by Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor

Long ago a good friend once told me, “Nancy, the training your company provides is common sense that’s actually NOT very common!” There’s a lot of truth to that statement. Yet years later, rudeness and low service levels still plague businesses in every industry.

We hope you enjoy taking this customer service quiz to test how common your common sense is.

  1. “How can I help you?” belongs:
    1. In the initial greeting.
    2. In the message taking scenario.
    3. Nowhere. I’m not able to help anyone.
  2. When I’m not able to help a customer, I should:
    1. Tell them honestly & thank them for their business and hang up.
    2. Give whatever information I can, right or wrong. Wrong information is better than no information.
    3. Get help immediately and advise the person help is on the way.
  3. When I’m having a bad day, I should:
    1. Not bother coming into work.
    2. Leave my troubles at the doorstep like the song says.
    3. Tell all my co-workers my troubles to get it off my back.
  4. Chewing gum at work is:
    1. OK.
    2. A bad breath refresher.
    3. Downright rude and obnoxious. Fugetaboutit!
  5. A mirror at my desk will:
    1. Keep my ego in check.
    2. Remind me to smile BEFORE I pick up the phone.
    3. Give me bad luck if it breaks.
  6. Basic customer service skills are important to me because:
    1. Everyone needs a refresher.
    2. I need a lot of help.
    3. I never learned any.
  7. Internal customer service means:
    1. Be nice to others who come into my office.
    2. The customer is giving me a stomachache.
    3. Treating my co-workers as customers.
  8. When using voice mail and leaving a message I should:
    1. Leave my phone number twice and slowly.
    2. Leave a good clean joke to keep them smiling.
    3. Not leave a message…just call back till I reach them.
  9. Irate callers/customers are important to our company because:
    1. It’s fun to handle those kinds of calls.
    2. At least we get a second chance to make it right.
    3. I finally get to yell back.
  10. Asking questions of the customer will:
    1. Aggravate them.
    2. Show I’m interested in helping.
    3. Be considered being too nosy.

I.Q. Quiz Answers

  1. Correct answer is B. Anything after your name…erases your name. And on initial greetings, your name is very important. You have answered the phone to help them. It’s a given. Those words are best used in a message taking scenario.
  2. Correct answer is C. Be sure you let the customer know that help is on the way. That’s the most important part.
  3. Correct answer is B. We need to leave our troubles at the door. Arguments with a spouse or a bad hair day is your problem. Telephone Doctor calls that “emotional leakage.” That’s getting angry at Peter and taking it out on Paul. Not fair, not right and no fun.
  4. Correct answer is C. No gum at work – ever. End of subject. If you have bad breath – use mouthwash.
  5. Correct answer is B. The old Telephone Doctor adage…”smile BEFORE you pick up the phone,” is the way to make every phone call, or customer contact, a great one. Remember, it’s hard to be rude when you’re smiling.
  6. Correct answer is A. Everyone can use a brush up course. There’s a great saying: “When you’re through learning…you’re through.” Never stop taking those little basic skill lessons you’re offered. Even if you do know it all…look how good you’ll feel about that!
  7. Correct answer is C. We need to treat our co-workers as well as we’re going to treat our external customers. Remember: We Are Customers To Each Other. We sure don’t need any internal conflicts between co-workers and departments.
  8. Correct answer is A. Voice mail was meant to take an effective message. Give details and speak conversationally so the person receiving the message will enjoy it. Effective messages have concrete information – dates, times, names, situations. Leave your phone number – twice and slowly. Make voice mail work for you…not against you.
  9. Correct answer is B. Getting a second chance is golden. And irate callers, while certainly not pleasant, can be the challenge of the day. And they can be satisfied.
  10. Correct answer is B. Listening and questioning skills are very important to excellent customer service.

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Nancy Friedman is a featured speaker at franchise, association & corporate meetings. She has appeared on OPRAH, Today Show, CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning & many others. Nancy is the author of 8 books on sales and customer service and is the spokesperson in the popular DVD customer service training programs. For a demo of Nancy call 314 291 1012 or visit

Nancy Friedman

Nancy Friedman

Communication and customer service expert Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, founder and chairman of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training, is back in the saddle again. Well, back into live onsite programs, and still offering her ZOOM programs, in a cost saving manner. Whichever you choose, onsite or Zoom, you’ll be glad you did. The reviews are excellent, and audiences have loudly applauded her in either area. Sales, customer service and communication skills are her area of expertise, and she welcomes calls, texts, or emails. You can reach her directly at; through the website at, where you can sign up for her newsletters; or call/text directly at 314-276-1012 central time. Bring it on. Whether you need a keynote speaker or workshop/breakout speaker on customer service and communication skills, you’ll make a great choice.