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Address customer needs

Unit Descriptor This unit involves the skills and knowledge required to manage ongoing relationships with a customer (i.e. the customer relationship will typically involve interacting with the customer a number of times over an extended period). Such relationships are of a more complex nature where the worker needs to explore with the customer what outcomes are possible and may best promote satisfaction. It also requires the worker to be familiar with a product/service that varies widely and is capable of significant customisation. The nature of the service/product delivery needs to be explored/negotiated with the customer. This unit is identical to the cross-industry guideline unit GCSO06A with the same title.

1 . Assist customer to articulate needs
  1. Customer needs are fully explored, understood and agreed

  2. Available services/products are explained and matched to customer needs

  3. The rights and responsibilities of customers are identified and effectively communicated to the customer as appropriate

2 . Satisfy complex customer needs
  1. Possibilities for meeting customer needs are explained

  2. Customers are assisted to evaluate service/product options to satisfy their needs

  3. Preferred action is determined and prioritised

  4. Potential areas of difficulty in customer service delivery are identified, and appropriate actions are taken in a positive manner

Key CompetencyExamples of ApplicationPerformance
How can information be collected, analysed and organised?3
How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?3
How are activities planned and organised?2
How are problem solving skills applied?2
How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?1
How is use of technology applied?3
How is team work used within this competency?1

Range Statement

General context

Worksite environment

  • Operations may be conducted in a range of work environments and weather conditions by day or night

  • Customers may be either internal or external and may include but are not limited to:

    • customers with routine or special requests

    • regular and new customers

    • people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds

    • people with varying physical and mental abilities

    • people who may be unwell, drug affected and emotionally distressed

  • Effective communication techniques may include but are not limited to:

    • active listening techniques

    • using open and/or closed questions

    • speaking clearly and concisely

    • using appropriate language and tone of voice

    • giving customers full attention

    • maintaining eye contact (for face-to-face interactions)

    • non-verbal communication e.g. body language, personal presentation (for face-to-face interactions)

    • clear, legible writing

  • Contact with customers may include but is not limited to:

    • face-to-face interactions

    • answering the telephone

    • interactions with team members

  • Contact typically requires an ongoing and deep engagement with the customer and the discussion/negotiation of alternatives

  • Depending on the type of organisation concerned and the local terminology used, workplace procedures may include:

    • company procedures

    • enterprise procedures

    • organisational procedures

    • established procedures

Worksite environment

  • Communication in the work area may include:

    • fixed phone

    • mobile phone

    • fax

    • e-mail

    • Internet

    • radio

    • oral, aural or signed communications

Sources of information/ documents

  • Information/documents may include:

    • workplace procedures and policies for the addressing of long term customers including:

      • procedural manuals

      • product/service manuals, labels, instructions

      • guidelines on staff appearance and presentation

      • quality systems, standards and associated guidelines

    • regulations and codes of practice relevant to consumer protection and trade practices

    • induction documentation

    • competency standards and training materials

    • manufacturer's specifications for relevant equipment

    • supplier and/or client instructions

    • award, enterprise bargaining agreement, other industrial arrangements

    • quality assurance standards and procedures

Applicable regulations and legislation

  • Applicable regulations and legislation may include but are not limited to:

    • consumer law, environmental law, OHS, anti-discrimination/equal employment opportunity, harassment and other laws specific to local government, State and federal legislation

    • privacy legislation

    • relevant codes of conduct

    • regulations concerning other rights and responsibilities including, but not limited to, informed consent and the fulfilment of external obligations

Evidence Guide

Critical aspects of evidence to be considered

  • Assessment must confirm appropriate knowledge and skills to:

    • identify and address the need(s) required by the customer

    • develop customised solutions to customer needs and deliver that service to standard and in an appropriate timeframe

    • recommend an acceptable alternative to the customer (where necessary)

    • explain to the customer why the need(s) cannot be met and any further actions which might be taken in a manner which is acceptable to the customer

    • use appropriate communication strategies and equipment

    • locate, interpret and apply relevant information

Interdependent assessment of units

  • This unit of competency may be assessed in conjunction with other units that form part of a worker's job function

Required knowledge and skills

  • Australian and State/Territory standards, regulations and codes of practice relevant to the provision of customer service, including consumer laws and trade practices regulations

  • OHS and procedures and guidelines relevant to workplace operations

  • Workplace procedures and policies for identifying and addressing customer needs

  • The importance of good communication when identifying and addressing customer needs

  • The individual's role in identifying and addressing customer needs

  • Requirements of customer service systems/operations and relevant equipment

  • Ability to:

    • apply language skills which allow for adequate communication with the customer

    • apply literacy skills to the level required to identify and address customer needs and to acquire the required product knowledge

    • apply numeracy skills to the level required to interpret customer requirements and meet their needs

    • identify and solve problems that may occur when identifying and addressing customer needs

    • relate to customers from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities

    • identify and correctly use equipment, processes and procedures relevant to the identification and addressing of customer needs

    • apply relevant agreements, codes of practice or other legislative requirements to work processes

Resource implications

  • Access is required to opportunities to:

    • participate in a range of exercises, case studies and other real and simulated practical and knowledge assessments that demonstrate the skills and knowledge to identify and address customer needs, and/or

    • identify and address customer needs in an appropriate range of workplace contexts

Consistency in performance

  • Applies underpinning knowledge and skills when:

    • identifying the need(s) required by the customer

    • delivering customer service in accordance with identified customer needs and workplace procedures and in an appropriate timeframe

    • recommending an acceptable alternative to the customer, or explaining to the customer why a need(s) cannot be met and any further actions which will be taken in a manner which is acceptable to the customer

    • using appropriate communication strategies and equipment

    • locating, interpreting and applying relevant information

  • Shows evidence of application of relevant workplace procedures including:

    • regulations and codes of conduct pertaining to customer service

    • OHS regulations and hazard prevention policies and procedures

    • workplace procedures and instructions related to the identification and addressing of customer needs

    • relevant guidelines relating to the use of required equipment

  • Action is taken promptly to respond to/report any customer service problems in accordance with regulations and workplace procedures

  • Performance is demonstrated consistently over a period of time and in a suitable range of contexts

  • Recognises and adapts appropriately to cultural differences in the workplace, including modes of behaviour and interactions among staff and others

  • Work is completed systematically with required attention to detail without damage to goods, equipment or personnel

Context for assessment

  • Assessment of this unit must be undertaken by a Registered Training Organisation:

    • As a minimum, assessment of knowledge must be conducted through appropriate oral and/or written questioning

    • Appropriate practical assessment must occur:

      • at the Registered Training Organisation, and/or

      • in an appropriate work situation

  • This unit is essentially skills-based and it is expected that assessment will be largely practical (i.e. workplace-based or by simulation) in nature, supported by questioning to assess product knowledge.

  • Practical assessment will frequently be in the workplace or a suitable similar environment. Access to such an environment will be required. Questioning may occur in the work environment, or other suitable room such as an office, classroom or lunchroom.