Customer Communication

Training Video created with Vyond

Summary: This five minute training video instructs learners the STARS method of customer communication. Learners are directed to use the STARS acronym when communicating with difficult customers: say Sorry, say Thank you, share your Action and Response with the customer, and finally Share your experience with your coworkers and managers.

As a teenager and a young adult, I had my fair share of retail jobs: mostly clothing shops, book stores, and two summers at a famous restaurant/shop you can find at most interstate exits.

Customer-facing jobs are not easy, but in my opinion they can offer huge rewards in the areas of self-esteem, connectedness, and shared experience. There’s definitely something to be said for figuring out a customer’s problem or desire and delivering to their expectations.

But wow, was it terrible to deal with angry customers. Communicating calmly was not easy with constant interruptions, receiving unkindness was even harder. To top if off, the dreaded, “I want to speak to your manager.”

I learned about the STARS method in my early 20’s, and I still use it when instructing or communicating with individuals that may present difficulty or obstacles in the learning or working process. When I was an educator, this method worked beautifully on Parent-Teacher Nights and over the phone with parents or guardians.

As I got to know Vyond better, I chose to make a video about STARS because the method is built upon invaluable soft skills: listening, empathy, and care for others. These skills are not innate, but they can be learned with modeling and practice. What’s more, STARS demonstrates what it means to be empathetic and caring, and this spreads through the business as more employees learn the method. Employees have a better idea of what it means to care and their learning influences their own ideas of self care. When managers and higher-ups demonstrate the STARS method, employees will feel a stronger connection to them and the business.

That connection is arguably one of the biggest predictors of employee retention. When an employee can’t connect to others in the workplace in a meaningful and human way, they don’t feel that their job is important and that they aren’t an important person to the company. Of course they will see their job as a stepping stone to another job somewhere else, or worse, a space where they suffer for eight hours a day. Their mindset affects their work, and can affect their team’s work, too.

STARS bypasses the timidity and uncertainty that is often a part of starting a new job. As the method clearly shows the steps to take and real-world examples it renders employees more certain and more comfortable to communicate. A template is better than starting from scratch, especially in the beginning!

While STARS is a simple method, it can create big waves of change in a company’s culture. I’d love to hear about your experience with STARS, or another communication method that has helped you do a better job and feel like you belong at your company.

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