BEP 77: Strategy for Customer Service

26 Dec 2018



Rule 1: The customer is always right.
Rule 2: If the customer is wrong, rule 1 applies.

It is said that for every person who complains, there are 26 other people who suffer in silence, and each unhappy customer tells 10 to 16 other people. But if you address the problem in the right way, 90 per cent of the complainers will do business with you again. When people complain, they are usually angry or upset. This can be difficult to handle in a second language.

In this podcast lesson, we’re going to look at how the same customer complaint is dealt with in two completely different ways. One will be the right way and the other, the wrong way.

After you’ve finished listening to this lesson, make sure you review our study notes on a six-stage customer service strategy. You can apply this strategy to most customer service situations where you need to handle a face-to-face customer problem.

Situation 1

You're now going to listen to a conversation between a bank teller and a customer who has a complaint about the bank’s service.



BEP 93: Ending a Conversation Politely

13 Dec 2018



You might think that ending a conversation is as simple as saying “Goodbye,” but it’s a little more complex than that. It’s also quite different from culture to culture. In western culture, we inform the person we are talking to gently by giving hints that we need to go or want the conversation to end. We try our best to avoid ending a conversation abruptly.

Certain phrases are used to indicate that someone has to go or would like to end a conversation. To end a conversation politely is quite a difficult skill to master, actually!

In this podcast lesson, we’ll show you how to end a conversation politely according to western culture.


You’re now going to hear a conversation between John and Naomi. They’ve just come out of a conference.


BEP 13 - Expressing Likes, Dislikes and Preferences

04 Dec 2018


In this month's business speaking skills topic we’re going to be looking a various ways of expressing likes, dislikes and preferences. It is very easy to simply say ‘I like’ or ‘I don’t like’ something, but it is more difficult to state by what degree you like or dislike it. And, it’s often not just a question of directly stating how you feel about something. In many situations you’ll have to be careful about your tone – how direct or indirect your language is. Stating dislikes and preferences too directly can sometimes cause offence. You’ll need to consider who you’re speaking to and the context of the situation when choosing your words


Annie Dawson, a web designer at, an online book company, has been requested by her boss, Philip Telford, to create a website for the company’s new line of books. Since the books are educational, as well as entertaining, Philip really wants a visually appealing website which can capture the feeling of the company’s new line of books and, therefore, bring success to the new line.

You're going to listen to Annie presenting her draft website designs to her boss, Philip, to get his feedback.


BEP 57: Showing a Visitor Around

13 Nov 2018


Showing a visitor around gives you a good chance to make a positive impression on your client. By welcoming a visitor warmly and talking to them clearly and politely about your firm, you can help to create a good business relationship between your company and your visitor’s. In this lesson, we’ll focus on how to make a visitor to your office feel welcome, and on language you can use to describe your building and your company. The use of correct tenses and the passive voice can be very important when showing a visitor around.


In this situation, you will find Kate, a manager at a design firm, talking to Tom, a client from an architectural company who is visiting her office. You will hear how Kate welcomes Tom and makes him feel comfortable. Then you will listen to how she shows him around the office and tells him about her company. She also listens carefully to his questions and uses different tenses while talking to him about different ways of working.


BEP 60: Explaining a Company's Organisation

22 Aug 2018

When you meet clients at the workplace or talk to people at presentations, meetings and conferences, you may have to talk about your company. Apart from explaining how your company is organised, you should also be able to describe your company’s operations.

In this lesson, we will show you how to talk about your company, and how to answer questions about your company.

Two of the most important language points when talking about your company are the correct usage of verb tenses and the passive voice. You will need to use a variety of verb tenses to talk about the past, present and future of your company. You’ll also need to use the passive voice when talking about your company’s organisation and structure.


You will now listen to a brief presentation that George makes about his company which sells car accessories. George is making a presentation in which he needs to talk about his company. He is talking to a few representatives from a firm that is interested in doing business with his company, so it is important for George to make a good impression.


BEP 89: Getting Acquainted in Work Situations

23 Jul 2018



In this month's podcast lesson we're looking at a typical conversation you might have with someone you've only just met in a business situation – at a conference for example. What sort of things can you talk about – and what topics should be avoided?


In the following situation, David and Jenny are attending a business conference in Sydney, Australia. David is an Australian, while Jenny is from England. Let's look at how David and Jenny get acquainted.