Customer Service Training

Welcome to Flat Waves Food Shack Customer Service Training Program

We're happy to have you and hope you are excited to get started. Please take your time reading through the material and studying this course. Don't rush through it! It is extremely important you understand where we are coming from and how important Customer Service is to us and now to you! Good luck and learn lots!

Chapter 1- Introduction

Customer Service Introduction

Welcome to Flat Waves Customer Service Training!

The purpose of this program is to teach you how to truly exemplify our mission “To go Beyond one Meal” on a daily basis and in all circumstances.  This program has been developed over years of learning, making mistakes, fixing mistakes, reading books, and learning from other companies who do it well!  We have studied organizations like Disney and Southwest Airlines and have been mentored by Chick-fil-A to really explore what quality customer service looks like. We have developed this program to teach you how to effectively deliver it within our company!  This program will teach not only how to be successful at Flat Waves, but also for the rest of your life no matter where you go!

At Flat Waves, we are always seeking to improve every day.  Our expectation for you is not to be perfect at all of these things on your first day of work, but to continuously be striving to get better at these principles and never stop learning! As a front line employee of our company, you represent Flat Waves to our customers more than anyone in the organization.  We take this seriously, and we expect for you to as well.   Learning, understanding, and embodying our mission “To go Beyond one Meal” should always be your #1 priority and this training will give you all the tools to do it effectively!

Our expectation for you to continue learn and improve is also something we are striving to do as an organization.  If you see something that doesn’t seem right, you disagree with, or you think we could improve in this training please let us know! We all have a unique opportunity within this restaurant business to strengthen each other and help each other grow and we don’t want to miss an opportunity to learn from you as well!  

As our business grows, we want to keep that small local feel as much as possible and continue to be accessible for everyone!  You can always email [email protected], or call/text Will’s cell phone at 401-236-5074.

Were excited to have you on our team and hope that you will enjoy this training as much as we have enjoyed developing it!

What is our Mission Statement?

Chapter 2 - What is Customer Service anyway?

Customer Service Defined

“To Go Beyond One Meal”

 Our Company’s mission statement could even be called a service statement!

  • What are some ways we can go beyond one meal in every customer service interaction? 

Rule #1- If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else!

  • Sounds easy right.  Remember this next time you answer the phone and a customer is upset because an order was delivered wrong, or a customer is taking out their frustration on you from something else going on in their life, or they ask for something we can't provide… 
  • How do you answer?
  • How would you want someone to answer if that was you on the other end of the line or other side of the counter?

Rule #2 - Our guests want to hear 1 word- YES!

  • a customer doesn’t often really care about us, a “company policy,” or why we "can't” give them what they want.  
  • They just want to hear YES!

Rule # 3 - Know what the customer DOES want.

Every single customer wants 2 things:

1. Show me that you care about me personally!

How much better does it feel when someone actually treats you like the person you are?! That feeling can't be replaced with a machine or even great food.

2. Tell me what you're going to do for me right now!

Customers come in or call for one reason...they want HELP!

HELP placing an order, HELP fixing an issue, HELP answering questions they don't know the answers to, HELP with the money they are spending

“Any computer that answers the phone; Anyone unfriendly; Anyone passing the buck; Anyone giving an excuse;Anyone Arguing…Is giving them anything but what they want.” (CSWCLP 34)

Every time a customer calls, or you call a customer, you have an opportunity and a choice.

We have a choice to make a positive impact on someone’s life and their day. We have an opportunity to go beyond one meal.  

Treat each customer as an opportunity, NOT an obligation!

Picture Each Customer Differently

Can you imagine the impact you could have if you treated every customer as though they were your favorite celebrity, hero, friend, neighbor, or your GRANDMA? Not only can you have a positive impact on the people you are serving, but the impact on Flat Waves as a company and YOU personally, will also be incredible!

So "who is in customer service?"you might ask?

ANYONE who talks to a customer! Accounting, Management, Marketing, HR, Will, and you as our front line representatives of the company all are in customer service! Our goal is to serve customers and go beyond one meal, so all the work that company does is customer-centric and developed to serve customers better! You as the front line representative of Flat Waves get to embody it the most and make us all shine!

Customer "Talk" is HUGE!

There’s some research that’s been done about how many people they tell. Did you know the amount of people customers tell about you after your interaction with them? 

  • 3 if you do a good job
  • 10 if you do a great job
  • 25 if you do a bad job
  • 50 if you get into an argument.  (CSWCLP 136)

So recap...What is Customer Service?

  • Quality performance and quality customer service starts with a positive attitude!
  • A positive attitude is the way you dedicate yourself to the way you think and act.
  • A positive attitude is your ability to think, listen, speak, and react in a positive way… All the time.

Who is in customer service?

  • accounting
  • cooks
  • management
  • front line representatives
  • marketing
  • all of the above

According to rule #2, What does the customer want to hear?

  • YES
  • HELP
  • Thanks for coming
  • Howdy

Customers come in or call for one reason...they want ______________!

Type the answer to fill in the blank  

Quality Performance and quality customer service start with a _____________  ______________!

Customers want two things; for you to show them that you ___________ about them personally and tell me what you’re going to do for me now.

  • care
  • know
  • don't know

To Go Beyond One Meal is our mission statement but it could also be our “_____________ statement.”

  • service
  • greeting
  • life

Chapter 3 - Why is Quality Customer Service so important?

Customer Service is so much more than just the Here and Now!

Customer service is building relationships.  

It builds loyalty.  It builds a business. 

It builds your personal reputation and your career!

“The cost of fixing the wrong, making amends, making it right, creating a memorable recovery, and adding (giving) something unexpected to the customer (discount, free gift) is ALWAYS less than the cost of an upset (angry) customer and a negative store about you that is retold for years.” (CSWCLP 34)

Food for thought: Paychecks don’t come from the company.  They come from our customers.  Your kids eat because customers buy! (CSWCLP 43)

Remember that in the end, the only perspective that matters is the CUSTOMER'S.  

The customer isn’t always right,

 but its our job to make them believe that they are right, 

and that in the moment of interaction we make them feel like they are 

the most important person 

in the room...

How do you view your customers?

Do you view customers as an opportunity (to serve, please, respect, and build a relationship with) or an obligation?

How do you treat each and every customer?

Treat each customer as an ,NOT an !

Who really signs each of your paychecks?

The only _______________________ that matters is the customer's.

Which is a bigger expense for the company;

  • correcting or making a mistake right
  • an angry or upset customer

Chapter 4 - Principles, not policy!

Principles vs. Policy

Principles, NOT Policy

Flat Waves Customer Service is guided by principles.  It is not dictated by policy.  

“Give me liberty or give me death” is a principle.  People are willing to die for their principles; find me someone willing to die for their policy…. We can rally around our principles, which is why we developed them specifically to service our customers!

From now on in your vocabulary the word POLICY

Is dead.

Never say it to a customer,

Never use it as an excuse.

We will operate with the external world based on


Principle - a fundamental truth or proposition that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior or for a chain of reasoning.Policy - a course of action adopted or proposed, selected from among alternatives, by a government, party, business, or individual (NO CUSTOMER CARES WHAT WE PROPOSE...THEY WANT TO KNOW WHAT WE TRULY BELIEVE)

What does this mean for you?   

Below are the guiding principles for delivering the Flat Waves Quality Customer Service.  

Notice that all are written in terms of the customer, not the company!

Flat Waves Food Shack Customer Service Principles 

1. Your attitude determines the degree of excellence of service you perform! (the way dedicate yourself to the way you think… and yes only you can decide this, and yes it does take dedication)

  • Positive attitude must be the foundation of your life, both inside and outside of work, in order to truly impact your life.  And at work, your positive attitude has the best possibility of creating a positive customer perception of all of Flat Waves!
  • How consistent is your positive attitude?
  • Food for thought: How do you like dealing with a customer person at another company that has an indifferent or lousy attitude? 
    • Remember Rule #1 from chapter 2- If you wouldn’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else!

2. Customers contact us or come to the restaurant for 1 reason.  They need HELP!

  • when you are a customer, your expect real help!
  • How do you think about customers?
  • We want customers to know that they can call and come to Flat Waves for help.  We want to be their first thought when they are hungry because they know we can find them the solution even if it means they eat somewhere else!

3. A customer ready to repeat his purchase is a powerful advantage for Flat Waves and for you!

  • The quality of our relationships with our customers determines the loyalty of our customers, the growth of our company, and the ability for Flat Waves to continue in business!
  • Food for thought: Is your customer service EARNING us the right to repeat business?  Are the relationships being built EARNING the sale and the right to sell again, or are our customers merely shopping based on price?
  • Customer LOYALTY is built on the QUALITY of the relationships. This is all about “GOING BEYOND ONE MEAL!!!”

4. Customer Satisfaction is Worthless

“Satisfaction is no longer the acceptable standard of customer service.  Satisfaction is no longer the acceptable measurement of customer service. The standard of measure of success for the next millennium is loyal customers… Just because they’re satisfied doesn’t mean they are loyal. Satisfied customers will buy from anyone” (CSWCLP 79)

5. When we're done talking with a customer and the transaction is over, they will start talking.

  • We have total control over whether a customer says something good about us or something bad! 
  • Our actions craft their story!

6. Word-of-Mouth Advertising is Powerful!!!

  • What’s the word on the street about us?
  • One person telling someone else where to eat is far more powerful than seeing an Flat Waves Food Shack ad on the side of the road!

7. Your Customer is Your Paycheck

“Don’t be fooled by the signature at the bottom of your payroll check.  Flat Waves didn’t put the money there, our customers did. No customers, no money." (CSWCLP 77)
  • The more we work FOR our customers success (whether they buy now or not) the more we will earn. This doesn’t mean we will earn at the moment of service performance.  We cannot measure each action for a direct return, but we need to need to look at the big picture!

8. Your friendliness and willingness to help is in direct proportion to your personal success!

  • This is not  just about Flat Waves.  People want to work with you and do business with you if you are friendly and helpful!

9. Make someone’s day brighter!

  • Service is a feeling.  You can feel Good Service.  You can also feel Bad Service. You can also feel when you are delivering good or bad service.
  • How does serving others make you feel?

10. Start with YES!

  • A simple and easy way to start off by serving our customers is to just say “Yes”. 
  • When there is something that we cannot do, rather than giving excuses, try offering a solution! 
  • Find a way that you can say YES to some part of the problem. This will go a long way. No one ever just wants to hear..."NO" or "I can't"...give your customer something they want to hear!
  • Serve our customers whether its by doing business with us or not.

11. The customers perception of the interaction is what matters and is the measure of success.

  • It’s not about whether we thought we delivered quality customer service, it’s about whether or not they believe they received it!
  • The message must be delivered in the way that is helpful to a customer.
  • This means we need to think about who were speaking with when were serving and how to serve them best
  • Food for thought:
  • Some cultures it is rude to point with 1 finger, try pointing with 2 fingers when showing someone something on the menu

 Avoid slang especially when speaking with certain age groups as to not offend (more about speech later)

12. Care for people personally

  • If you can truly care for someone personally, delivering the quality customer service is easy!
  • Its about treating all people how you want to be treated!

13. Be real, be friendly, and go beyond one meal with a customer.

  • Be genuine and friendly at all times is a great place to start!
  • When a customer comes to Flat Waves (or any business) they are hoping for FRIENDLY service and help getting what they want.
  • learn about delivering a "beyond one meal" factor in the next chapter…

What word will you NEVER use with customers when talking about how we run the restaurant?

Your ___________________ determines the degree of excellence of service you perform.

Customer satisfaction is _______________________! Loyalty is what we need!

Word-of-mouth ______________ is powerful! It matters what people talk about and we control whether what they say about us is positive or negative.

  • gossip
  • advertising
  • yelp reviews
  • people

It’s not about whether WE thought WE delivered quality customer service; it’s about whether or not THEY ________________ THEY received it!

  • think
  • Believe
  • might think

Chapter 5 - The "Beyond One Meal" factor

What's the "beyond one meal" factor and how do you execute it?

When interacting with a customer, concentrate on the person, not their personality. Concentrate on the caller, not the call. Remember that it is our job to help the CUSTOMER not ourselves.

Beyond one Meal...

what is it?


It’s going above and beyond, sometimes a small way, sometimes larger.  It’s making a customer truly feel special and cared for. Its doing something that no one else would; its truly putting the interest of someone else above your own.

It separates a few people (and businesses) in this world from the rest.  And it’s what we aim to do at Flat Waves every single day.

How do we execute? 

Here’s a list of some principles we can operate by to always be friendly and WOW our customers on a daily basis.

  1. Friendly- You have to feel it first. You cant deliver wow friendly if you are forcing it.
  2. Helpful- take an active role in helping. Don’t just tell them when they can call to reach the catering manager. Get their cell phone number and tell them you will personally call them back with whatever information they need!
  3. Attitude- Your personal, positive mental attitude is the basis for the way you act and reat to people. Learn to be your best. Every day. Take pride in yourself. Don’t do it for Flat Waves, do it for you! This takes work. It takes dedication. Look for ways to learn and get better daily and your attitude will always be improving!  
  4. Truthful- ALL. THE. TIME.  With customers, with fellow employees, and with yourself. It can be hard at times, but it will always be worth it.
  5. Be Genuine- be yourself and be genuinely interested in our customers… ALL THE TIME
  6. Enthusiastic- Have a positive attitude and be enthusiastic, its contagious!
  7. Knowledge- Know what to do, know how to do it, know our menu, be able to answer questions. It will impress.
  8. Memorable- Do something memorable. It doesn’t have to be something big, just something someone will remember you by.  You have a unique opportunity to meet many people working in customer service at Flat Waves, get to know people, and people will remember you! You never know when you will see them again!
  9. Language and Manners- Our first words set the tone! Yes Sir, Yes Ma'am, My pleasure, etc.  Its about the words you use. Creating eye contact, staying engaged, body language.
  10. Be understanding and patient- Listen first. Be empathetic. Listen with your eyes, ears, and body.
  11. Serve in terms of the customer- Put the customer first, not the company or yourself.  Think about how you can serve them in their terms.
  12. Get a smile back- If you smile first and engage our customers, you will be amazed by how many smiles you will get in return during the day! And this is one of key metrics by which your success will be gauged on a daily basis!

Lessons from Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A calls this “second mile service”.  Their “second mile service” has differentiated them as a leader in the food industry as a company that cares about its customers and delivers quality customer service.  And the best thing is, its SIMPLE! 

The Principles are as Follows...

Part 1: Recipe for Service

  • Create Eye Contact
  • Share a Smile
  • Speak Enthusiastically
  • Stay Connected

Part 2: Second Mile Service

  • Genuine
  • Proactive
  • Personal

Chick-fil-A does a great job of breaking down all the long winded details of what drives success in customer service and has simplified it to these basic principles.  Our relationship with them and these principles have helped us formulate the measurement metrics for delivering Flat Waves Quality Customer Service. 

Food for thought: Try to truly wow one of our customers each time you come to work.  Look for ways that you can really brighten someone’s day within the parameters of the service style we have at Flat Waves.

A Flat Waves Example: 

 Arthur, a 3 year employee at Flat Waves got to know an elderly woman who came to the restaurant almost weekly.  He got to know her regular order, would ask her questions about her grandkids, help her carry her food to car, etc.  One day the woman called in for delivery after having a surgery. Arthur answered the phone, recognized her voice and gave her the same friendly service on the phone! Then, he delivered her the food and when he arrived her door was open and she was unable to get out of her chair, he brought it in to her at her chair! WOW!!

The effect: 

This woman has continued to be a long time loyal customer.  She comes in weekly, brings her family in when they visit, has a sticker on her car, orders catering from us every Christmas, and she even sends us a Christmas card with chocolates!

When interacting with customers we must concentrate on the ___________ not their ______________.

  • personality; looks
  • person; personality
  • way they look; wallet
  • wallet; personality

Beyond One Meal means delivering GREAT SERVICE. It can be going above and beyond in a small way or a big way. Its also showing a customer that we TRULY care about them and want them to know that we ______.


Have a positive attitude and be ________! It is contagious so spread the wealth!


Always get a ________ back from a customer. If you _____ first you’d be surprised how many you’ll get back!


Chapter 6 - Language is Important!

Your MOUTH, EYES, and BODY all make up language.

Want to be successful in life, start paying attention to the words you use, make eye contact when you speak to someone, and pay attention to the signals that your posture and the way you dress give off!

At Flat Waves, the language we use is a key component to our Quality Customer Service and how our business represents itself to the public.

People will forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel....

“You never get a second first impression” 

– I don’t know who to credit this quote to, but its profoundly true and ridiculously important when it comes to customer service!  

How we present our company in advertising, the condition of our buildings, the cleanliness of our stores, the welcoming-ness of the entrance are all important, but the most important part is YOU

Delivering quality customer service goes like this:

1. Body Language

  • Its our dress code and uniform.  It’s wearing clothes that fit your properly and are not too big or too small.
  • Its standing up straight and looking professional.

2. Start with Eye contact

  • When someone comes through the door make eye contact. 
  • Don't stare then down but make them feel noticed and important with something as simple as acknowledging them! 

3. Greet the customer

  • Welcome them to Flat Waves.  
  • Ask they how they are doing - not just what they want!
  • Show an interest in the customer!  (more about phone and customer greetings later…)

Remember to make it genuine! 

We are not robots, and we don’t need to greet each customer in the exact same way, but the delivery is important and avoiding specific words and using others is!

Here’s some phrases that are great starters when a customer makes a request or asks a question:

  • My Pleasure!
  • Great!
  • No problem!
  • I think we can solve…
  • I’m sure there is a way we can get this done for you
  • I can help you!
  • YES!~
  • The best/easiest/fastest way to handle this is to…
  • If we make a mistake… “Oh, That’s Horrible, I sincerely apologize, I am going to make this right for you…”

…and heres some phrases that are sure to UPSET customers…

  • its out policy…
  • I cant…
  • There’s no way…
  • I don’t handle that here.
  • Its your fault
  • What do you expect me to do
  • Sorry, were closed
  • We did the best we could…
  • That offer ended yesterday
  • Im busy
  • That’s not my job
  • What do you want me to do about it
  • I don’t have time
  • I haven’t had time
  • There will be an additional charge
  • We never…
  • You’ll have to...
  • Why didn’t you…?
  • You can talk to the manager but he/she will tell you the same thing
  • The manager never lets anyone..
  • You don’t have to be rude about it.
  • You don’t have to yell
  • I’m just doing my job
  • Fake smile and say sassy- “have a nice day”
  • Sorry about that (this sounds super insincere, try using “I truly apologize and will do do whatever it takes to make it right)

Our first words set the tone for the immediate transaction and future relationship with the customer! It’s a huge responsibility and a MASSIVE opportunity!

Choose the phrases that are great starters when talking to a customer. Check all that apply.

  • My pleasure!
  • Great!
  • No problem!
  • Its our policy...
  • I think we can solve...
  • I'm sure there is a way we can solve this...

Delivering quality customer service goes like this:

  • Have eye contact, wait for the customer to greet you, smile.
  • Have good body Language, then start with eye contact, and be sure to greet the customer professionally.
  • Lean on the counter, pass customers off to other employees, try to do less.

You never get a "________ first impression.”

What three things make up language that a customer sees?

  • Mouth
  • Eyes
  • Menu
  • Body

“Its our policy sir…”

We don't use the word POLICY with customers! 

  • Acceptable language
  • Unacceptable language

Chapter 7 - What Makes Customers Dissatisfied?

Want to see a DISSATISFIED on!

“The way you handle a situation (mistake, or problem) is the true test of your character.”

  • This is a principle that we have developed ourselves through our experience with Flat Waves.  We all make mistakes.  But how we deal with them is a test of our true character.  It also provides us with an opportunity to shine!
  • From Jeffrey Gitomer:
“The Customer is always wrong…and you’re just about as perfect! Its not about right or wrong, its how you react to and handle the problem.” (CSWCLP 58)

Here’s a list of some reasons why customers may choose to purchase elsewhere and what makes them just plain mad…

1. Attitude!

  • When we show no genuine or personal interest.
  • Impersonal service. Being insincere.
  • Not caring or having a not caring attitude is a sure way to torque off a customer (or anyone for that matter)

2. Poor response to a Need or Question

  • Taking too long to get back to a customer and they'll find somewhere else to buy their food.
  • We will explore this in more detail later.

3. Poor Service

4. Unavailability (of people or product)

  • If someone can't get what they need or want why would they stay?
  • Of if they can't reach the person they need they will go elsewhere.

5. Inability to get a problem solved, or hard to do business or order

  • Being sold out of an item they they specifically came to Flat Waves for.
  • Long waits, being on hold, computers answering the phones, etc. equals GOODBYE!

6. Unfriendly person on the front line

  • If we cannot start with a smile and a friendly greeting, chances are we wont see that customer again.

7. Acting like your doing someone a favor by serving them!

  • This is one of my personal (Will) pet- peeves.  We are in the customer service business.  It should bring us great pleasure to serve our customers!
  • It is our job to serve customers, and when done well it is a lot of fun!

8. Poor or rude collection practices.

  • Presenting a bill in a positive way is important! Your tone of voice matters!

9. Over-Promising

  • Give people a realistic expectation on how long the wait will be. 
  • Telling someone 10 minutes for a delivery and showing up in 30 = unhappy customer!
  • Telling someone 45 minutes for a delivery and showing up in 40= Happy Customer!

10. Over-eagerness to do more business

  • If you’re too pushy, people push back.  Remember that our goal is to HELP! Sometimes that might even mean helping a customer do business with another restaurant if we cannot provide the service/ menu they are looking for. 
  • I.e- someone calls for catering and we cannot serve them because they need it on a Sunday.  Rather than pushing them to get it delivered on Saturday, let them know that you will take their phone number and call some other catering businesses that we endorse to help find them someone that can help them.  
  • Who do you think they will call next time they want catering and its not on a Sunday?”

11. Poor excuses about why we can't.

  • Customers want HELP! 
  • We can always help in some way.  Think outside the box with the goal of helping a customer, even if it doesn’t always mean making a sale…

But…We all make mistakes. 

And at Flat Waves the we understand that mistakes do happen and that’s ok!

Remember when we said that:

“Its not about being perfect...But about how we deal with mistakes...That is a reflection of our true character?”

We know that a mistake is disappointing, but it is also an OPPORTUNITY!

How you ask?

We now have the opportunity to really show the customer that we care about them as a person, not just for a one-time sale.  When we are tested, we can build a relationship that lasts!

We have developed a bit of a formula for handling mistakes!

  1. Respond to the situation
  2. Make the Customer Whole
  3. The +1

That sounds good and all but what does this mean?

Ok so lets break it down.

1. Respond to the Situation

A. Start by empathizing, acknowledging, and owning the mistake.

  • If you own the mistake (even if it wasn’t your fault) you can fix it!
  • Customers want you to legitimately care. Not give some lame excuse.

B. LISTEN! All. The. Way.  Don’t interrupt. Ask questions to find out what it will take to help them.

C. AGREE! Whenever possible, agree with them to show your empathy.  Never argue or get angry.

D. Tell them you will PERSONALLY take care if it.

E. Respond Immediately

  • Do not delay, pass to manager (if possible) tell them we will get back to them, etc.  Handle the problem immediately.
  • If the problem is left unresolved, they will never, ever come back.

2. Make the customer whole

A. Fix it!

B. If we made a mistake on the food, give them a new order.

C. If we made a mistake and overcharged or under delivered, make it right!

D. If the customer PERCEIVED a wrong, make it right!

3. The +1

A. This is the wow factor part. 

B. Do something memorable.

C. Do something that is justified by the size of the mistake made. 

D. There is no “one size fits all” formula for going +1 after a mistake.  

  • Maybe we should give them their money back and a free meal 
  • maybe its making them whole and + a gift card or a coupon to come back 
  • Maybe it’s a free delivery.  
  • You have to judge what would really make a positive impression!

E. Whatever it is, deliver it with empathy and enthusiasm.  

  • Make the customer know that their satisfaction is most important, not just the single sale.  This builds repeat customers after a mistake, and loyal customers for life!

Put the "Mistake Protocol" in order.

  • Respond to the situation
  • Make the Customer Whole
  • The +1

NEVER act like you are doing someone a __________ by serving them!

Customers can say 1 of 3 things about you. You get to choose what they say. Will it be SOMETHING GOOD, SOMETHING BAD or ______________ AT ALL.


“Its not about being perfect or not making mistakes, but about HOW WE DEAL with our ___________ that is a reflection of our true character.”