The Gold Standard of Customer Relations

Many businesses assume that they already know how to deliver “good enough” customer service, but research does not back this up. It is always a good idea for a business owner to train, and re-train, staff in ways to provide great customer service. Companies that deliver high-quality customer service are more likely to retain customers and generate great word-of-mouth opinion about their business.

Customer service training that reaches rural areas

Businesses in rural areas often must send their employees to customer service training in urban areas, or pay to have trainers come to them. Extension educators are strategically positioned to provide quality customer service training to businesses in rural areas. The Gold Standard of Customer Relations program presented here provides educators with the resources to present quality customer service training anywhere.

A unique approach

The Gold Standard of Customer Relations program is a unique approach to customer service. It is based on research into effective customer-business interactions. The Gold Standard frames customer service as relationships between people: customers and sales staff, employees and managers, and the business and the community. This concept is the foundation of the program, and goes beyond service to explore the relationships that sustain successful enterprises.

Adult and teen workshops

This curriculum has two separate presentations. One is an adult version that is best used with individuals 18 and older, or when working with a specific business with mixed ages. The other is a teen version best used with 14–18-year-olds.

The teen version includes a few more activities and is written in a format that works for employed young people, as well as for those who do not yet have jobs. Also, the workshop instructor for the teen version typically interacts with a teacher or advisor when preparing for presentation of the teen curriculum, not with a business owner.

Make your workshop a success!

Delivering a high quality customer relations program requires preparation. Treat the organization that you are working with as a partner and work with them to set program outcomes. Our curriculum provides recommendations for pre-workshop preparation, and for following up after the workshop.

Curriculum contents

The adult and teen workshop sections each contains: 1) a detailed outline for pre-workshop preparation, 2) a workshop checklist, 3) a presentation script, 4) a set of PowerPoint slides, 5) activities you may choose to include, and 6) other supplemental materials.


University of Idaho Extension