General Customer Service and Sales Self-Assessment

Providing outstanding service and sales through service means dealing with most complex organisms on the planet.....other people!  Each one of us has different needs that have to be serviced to our own liking. 

If you have ever been subjected to poor service, you'll know how it can ruin your whole day, if not worse!  However, we do also remember those people that serve us well.  We reward them by returning to their business or buying more of their product. 

So, what's the difference that makes the difference?  Certain traits, characteristics and behaviours are visible time and again that go towards making the customer feel special, valued and respected. 

Try this self-assessment to see how well developed your customer service skills are.

Please read the questions and then select the answers you think are correct.
Once you have answered all the questions you will be presented with your result.

  1. Which of the following does not show active listening?

    • Repeating and reflecting back your understanding to the customer
    • Asking your manager to speak with the customer
    • Making notes
    • Using words such as, I see, go on, right
  2. What is the opposite of reactive customer service?

    • Inactive
    • Overactive
    • Non-active
    • Proactive
  3. You would you feel...? is an example of what kind of question?

    • Leading
    • Assumptive
    • Clarification
    • Closed
  4. The lifetime value of a client refers to what?

    • The total amount a company spends on keeping a customer happy
    • The money spent on a product or service by a customer each year
    • The company revenue spent on advertising
    • The monetary value per customer accrued to a company over a measured period
  5. Which of the following words / phrase is not positive as perceived by most customers?

    • Certainly
    • You’re welcome
    • I’ll do my best
    • What I can do is...
  6. Which of the following is most likely to help in calming an angry customer when face to face?

    • Crossing your arms
    • Rapid nodding of the head
    • Smiling
    • Slow, deliberate nodding of the head
  7. When attempting to convince a potential buyer to purchase a product or service, the most important aspect of the interaction is:

    • Matching their perceived needs to potential solutions
    • Giving as many of the features of the product or service as possible
    • Finding out why they called us
    • Offering the best deal
  8. The act of reflecting back to a face to face customer certain meaningful body language signals is known as:

    • Mirroring and Matching
    • Copying and Mimicking
    • Reflecting and Marking
    • Matching and Marking
  9. Which of the following does not contribute to the image you project?

    • Body language
    • Choice of words
    • Your specific job title
    • Tone of voice
  10. The most effective salespeople use which ratio of questions to statements?

    • 2:1
    • 1:1
    • 4:1
    • 1:2
  11. Which of the following statements most closely reflects your own view?

    • I need to change my personality to match that of the customer
    • I am never a ‘stressed-out’ customer, so why should I put up with difficult behaviour from customers?
    • The customer has a perfect right to be rude if necessary
    • In any given service or sales situation I can choose my own behaviour for the best possible outcome.
  12. Treat others as you’d like to be treated is a good guiding principle behind offering outstanding service or sales through service.

    • True
    • False
  • This places you in the bottom quartile of respondents. This might be because you have never received the appropriate customer service or sales training. With your current score it is possible that you might find yourself in sticky or uncomfortable situations with difficult and / or dissatisfied customers, leaving both you and the customer feeling stressed or even angry. Skills in communication and understanding clients’ needs are essential factors in relating to each customer as an individual. With these skill sets in place, you will find each new customer interaction an opportunity to develop relationships and, of course, repeat business. Learning customer service and sales skills is just like learning any other skill and at New Line Ideas we can help you build each skill incrementally and with confidence.

  • This places you in the second lowest quartile of respondents. You possess some key skills in the area of customer service and sales. You are probably able to maintain customer relationships, even when there are difficult challenges to respond to. The key to improvement and development in any area is to consistently apply newly learned skills. New behaviours can become habits in as little as twenty three attempts. So, keep up the good work and see if you can take your skill levels forward to the next level. Thought for the day: 96% of all customers that decide to stop using a product or service do not bother letting the company know why they left.

  • This places you in the second highest quartile of respondents. It is probable that you are currently performing consistently within both a face to face and / or telephone customer environment. You are skilled in understanding customer needs and identifying particular customer traits that help you tailor your behaviours and individual responses. With a little more knowledge and practice you’ll enter the top quartile of all respondents with 100% rating.

  • You scored 12 with an astonishing 100% of answers correct. Congratulations! If you consistently apply the knowledge you evidently have, you’ll find other people will always remember you. Why? You are taking the time to adapt to their needs, understand them as individuals and enter their world. New Line Ideas is always researching new and innovative ways to help you continue to stay on course, so if you have any questions or need help or support to develop your ‘people’ skills, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Congratulations once again.

Achieving outstanding customer service and sales through service is more of an art than a science. Luckily, it’s an art-form that anyone can learn, regardless of age, background or prior experience.

If you find yourself mentioning to yourself or your team, treat others as you’d like to be treated, then it’s probable that you’ll always get what you’ve always got.


Think about it... if we all have different needs, and I treat you how I like to be treated, how does that help you?

To achieve outstanding service and sales through service we need to re-formulate the phrase above to:

Treat others as THEY would like to be treated.

New Line Ideas offers practical, implementable solutions that can help both you, personally, and your team to achieve outstanding customer service and sales through service.

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