Connecting consumers and corporates

If you’re looking to gain the competitive edge, exceptional customer service is key. Wendy Knowler has a wealth of experience in the area of customer service training. She hosts training workshops for businesses around South Africa, or online. Wendy’s expertise, based on more than 20 years of mediating conflict between consumers and companies, will gear your team for success in this critical space.

All companies will have a wobble sooner or later – we shouldn’t judge them on that, but rather on how they handle it. Communication is absolutely vital. – Wendy Knowler

What others say about Wendy’s customer service training

“I have always admired Wendy’s journalistic skills and her ability to present a case in a way that is fair to all parties concerned. In particular, Wendy carved out a name for herself as a Consumer journalist, and has gained the respect of both corporates and consumers. So it was an incredible learning experience having Wendy running a Media workshop with TFG’s corporate communications team. I enjoyed her ‘tell it like it is’ style and the way she held a mirror up to aspects that could be done better. Unlike other workshops, she totally tailored ours to our own industry and own examples. We ended up with a long ‘to do’ list of ideas and practical insights that we could implement.

“This workshop was so valuable that I invited Wendy back to present a slot at our Marketing Forum called: Social Media from a Journalist’s Point of View. Once again the feedback from all the marketers in TFG was very positive – they learnt a lot from Wendy’s feedback, as well as getting out actual points that they were able to implement/action.  I would not hesitate to recommend Wendy to share her wealth of knowledge and experience with other businesses.”

– Kathryn Sakalis – Head of Business – TFG Marketing & eCommerce Division

Topics Wendy covers:

Meeting the Needs of Customers in a Pandemic:

We’ve all heard the line about the need to increase your marketing and ad spend in tough times, but that investment will be wasted if those new customers don’t get extra special service. And mostly that means appropriate communication, be it via email, WhatsApp, phone or social media. Especially when things go wrong, as counterintuitive as that seems. Consumers have been financially and emotionally battered by Covid-19 – treat them with professionalism, respect and empathy and they’ll be yours for life; along with their circle. And of course, the opposite is true.

Having been at the coalface of consumer-company interaction for more than 20 years,  Wendy Knowler shares what she’s learnt about how Covid-19 has shaped and altered that relationship.

The Outsider’s Experience:

The goal of this customer service training is to introduce management to their company the way outsiders experience it. This ranges from the way the switchboard operator deals with a call to navigating their website; the company’s social media responses, including the response time and quality of responses. Wendy will investigate your brand / company, dealing with all your consumer touchpoints from social media to on the ground retail. She will then present an analysis in a boardroom setting in which she highlights what the company is winning at; the gems among the staff she interacts with, and also the weak points that need to be addressed. You will also be issued with a report of her key findings and recommendations.

Media training:

How your brand deals with the media in times of crisis/spotlight will define public perception of your brand for many years. Wendy trains personnel tasked with dealing with the media; from drafting media releases to responding to queries on multiple platforms. It’s one intervention that can add considerable value to a brand. (3-4 hours)

Social media training:

Consumers are increasingly choosing to interact with companies via social media, sharing both their good and their bad experiences. This presents companies with an invaluable means of communicating with their customers in real time. Wendy will showcase examples of companies getting it right and those getting it horribly wrong. She will also talk about the importance of consistency between social media responses and responses on traditional customer care platforms. (3-4 hours)

How to handle abusive customers:

Wendy will take your team through how to handle abusive customers. They appear to be on the increase, in part because of the public media shaming threat. Gaining the skills to deal with abusive customers begins with companies understanding some of the reasons for the abuse. In this workshop, Wendy will empower front-line staff members and their line managers to take control and diffuse these situations in a professional manner. The session is designed to be highly engaging and interactive. (3-4 hours)

Employee “wellness” training:

Many corporates invest in their employees’ “wellness” by providing them with personal finance courses: how to budget, save, get out of debt, invest and insure. Wendy’s “How to become a streetwise consumer” course covers all that traditional ground but also empowers staffers with practical tips on how to avoid the classic consumer traps and rip-offs when it comes gym contracts, lay by deals, cellphone contracts and buying a car – and gives them invaluable tips on how to get the best deals when supermarket shopping. The material is based on recent case studies so as to be highly relatable. The most common feedback from hundreds of members of a major bank’s debt collecting team which experienced the two-hour course over a period of four months, was: “Needs to be longer!”

The Psychology of Customer Care:

This training session aims to make employees understand that in every interaction with a customer or potential customer, they hold the company’s reputation in their hands. They can either enhance or sabotage that reputation. Wendy will give examples of each side of this coin. She’ll illustrate how even the most subtle change in employee mindset can result in a win-win work experience: making both their jobs and the customer experience more positive and enjoyable. This workshop is designed for non-managerial level staff. Should broader staff satisfaction issues be raised by attendees, these will be treated with the strictest confidence. Wendy will provide management with an executive summary at a later stage, outlining key internal issues that feature prominently.

Wendy is also able to do a tailored customer service training workshop. Please get in touch via the form below.