Business Excellence Skillnet

We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of free places for jobseekers on our network programmes

Please click on the following link to check if you meet Jobseekers eligibility criteria;


DATES: 27th September 2012

TIME: 9am – 5pm


COST: €125 Members / €225 Non-Member

Programme Overview

The focus of the workshop is to help staff develop a greater understanding of the importance of
communicating effectively with customers over the telephone. Participants will learn how to
develop the essential communication skills needed in building confidence with customers, whilst
presenting a professional image at all times.
Training method
The training takes the form of a one-day workshop, with group discussions, exercises, case studies
and feedback based on individual/group needs. Each learner receives a workshop manual. A second
follow up mentoring day can be provided where participants make live calls.


Programme Objectives

After completing the workshop, each participant will be able to:
• Apply highly developed communication skills for improved customer relations
• Portray a professional image at all times
• Overcome reluctance and build confidence on the telephone
• Improve their efficiency on the telephone through better preparation and planning
• Become more aware of communications by telephone
• Learn to really listen to customers and understand what they really need
• React and attend to the customers’ expectations and needs
• Become more assertive in asking the right questions and getting customer feedback
• Be able to know how and when to control the call
• Build more personalised communications with clients generating happier customers
• Build trust with the customer, whilst portraying a helpful and friendly impression
• Apply adaptable skills to deal with difficult situations in a confident and competent manner
• Manage customer complaints effectively

Target Audience

A practical and interactive one-day workshop, the course is designed for staff, who talk to customers
each day by telephone – includes general staff in customer service, administration, reception,
accounts, order processing to name but a few.

Programme Content

Top frustrations of a caller
• Why people do business over the telephone
• Communication skills
• The importance of first impressions
• Attitudes on the telephone and dealing with humour
• Preparation and planning of calls
• Overcoming reluctance and building confidence
• Using empathy rather than sympathy
• Talking in the customer’s language
• The importance of a tone of voice
• Understanding the customer’s needs - ask the right questions and verify
• Controlling the call
• Handling objections
• Write winning scripts to establish customer needs
• Customers who complain or don’t complain
• Managing complaints and turning them into business opportunities
• Working to a schedule and analysing calls

Trainer Name and Bio

Call Focus (sole trader – Karen Sommerville)
• (currently being updated)
• Linked-in profile better source –

All training will be given by Karen Sommerville of Call Focus, who specializes in communications,
sales and customer relations skills training. With over 25 years experience in various sales and
marketing roles, Karen has worked across a number of different industry sectors in direct and
distribution sales. She has over 16 years direct experience having worked in the outsourced
telemarketing/ call centre industry, as well as the IT, Telecoms and direct marketing industry.
Karen is best known for providing training courses in the area of customer service, communications
and the telephone; including the popular “Professional Telephone Skills”, “Customer Services and
Telephone Complaint Handling”, “Customer Service”, "Effective Telephone Sales”, “Cold Calling for
Sales”, “Debt Collection over the Telephone” and “Communications” training. Karen regularly
speaks at seminars and industry events on these topics.
As a sole trader, Call Focus (Karen Sommerville) is in a unique position to offer clients training that
can be customised to suit their exact needs. This begins from taking the brief, to the design and
preparation right through to the delivery of training and post evaluation. As a result, Call Focus is
able to very effectively measure and evaluate the effects of the learning in great detail. This in turn
allows Call Focus to constantly update workshops based on customer’s reaction and feedback. As a
result, Karen regularly receives 85% on her workshops and has completed the NUI Cert in Education
and Training (1st class honours).

Karen is an established trainer for many groups including a large number of Skillnet groups (over 10
groups), business associations, and educational bodies, in addition to a wide spectrum of companies
in both the consumer and business markets. The various sectors include companies such as IT,
Financial, Education, Telecoms, Media, Events & Leisure, FMCG, Service, Charities and Construction
Karen has also been providing consulting services with Call Focus since 1999 and is a business
mentor for Enterprise Ireland and some enterprise boards. She is also a Member of the Marketing
Institute and the Institute of Management Consultants and Advisors.


The Business Excellence Skillnet is funded by member companies and the Training Networks Programme, an initiative of Skillnets Ltd. funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills.

For more information on Skillnets Ltd, please visit

We are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of free places for jobseekers on our network programmes subject to funding being available. Please click on the following link to check if you meet Jobseekers eligibility criteria

Skillnets funded from the National Training Fund through the Department of Education and Skills



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