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Case Study on a retail customer who underwent Customer Service Training

The Client

Lewis's Home Fabric, retailer and manufacturer of curtains with a production site in Wellington and three retail stores.


About 50 staff were trained. They included management, office staff, retail salespeople, sales consultants who visit homes, and measurers and fitters who visit homes and install curtains.


Bruce Holland designed and delivered the project.

The process

Three half-day workshops were run with two weeks between each workshop.

  1. Workshop 1 was about "Colouring Your Customers Using Herrmann's Thinking Preferences". Participants were taught that people are different from each other and need to be dealt with quite differently depending on how they think. Most service providers assume everyone wants to be treated the way they want to be treated and this is simply not true. The trick is to know who you are, who they are and change your approach accordingly.

  2. Workshop 2 was about "Confidence, Influence and Personal Power". The basic idea is that we are all drawn to people with confidence like iron is drawn to a magnet. It's not something we are conscious of, but it happens. This workshop helps people become more confident.

  3. Workshop 3 was about "Processes and Tools to Increase Customer Service". It covers many tools including the 6 basic human needs, lifetime value, moments of truth, raving fans and a way to improve sales service processes.

Customer comments

  • What a great time we had! I got a lot from seeing our people enjoy themselves, be more of themselves and open up to new thinking. The tools and concepts around being better at giving great service have been very valuable and helped us all get a common understanding of how each customer is an individual and so are we. Many of our people were new to training and development and Bruce's style was key to succeeding in getting people to relax and bring their best. As an organisation we needed to begin somewhere and this was perfect for us. Not too heavy, but not a walk in the park either, with most people reflecting on one thing or another for weeks afterwards....We achieved the objectives I set in a positive and engaging way. Overall this was 5 out of 5, one of the best I've been to. Lisa Ellingham, General Manager, Lewis's Home Fabrics.

  • Great, very thought provoking! Thoroughly enjoyed, found the exercises and workshops very good and very useful to our team. Thought provoking. Many discussions coming to team meetings from all areas. Well worth the time and effort. Very beneficial to anyone who attends. Overall this was 5 out of 5, one of the best I've been to. Phyllis Gulliver, Branch Manager, Lewis's Home Fabrics, Lower Hutt.

  • It was a very worthwhile project, I think enjoyed by all who participated. It was an opportunity to work more as a team and take people out of their comfort zones. The readings and pre-work were all worthwhile and gave you an insight to the upcoming workshops. I would highly recommend Virtual Group, it certainly opened my mind and thought processes. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Overall this was 5 out of 5, one of the best I've been to. Sonia Galyer, Office Manager, Lewis's Home Fabrics.

  • I thought the material was well researched. Documentation and workshops professionally prepared. Half-day workshops were a good amount of time, keeping information to the point. Thought Virtual Group provided inspirational training to a broad range employees with different jobs and different skills, but it worked well for all of us. Nardine Parker, Sales Consultant, Lewis's Home Fabrics.

  • I found it thought provoking and interesting. It was well presented and great to work in teams. The concepts were easy to understand and follow. It is a worthwhile investment. It not only teaches one how to apply oneself in the workplace, but also allows one to find out more about oneself. Overall this was 5 out of 5, one of the best I've been to. Janine Hickley, Sales Consultant, Lewis's Home Fabrics.

  • Very professional. Bruce was easy to understand and his practical workshops enjoyable. Colouring your customers does work and this information will prove very helpful in my dealings with customers. Great to share with the group. Bruce was enjoyable to listen to and his choice of music was excellent. More Bob Dylan! A great learning tool for any customer focused company. Overall this was 5 out of 5, one of the best I've been to.Alan Davodine, Senior Measurer and Installer, Lewis's Home Fabrics.

  • My overall impression was that the project was very good and thought provoking. A great strength is the relaxed manner in which it was facilitated, which placed everyone at ease...Terry Donald, Managing Director, Home Fabrics.

Key words: Leadership, leadership development, leadership management, leadership training, leadership program, leadership skills

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