Business Education | Career Readiness | Customer Service
4 Best Customer Service Lesson Plans
Customer service is one of the most important skills to teach in a career readiness class.
But it’s not always an easy topic to discuss in middle and high school courses.
After all, you need customer service lessons that help you teach this subject in a relatable way, and that’s a challenge at every grade level!
To make your life easier, we’ve put together a list of the four best customer service lesson plans:
- The Importance of Customer Service Skills from Texas CTE
- Customer Service Lesson Plans from Money Instructor
- Demonstrating Effective Customer Service Skills from Scott Yamahata
- Customer Service Module from Business&ITCenter21
In this blog, you’ll learn about each resource to help you decide which one(s) to use in your career readiness classes.
In addition, you’ll find a ready-to-use customer service lesson plan you can implement in your classroom in minutes!
Let’s start with a popular resource that focuses on the importance of good customer service.
1. The Importance of Customer Service Skills from Texas CTE
Texas CTE is an online resource center for CTE teachers to find instructional materials and professional development opportunities.
Though the site is run by the Texas Education Agency (TEA), a teacher in any state can use the content.
Texas CTE helps teachers cover customer service skills in hospitality settings with a lesson plan titled The Importance of Customer Service Skills.
The lesson has four main objectives for students:
- Identify and define vocabulary used to enhance customer service
- Evaluate why it’s important to use a guest’s name
- Discuss and explain what customer service is and why it’s important
- Develop strategies to anticipate guest needs
The lesson plan includes step-by-step directions for you to follow, along with instructional materials, related resources, and teaching strategies.
The lesson is also broken into six parts:
- Anticipatory Set
- Direct Instruction
- Guided Practice
- Independent Practice / Differentiated Activities
- Lesson Closure
Here’s what each part covers.
The anticipatory set is how you’ll introduce students to the concepts of customer service.
Your students will answer two questions on the provided graphic organizer:
- What do you already know about customer service?
- What do you want to know about customer service?
After students have written their answers, it’s time to switch gears and discuss your students’ answers.
After the anticipatory set, it’s time to move to the included PowerPoint presentation, during which students can take notes.
Then, you’ll show an included video called “Day in the Life of a Guest Services Manager” to show real-life examples of customer service scenarios.
Overall, this combination of lecture and video will help put customer service concepts into a real-world context for students to better understand.
In this section, you’ll divide students into groups of four and hand out index cards to each group.
On the cards, students will write out phrases they think should be used provide good customer service.
To help get students started, you can give a few examples, such as:
- How may I help you?
- Good morning
After each group has come up with a list, call on a few students to share their ideas.
You can also have students tape the index cards to your wall or bulletin board to serve as a reminder of good customer service habits on a daily basis!
For the next part of the lesson, you’ll divide your students into pairs.
Students pick a customer service scenario (provided as a lesson resource) and brainstorm strategies to provide a good experience.
To mix it up and let students have a little fun, you can also ask them to come up with ideas for both good and bad customer service experiences for their scenario!
This part of the lesson helps students creatively apply the concepts they’ve learned in a more concrete way.
After the class discussions and group work, it’s time to circle back and review what your students have learned.
In addition, students can complete a word search to help review the lesson’s vocab words.
Overall, this helps reinforce key customer service concepts and skills your students should have learned during the lesson.
The assessment at the end of this lesson involves students acting out the customer service scenarios they developed in the independent practice section.
You can measure student grades according to the provided rubric.
Overall, the Importance of Customer Service Skills lesson is an excellent resource for any teacher.
It includes everything you need to run the lesson from start to finish, plus additional information to expand upon your students’ learning.
The only downside is that the lesson was made for the Hospitality and Tourism career cluster.
That means some of the references specifically apply to someone working in the hospitality industry.
If you plan to implement this customer service lesson in a career readiness class, you can present it as an exercise in the hospitality industry or adjust it to provide the best context for your students!
2. Customer Service Lesson Plans from Money Instructor
Money Instructor is a member-based website created to teach basic money skills to students.
Along with the lessons on money skills, they have a section on the website dedicated to career, work, and business lessons -- including lessons on customer service!
In that section, you’ll find 10 lessons to teach customer service:
- Introduction to Customer Service
- Creating Customer Loyalty
- Customer Needs and Wants
- Dealing with Difficult Customer Personalities
- Problems with In-Person Customer Service
- Phone Problems and How to Correct Them
- Business Letters and Emails
- How to Solve Problems
- Dealing with Customer Complaints
- Using Dissatisfied Customers to Improve Loyalty
Introduction to Customer Service teaches students the basics of customer service and how it impacts both businesses and consumers.
Creating Customer Loyalty helps students understand the common traits of a loyal customer and why customer loyalty is important to the success of a business.
Customer Needs and Wants teaches students how to understand customer demographics to determine what their needs and wants may be.
Dealing with Difficult Customer Personalities helps students understand different personality types they may encounter when working with customers. In addition, they’ll learn how to use that information to provide better service.
Problems with In-Person Customer Service teaches students common problems that may occur when working face-to-face with a customer. Students will also learn ways to overcome those potential problems.
Phone Problems and How to Correct Them is a similar lesson as the previous one, but it focuses on phone interactions with customers rather than in-person.
Business Letters and Emails emphasizes the role that written communication plays in providing good customer service.
How to Solve Problems teaches students how to take a win-win approach to solving problems for customers.
Dealing with Customer Complaints teaches students effective strategies for handling complaints both in a proactive and reactive manner.
Using Dissatisfied Customers to Improve Loyalty ties everything together by showing students how to manage customer complaints in a way that ends up increasing customer loyalty.
Each lesson from Money Instructor comes with everything you need to teach the information, including:
- Teaching materials
- Student worksheets
- Lesson procedures
- Related activities
- Evaluation methods
Overall, these lesson plans can help you teach a variety of customer service concepts, starting with the basics and moving into more advanced topics!
The only drawback is the recommended age level.
Some lessons are listed as appropriate for middle school, while others are geared towards high schoolers and adult learners.
Because of this, it’s smart to comb through each lesson to make sure you pick the most relevant and age-appropriate ones to include in your classes.
3. Demonstrating Effective Customer Service Skills from Scott Yamahata
Scott Yamahata is a business education teacher who shares resources on California Educators Together -- an online community where CTE teachers can find curriculum resources.
One of Scott’s resources is a lesson called Demonstrating Effective Customer Service Skills.
This lesson introduces students to customer service in 10 steps:
- The Hook
- Group Work & Discussion
- Demo / Modeling
- Independent Practice
- Guided Practice
- Check for Understanding
- Activity One
- Activity Two
This lesson begins with using a scenario to explain the concept of a win-win situation.
The teacher explains an example scenario of a parent who is angry about their child getting poor grades, and how a teacher can effectively use customer service skills to make it a win-win situation.
If you prefer to use a different scenario, you can apply the same principles to get students thinking about the basic concepts of customer service.
Group Work & Discussion
Next, it’s time for students to consider their own experiences in relation to good and bad customer service.
You’ll spur student thinking by passing out a worksheet with questions like:
- Name a time when you got good or bad customer service. What happened?
- What is the importance of customer service?
- Name a place where you feel brand loyalty. Why do you feel that way?
Have students work in small groups to fill out the worksheets and discuss their answers.
After a few minutes, call on a student from each group to share one of the scenarios that was shared.
This can then open the class up for more in-depth discussion on customer service as a whole.
Demo / Modeling
At this point of the lesson, you’ll introduce students to the four main characteristics of good customer service:
- Good product and industry knowledge
- Knowledge of customer needs
- Problem-solving skills
Then you’ll direct a class activity called “Don’t Break the Chain” in which students sit in a circle and each recite the four characteristics.
If a student forgets one of the characteristics, the “chain” breaks and goes back to the first student!
This is a good way to incorporate a small game while helping students remember the key characteristics of good customer service!
This portion of the lesson actually references the use of a worksheet from the Money Instructor Introduction to Customer Service lesson plan mentioned previously.
Students work in groups to answer the first question on the sheet, then present their answer to the rest of the class.
Next, it’s time for students to role-play one of the scenarios students created during the previous part of the lesson.
Give the groups a few minutes to plan and rehearse their demonstrations.
Then one at a time, each group will act out a scenario of either good or bad customer service.
This hands-on approach will help students experience “real-world” examples while using their creative side, which can help improve engagement!
After everyone has finished their role play scenario, it’s time to check for student understanding.
Instruct students to fill out the second question on the worksheet from Money Instructor: “Consider a school or workplace. Who would be the customers within that organization?”
Students can then write their answers and then partake in an instructor-led class discussion.
This is a great way for you to formatively assess student understanding of service from a customer’s point of view.
Now it’s time to introduce students to the difference between reactive and proactive customer service.
Reactive customer service involves dealing with an issue when it comes up.
Proactive customer service means taking preventative action based on previous knowledge of issues.
As part of this customer service activity, students will come up with examples of each of these categories.
Then you will ask students to role-play or explain a scenario they came up with to demonstrate each type of customer service.
This customer service activity teaches students to apply their skills to solve a problem among employees.
Specifically, the student will act as an employer of a new employee who provided bad customer service.
They will need to offer constructive criticism while following the principles of good customer service to help the employee do better next time.
The closure portion of the lesson involves students watching a movie scene between a restaurant server and customer.
Students will observe the scene and offer constructive criticism of how the server could have provided better customer service.
This is a good way to wrap up the lesson and reinforce the customer service concepts taught throughout the lesson.
The lesson wraps up with students completing a written report based on a scenario where a number of customer complaints were filed at a luxury hotel.
Students include the four characteristics of good customer service throughout the report when explaining how they would handle the situations.
Unfortunately, the lesson plan doesn’t include a rubric or suggestions for how to grade the reports. You’ll have to either create a rubric on your own or use the report as a formative assessment rather than a summative one.
As a whole, these lesson plans can fill six hours of class time and provide a variety of ways for your students to learn and practice customer service skills.
The main downside of this resource is the lack of materials included.
To start, you’ll have to find the worksheets from Money Instructor that are referenced in some parts of the lesson.
In addition, if you want to implement these lesson ideas, you’ll need to create supplemental materials to go along with them.
4. Customer Service Module from Business&ITCenter21
Business&ITCenter21 is a comprehensive curriculum system designed to teach crucial career readiness skills to middle and high school students.
The curriculum includes a Customer Service module that teaches students the importance of customer service and an employee’s role in delivering good customer service.
The module content is presented according to the four phases of learning with an accompanying summative assessment:
- Learn & Practice
In the Explore phase, students will complete four introductory activities, three of which align with the first three units of the Learn & Practice phase.
The first activity involves students identifying good and bad examples of customer service by reviewing three provided scenarios.
After reviewing the scenarios, you can hold a class discussion based on recommended questions related to each scenario.
The second activity puts students into a customer service simulation that includes using customer service ethics and communication skills. Students will experience the different results of customer service decisions they make.
For the third activity, students discover behavioral patterns and their own primary behavioral pattern.
Finally, students participate in another customer service simulation that involves cultural diversity and handling tense situations.
Overall, these activities will help your students understand the basics of customer service before jumping into the more detailed topics.
Learn & Practice
In the Learn & Practice phase, students complete 11 interactive, scenario-based lessons between these 4 units:
- Introduction to Customer Service
- Customer Service Skills
- Customer Service Representative
- The Customer's Journey
Each lesson comes with an accompanying lesson plan, teacher presentation, lesson transcript, and student worksheet.
Ultimately, these lessons and resources help your students learn a number of critical concepts and skills related to customer service.
In addition, you’ll find a quiz at the end of each unit to measure what students learn throughout the lessons.
These quizzes are automatically scored and can either serve as a non-graded formative assessment or a graded summative assessment.
In the Reflect phase, students complete an activity to reflect on what they’ve learned so far.
This involves students using critical thinking to answer questions about customer service and its role in businesses.
You can either instruct students to answer the questions in their class journal or as part of a class discussion.
These reflection questions help students think about the overarching concepts of customer service in relation to their own experiences.
In the Reinforce phase, students complete up to seven projects and activities that review what they've learned in the Customer Service module. identify good and bad customer service characteristics based on real-life customer experiences.
These activities review concepts including ethics in customer service, customer service simulations, identifying the most important skills in a customer service career, and understanding the customer's journey at a particular company.
These activities are an excellent way to reinforce what students have learned so far by tying the lesson topics to real-life examples.
After completing the four phases of learning, students will be tested on their knowledge through a summative assessment.
The module test includes information found across all lessons in the module and is automatically graded through the digital system.
In total, the Customer Service module has 20 class hours’ worth of curriculum content to help teach the customer service skills.
Overall this resource is a great addition to any course that needs to cover customer service because the context is based on experiences your students face in their everyday lives.
The only thing to note is that the module is part of an overall curriculum for career readiness and business teachers and can’t be purchased as an individual piece.
If you’re only looking for a customer service lesson, Business&ITCenter21 won’t be the best fit.
If you need to teach other career readiness skills like communication and professionalism, this curriculum system could help you hit all of your course topics!
Get Your Free Customer Service Lesson Plan Download!
You’ve read about four in-depth customer service curriculum resources and each one is a great option depending on the needs of your classroom.
But if you need to start teaching customer service, you likely want a ready-to-use lesson plan you can implement right now!
That’s where this free Customer Service Skills lesson plan comes in!
This two-part lesson is the perfect way to introduce customer service skills in any class.
Click below to get your free customer service lesson!