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Successful Service reviewed


Title: Successful Service
Author: Patricia Tallack
Publisher: Echelon
Year: 2001
ISBN: 1 901600 13 0
Price: £495 plus VAT
Format:A4 ringbinder plus video

Echelon have done it again! They were the first to offer individual training activities on the Internet, supporting the hard-copy collections of the resources. Now they have produced an activity resource pack that is directly linked with a video. The resource pack includes a trainer’s guide, 20 customer service activities, and a 63 minute video containing 20 Video Arts video clips (each lasting between one and three minutes) linked with the activities. The activities can be free-standing or used in conjunction with the linked video clips, and, of course, the video clips have an independent use if this is required.

The activities/clips range in topics from understanding the service organization, giving positive attention, using positive verbal behaviour and successful listening; through the verbal handshake, making successful telephone calls, and taking complaints seriously; to dealing with demanding customers, good internal customer care and keeping your customers. The activities are between 25 and 50 minutes long, for participant numbers up to 14.

Each activity contains clear and comprehensive information on the purpose, timing, numbers, materials required (including the video), trainer’s instructions, activity sheets/checklists/questionnaires, and a master sheet for a supporting OHP visual or enlarged poster. A very useful trainer’s guide precedes the activities containing guidance and information on the activities and the video clips; a framework for presenting the activities; tips for presenting video-linked activities; using feedback; reinforcing the training; and four sample training programmes (one-day, half a day, two and a half hour, and two hour programmes and sessions).

As with all Echelon products, activity selections can be made and purchased on the web with access via the Echelon area of the TrainingZONE Toolkit (editor's note: the pack itself can only be purchased by telephoning (020 8568 1500) or sending a fax (020 8560 6612) to Echelon, although the website provides a breakdown of the activities on offer). Quite a number of customer service activity resources have been published in recent years – I found this one well in the lead for clarity, comprehensiveness, range of activities, and above all the innovation of providing a linked video. Well recommended for any trainer or service manager who is mounting customer service programmes with staff in this discipline, or customer service/marketing managers who plan and deliver service campaigns.

Successful Service was reviewed by Leslie Rae, February 2001.


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