Customer Service

I.     Course Prefix/Number: MKT 151

       Course Name: Customer Service

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

Hands-on experience using word processing, the Internet, and e-mail recommended.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course focuses on the skills and strategies that lead to successful implementation of excellent customer service as a competitive edge in today’s changing business arena.  Changes in the marketplace such as global influences, multicultural issues, and effective communication are examined.   Emphasis is placed on developing and maintaining a comprehensive customer service strategy to maximize stakeholder satisfaction and profitability.

IV.   Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Identify and evaluate the customer service environment of an organization.
  2. Evaluate weaknesses in customer service programs of an organization and design viable and cost effective methods of improving programs.
  3. Assess the importance of customer service to branding and ultimately to the organization’s success.
  4. Integrate the use of social media and non-traditional means of establishing and maintaining stakeholder relationships.
  5. Develop and implement an effective customer service program for a new organization and measure its effectiveness.
  6. Evaluate the vital role that employees play in customer satisfaction for both internal and external customers.

Students will demonstrate competencies in these objectives by developing and presenting a customer service plan for a new or existing organization.  This plan will be presented to the class.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

Defining customer service and making the connection to marketing
Evaluating the changes in the marketplace that impact customer service strategy, including global and multicultural issues
Customer retention, and growth – customer relationship management
Customer service on the front line, managing the customer
Improving customer service: strategies and techniques
Customer problems and problem customers
Customer service on the Internet
Customer service and the rest of the organization: the internal customer

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Learning activities include lecture, small and large group discussion, videos, case studies and projects with finding presented to the class.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students are responsible for reading outside materials as well as the text. 
Short homework assignments, oral presentation, individual and team work, a library/Internet assignment, and critical thinking are required.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The World of Customer Service, Pattie Odgers, Thomson/South-Western Publishing, 2nd edition, copyright 2008.  ISBN #0-538-73046-3.


Best Practices in Customer Service, Edited by Ron Zemke and John A Woods.  AMACOM ISBN:  0-8144-7028-9

Other articles provided by the instructor, or assigned and available online.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Course grades will be based on the student's demonstration of proficiency with course objectives as determined by the instructor.  The following are representative methods for measuring proficiency: Class discussion, in- and out-of-class individual and group assignments, and activities, and projects; attendance and participation; Internet-based activities; quizzes and/or tests.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Use of Computers and Information Technology:
    When you apply at Oakton as a credit student, you are automatically assigned a computer network account and email address.  While you are registered for classes and any financial obligations to the College are fulfilled, you may use this account to log into workstations in any of the open or classroom computer labs.  Your account gives you access to the wide variety of application programs available on Oakton's Network and on-campus access to the Internet.
  2. Rules for computer use are posted in computer labs as well as available in writing in each of the labs. Lab assistants and tutors are available to assist you in the lab regarding software and hardware questions.
  3. Users of the College’s information technology facilities and resources, including hardware, software, networks, and computer accounts, are expected to use computer resources responsibly and appropriately, respecting the rights of other information technology users and respecting all contractual and license agreements.
  4. Under no circumstances is any of the software used at Oakton to be copied. Copying software is in violation of Federal law and College policies. Suspected violations will be vigorously investigated and, if warranted, appropriate penalties applied. Specifically, you do not have the right (1) to make copies of software for yourself or others, (2) to receive and use unauthorized copies of software, or (3) copy all or parts of a program written by someone else.
  5. College Policy on the Observance of Religious Holidays:
    Oakton Community College recognizes the broad diversity of religious beliefs of its constituencies. The College has embraced a practice of shared responsibility in the event a religious observance interferes with class work or assignments. Students who inform instructors well in advance of an intended absence for a major religious observance will not be penalized. The instructor will make reasonable accommodations for students, which may include providing a make-up test, altering assignment dates, permitting a student to attend another section of the same course for a class period or similar remedies. Instructors are not responsible for teaching material again.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.