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Service (English Topic)

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SERVICE
Whenever you travel, eat out, stay in a hotel, or go on an excursion, service is always one of the
most influential factors determining the enjoyment of your time/experience. Service varies greatly
from company to company and from country to country. In general, the better the service provided, the
more expensive your experience will be. For example, in 'high end' hotels such as Hilton, Hyatt, or
Grand Marriott, both the price and the amenities
provided will be greater. Such hotels cater
to rich or
well-to-do clients, often businessmen. 'Lower end' hotels and tours may provide fewer amenities, but
at a lower price. Accordingly, the customer service will also likely be less personable. This is because
of the 'economic factor' of customer service. When employees are paid a higher salary, they tend to
interact more favorably with customers, since they want to keep their job, and it is expected. When employees are paid very little, their
motivation to go “above and beyond” to help
the customer is reduced. Another factor which
contributes to the level of customer service in
a hotel, restaurant, or tour service is the
'command climate' or 'company atmosphere'.
This is an intangible
factor which cannot be
figured out by a computer or seen in gathered
data, but nonetheless it is influential. If an
employee feels like he or she is a part of “the
team”, then he or she will be more motivated
to work hard and please customers. Therefore,
there exist some low-budget companies that
focus on having a good 'command climate' in
the hopes that their employees will be motivated and provide good customer service.
What do you consider 'good customer service' at a restaurant? In a hotel? On a tour? Which would
you prefer – a low price, or excellent customer service? Do you expect customer service in the check-
out line in a grocery store?
Describe the best customer service experience that you have had. Now describe the worst. What was
your response in both situations?
Amenities
= [PLURAL NOUN] Things that make it comfortable or enjoyable to live or work
somewhere. [At the Hilton on Red Square, the amenities include a gym, pool, jacuzzi, and room
service.]
[NOTE: The singular form is “amenity” but this noun is normally used in the plural form]
To cater to (somebody) = [VERB] To provide a particular group or person with something that they
want, need, or demand. [Sports programs on ESPN cater mainly to young male audiences.]
Intangible
= [ADJECTIVE] Not able to be touched or measured, and difficult to explain or describe.
[She has that intangible quality that a player must possess to be a champion.]
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
KEY SERVICE TERMS AND EXPRESSIONS
Customer Service Representative (Rep) – A person
whose job it is to help customers with problems
To troubleshoot
– To take a series of actions in order to
discover the source of a problem and solve it.
To deal with complaints
– To be in charge of or work on
solving a customer's complaint
Glitch
– (Usually related to technical products) An error
What seems to be the problem? = What is the problem?
What happened exactly?
= Please give me a more
detailed explanation of what happened/the problem
Is there anything else I should know? = Is there
something that you haven't told me yet?
I'm afraid it's not our policy to.....
= We're not responsible for that; We're not going to do that
Airfare (is) non-inclusive
= Airfare is not included in the total price; You must buy your own airfare
All-inclusive package
= Everything is paid for; Meals, airfare, transportation, lodging, etc.
Refund
= Money back (noun) [Also TO REFUND (as a verb)]
Complimentary
= [ADJ] Free of charge
Room Service
= (In a hotel) Describes the actions (chargeable and complimentary) that the hotel will
take in order to make their customer happy or more comfortable (for example: wake-up service, turn-
down service, food delivery, bringing more towels, etc.) [VERB: “To order room service” (chargeable
actions) OR “To call room service” (complimentary actions) [My mother prohibited me from ordering
room service whenever we stayed at hotels, because it was too expensive. When we ran out of clean
towels, I had to call room service, and the janitor brought us clean towels within minutes.]
]
POSSIBLE PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
[MATCH THE PROBLEMS (LEFT) WITH THE VERBS (RIGHT) THAT SOLVE THE PROBLEM.
YOU WILL HAVE TO CREATE COMPLETE SENTENCES TO FIX EACH PROBLEM. WHAT
OTHER PROBLEMS/VERBS CAN YOU THINK OF?]
The soap dispenser is empty
To clean
To sweep
To put in
The floor is dirty
To refill
To mop
To pour
There are no napkins
To vacuum
To dust
The tables are dirty
To brew
To put together
There is no coffee
To heat
To fix
The lamp is broken
To warm up
To dry
The floor is wet
To replace
To wipe up
The chair is broken
To create
To clear
The table is full of dishes
To replace
To bus
My glass is empty
To supply
To refill
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
USEFUL PHRASES RELATED TO CUSTOMER SERVICE
[CAN YOU REPHRASE EACH EXAMPLE? MORE POLITE/LESS POLITE VARIANTS?]
When you get a chance, would you please give me a Coke refill?
Can you recommend (for us) a wine?
What is your restaurant's signature dish?
Can I have another fork/spoon/knife/set of silverware?
My dish is cold/hot.
This isn't what I ordered.
My chicken isn't cooked enough.
Our bill/tab/check is incorrect.
Can you split up our bill/tab/check individually? = We want to
have separate bills/tabs/checks.
My room smells.
Can I upgrade to the Junior Executive Suite?
When does the pool open?
Where can I check my E-mail?
Does my room have wireless? (Internet – usually understood,
but may be said)
How long will this last?
What type/kind of batteries does this take/use?
Can this product be shipped to my home in St. Petersburg,
Russia?
What does the itinerary for our tour include?
Are meals provided? How much free time will we have?
SERVICE SCENARIOS
At our meeting, you will be given cards describing your role (job/position). Then you will have to
create a dialogue with another designated person and carry out a conversation with them.
QUIZ
[Another pop quiz!]
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
CONVERSATION
Viktor
: Man, I've been waiting for half an
hour for my food. What's the deal with the
service here?
Alla
: Yes, I've been sitting here for 10 minutes
with an empty glass of wine. Where is my
refill?
Katya
: I requested a clean set of silverware
over 15 minutes ago, and the waitress still
hasn't brought it to me yet! This is
unacceptable.
Viktor
: I think it's time to speak with the
manager. Alla
: Yes, good idea, Viktor. Why don't you
call him over here?
[Viktor successfully attracts the manager's attention and the manager comes to the table]
Manager
: Yes, may I help you?
Viktor
: Well, you certainly can. We are not pleased with our dining experience tonight.
Manager
: Oh, really? I'm sorry to hear that. What seems to be the problem?
Alla
: Most important is the fact that I have an empty wine glass on the table. That should be addressed
immediately with a free refill.
Katya
: As for me, I've been waiting for nearly half an hour for a set of clean silverware! How can I eat
without utensils? My food is getting cold! Viktor
: At least you HAVE food! I've been waiting for close to an hour for my steak! What's the
matter? Are you guys back there killing the cow or what?
Manager
: My goodness, there must be some mistake! We never fail our customers in this way.....I'll
find your waitress.....
Alla:
Before you do that, why don't you fill up my glass with wine?
[Manager leaves to check on waitress and returns to table (with Alla's wine)]
Alla
: Wine! At long last.....
Katya
: And yet, I have no silverware......
Viktor:
Strangely, I don't see my steak anywhere.....what do you have to say for yourself? Manager
: I'm afraid your server had a heart attack in the kitchen and had to be sent to the hospital.
Katya
: But what does that have to do with my silverware?
Viktor
: And my steak?
Alla
: I've got my wine, suckas!
Manager
: Didn't you hear me? Your waitress is in the hospital with a life-threatening condition.
Viktor
: You'll be in a life-threatening condition unless I get my steak soon!!!
Katya
: And my silverware had better be spotless
. Or else!
Manager
: Okay, folks. I've already explained the situation to you. I'll just waive the bill
, and you all
can be on your way.
Alla
: Free wine! Holla'!
Copyright©2010 English
Republic
.ru All rights reserved
Sucka
= [NOUN] Slang variant of “sucker”. This word has a wide variety of definitions and usages,
but the most definitive variant would be “one who is gullible and easily taken advantage of”. However,
in addition to this definition, this word is also used (as in the example in the conversation), when one
person has an advantage or benefit that the other people do not, and the advantaged person (usually
jokingly) wants to stress that they have an advantage/benefit that the others do not, so he/she calls them
a “sucka” (“sucker”). [-How are you getting to the airport, Sarah? -I'm going by bus. -Sucka! My dad
is driving me to the airport in his Lexus RX350!!][-Hey Sarah, I heard that you like Vitas.... -Yes, he is
my favorite singer. -I have front-row tickets to his next concert here in St. Petersburg. Do you want to
go with me? -Sure!! Thanks so much!! -Sucka!! I don't have tickets. I hate Vitas....]
Spotless
= [ADJ] Perfectly clean; without spots. [Kolya is a good little boy. He keeps his room
spotless without his mother having to nag him about it.]
To waive (something) = [VERB] To officially cancel/ignore a rule, right, procedure, or claim in a
given situation.
[Although the coach usually only selects players with at least 3 years of experience,
this time the coach waived the rule to let the young athlete join the team, because he runs so fast.]
Holla' (or Holla)
= Slang expression with a variety of meanings/usages. Normally, it is used as an
expression of greeting, or as an expression of excitement/enthusiasm/joy. [NOTE: It can also be used as
a verb - “to holla at someone” means to call or talk to someone......be careful, though, because this is
often used in a context where sexual activity is involved.] [Oh! Do you see that fine girl over there!
I'm going to have to holla at her!]
Just Speak!
Check out E
R
Movies
(where you can watch movies with subtitles)
Written by Bunny Designed by Vadim
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