or bad! 

The Hot Button of the 1990s
In the 1990s, the term "market share" was the hot button of business and customer relations. This was the era when the speed of doing business really increased exponentially, thanks to such innovations as fax machines, overnight delivery services, such as FedEx, across the country and the world, and, of course, the Internet. 

Do you remember when email first started to be used routinely? It quickly became just as regular a means of communication as postal mail, the phone, and the fax machine. It was not long before email was regarded as the most common and efficient way of communicating. 

When did the concept of developing deeper relationships with customers really start to heat up? Technology advanced in leaps and bounds, forcing companies to take a long, hard look at their customer communication skills. Countless numbers of magazine articles and books on the topic came out. 

The trick, then and now, is to view every customer's "touch point" as a chance to start dialogue and generate customer loyalty.  

Do not view a sale as just another transaction. That is extremely short-sighted and will certainly neither help you acquire or maintain customer loyalty. Keep in mind that acquiring a new customer costs approximately five times more than keeping a current one. The message here, of course, is to increase efforts to retain the ones you have.

  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(2,009 votes)

Lesson 1 : A Customer-Centered Organization

Customers appreciate and respect companies that treat them the way they wish to be treated, as opposed to the way most companies actually treat them. 13 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Customer Relationship Management; Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 : A Customer Centered/Focused Organization

Lesson 2 : Taking an Honest Look at Your Own Customer Service

Now is the time for you to be really honest with yourself about your individual level of customer service, and that of your company. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 : Taking An Honest Look At Your Own Customer Service

Lesson 3 : Your Company's Customer Service Focus

It does not matter whether your company is small, medium, large, or megasized. It does not matter whether it is local or international. It does not matter what field it is in: technology, heavy industry, public sector, or manufacturing. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Business Focus
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 : Your Company's Customer Service Focus

Lesson 4 : Developing a Winning Customer Service Strategy

You have just been asked to come up with a plan for improving customer service at your organization. Are you uptight, nervous, or uncomfortable? Are you frightened -- or just plain terrified? 12 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 : Developing A Winning Customer Service Strategy

Lesson 5 : The Benefits of Exceptional Customer Service

How we relate to fellow staff members several levels removed can often have a rolling effect, which affects how we relate to customers, and vice-versa. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 : The "Plus's" Of Exceptional Customer Service

Lesson 6 : The Wow Factors of Customer Service Training

Whatever the concepts and ideas you and your company come up with, and whatever improvements occur on the customer service front, the fact is that customer service staff members need ongoing support. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 : The WOW Factors Of Customer Service Training

Lesson 7 : The Way To Go: Surveys, Questionnaires, Interviews, or Focus Groups

Having a customer-focused company means that you should have a thorough knowledge of what your customers want and expect from your organization. You need to be able to evaluate how well you are meeting desires and expectations. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 : The Way To Go: Surveys/Questionnaires, Interviews Or Focus Groups

Lesson 8 : Acquiring Customers and Keeping Them

Everyone's needs are constantly changing. This is true for people, small businesses, mega-organizations, and governments. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 : Acquiring Customers & Keeping Them

Lesson 9 : Extra Considerations and Miscellaneous Factors

If, when we first went into business, we considered all the concerns and challenges that would be involved, we probably would never do it. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 : Those ‘Extras' & Miscellaneous Factors

Lesson 10 : When the Going Becomes Rough, Here Is What to Do

No one, including customers, likes to hear that word, "No." Most people absolutely loathe it. We all prefer to think people can do what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Difficult Customers
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 : When The Going Becomes Rough -- What To Do!

Lesson 11 : Working in the World of the Web

The Internet, a project that started as a means of keeping communication channels open and sharing information, has come a long way since its inception in the 1970s. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Customer Service Online
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 : Working In The World Of The Web!

Lesson 12: CRM Is Not an Option; It Is Here to Stay

CRM, or customer relationship management, is the methodologies and tools, including online customer service technology, that help businesses manage customer relationships and deliver superior customer service. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 : CRM -- It's Not Just An Option -- It's Here To Stay!

Lesson 13: Customer Service Management Options of the Future

Never say never, as the old saying goes, but time and time again people do. Time and time again they are proved wrong. 96 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course); Course Comments
  • Complete: Lesson 13 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 : Customer Service Management Options Of The Future!
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define the customer-centered organization.
  • Evaluate your own customer service objectively.
  • Describe methods to make your company's customer service more central.
  • Develop a winning customer service strategy
  • Summarize the reasons for providing exceptional customer service.
  • Describe ways for acquiring customers and retaining them.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Customer Relationship Management
Course Number: 8900057
Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (2,009 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: May 2022
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 0.9 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: John Chouinard
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $95.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "I thought this course was very helpful in getting a better understanding of customer relationship management." -- Brandy R.
  • "Instructor is very knowledgeable, kind and courteous. He provided a wealth of feedback and encouragement to me. It helped guide me through the course. Well worth the money I spent on the course!" -- Rich S.
  • "Excellent course and very useful for furthering my skills and employability." -- Laura O.
  • "The instructor was attentive and responded quickly to my coursework submissions." -- Gloria R.
  • "Professor thank you so much for your advise. I appreciate you so much." -- Alicia V.
  • "This is great class to take." -- LATUNIA P.

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