The client was working a store that sold luxury products with many international customers. The main language for transactions was English. English had been identified as a professional development need by her manager. A better level of English was needed in order to improve her job perfomance.
My tasks were to improve fluency in terms of explaining the products and the sales process, to practice making small talk with English-speaking customers, and to improve confidence in using English.
I developed a series of detailed sales conversations where the products were presented. I clarified the features and benefits of each products. We then practiced the phrases we had developed through a series of role-plays, working through different scenarios and options.
Within a week the client had made an extra three sales In English than average. Increased fluency gave my client confidence – she later received a very good professional development review from her manager.
Increasing customer service
A company that mainly dealt with native-English-speaking customers was experiencing a ‘culture gap’. There were a number of misunderstandings from customers about the invoicing process, and it was difficult to gain agreement to do things from customers.
My tasks were therefore to find out what the high-frequency tasks of the customer services department were, the differences between German regulations and the expectations of customers, and a way of finding ‘buy in’ from the customers.
I explained that the right responses would be triggered by using the right phrases. We developed strategies for giving the customer options and moving the conversation along. We also developed strategies for explaining complex German regulations in clear, simple language. We then practiced these strategies through a series of role plays.
As a result the customer care department experienced a 20% quicker turnaround in queries. The manager received an email complementing the department on their customer care. The workers in the company felt less frustrated, and this led to an increase in job satisfaction.
Creating business opportunities
A client had made contact with a company in the UK but was having difficulty creating a working relationship. They were not getting a response from the UK and did not know what else to do.
I had to find out what the cultural business gap was. I had to understand the nature of the business in the UK. I had to develop strategies that enabled my client to get an interview with the prospective customer.
I created strategies for creating small talk in emails. This built up trust with the prospective customer. I showed my client how to develop a tone in emails that was self-effacing but not too modest. I helped my client create a formal but friendly impression.
The first email that was sent got an immediate response from the prospective customer. The following emails established a working relationship, and eventually secured my client a face-to-face interview with their prospective customer.