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INGLÊS TÉCNICO

UNIDADE 0358– LÍNGUA INGLESA – ATENDIMENTO NO


SERVIÇO PÓS-VENDA

1
Índice

Introdução / Enquadramento..........................................................................................4

Complaining - introduction..............................................................................................6

Complaints book............................................................................................................9

Example of a complaint form.........................................................................................10

Types of complaints - introduction.................................................................................11

Complaining – video.....................................................................................................12

Types of customer complaints - examples......................................................................13

A Suggested Customer Complaint Procedure (face-to-face).............................................15

Types of clients – first impressions................................................................................16

Types of clients – how to analyse and deal with eight difficult types of client...................20

Difficult clients – video..................................................................................................26

Complaining service – step-by-step................................................................................27

8 Steps to Squash a Customer's Complaint.....................................................................27

Written complaints – structure of a business letter.........................................................31

Business letters in English.............................................................................................32

Written complaints – example of a complaint letter........................................................39

Complaint letter............................................................................................................40

Written complaints – how to complain using e-mails.......................................................42

Written complaints – example of a complaint e-mail.......................................................43

Complaints – on the phone...........................................................................................44

Complaints – on the phone - dialogues..........................................................................47

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Face to face complaints – some rules before starting......................................................48

Body language.............................................................................................................48

Face to face complaints – dialogue: product-specific complaint.......................................52

Idiomatic expressions – the most common business idioms.............................................54

Anexos........................................................................................................................67

Conversation questions.................................................................................................68

Useful language – complaining......................................................................................69

Useful Language – Dealing with Complaints...................................................................70

Bibliografia...................................................................................................................71

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Introdução / Enquadramento

Este manual de Língua Inglesa – unidade 0358 – atendimento no serviço pós-


venda visa ilustrar e fundamentar a aquisição ou aperfeiçoamento de competências
técnicas da língua inglesa na área de atendimento ao cliente/reclamações por parte dos
formandos cujo intuito é aprofundar a sua aprendizagem na língua estrangeira. Desta
forma, encontrarão respostas para as suas necessidades profissionais e, em simultâneo,
aprenderão a comunicar em língua estrangeira de maneira adequada e o mais
fluentemente possível.

Assim sendo, o presente manual servirá de referência para a aquisição e desenvolvimento


de conhecimentos em Inglês Técnico na área de Comércio, servindo as seguintes fichas
(que poderão ser adaptadas consoante as necessidades do público-alvo), como exemplo da
informação teórica e prática a ser ministrada nas sessões, o que permitirá um adequado
desenvolvimento do perfil de proficiências proposto no referencial de competências-chave
desta unidade.

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Referencial de Língua Inglesa – atendimento no serviço pós-venda –
Unidade 0358

Objetivos

 Adquirir e aplicar vocabulário específico da língua inglesa, na comunicação verbal


com clientes estrangeiros, no serviço pós-venda.

Conteúdos

 Linguagem básica aplicada às diferentes fases da gestão de reclamações

 Expressões idiomáticas

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Complaining - introduction

Try to answer the following questions before you start.

1. What is a complaint?

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2. Why do people complain?

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3. Is complaining the same as looking for a solution?

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Make a comment on the following poster.

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Is it correct to complain all the time about services and products? Why? Why not?

Read the cartoon and then try to answer the question.

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Complaints book
In Portugal, all public establishments have a complaints book. Not having one is against the
law.

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10
Types of clients – first impressions
PAIR WORK – translate and then analyse the following eight types of clients.

Client 1 Client 2

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Client 3 Client 4

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13
Client 5 Client 6

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Client 7 Client 8

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Types of clients – how to analyse and deal with eight difficult types of client

Read the document below. Underline important information.

The easiest way to sell someone is not excitement for the golden goose, the
figuring out what they want but panacea to all objections and glorious
how they want it. Whether a accolades from clients and the boss.
customer or a boss, learn to However, there are few new approaches
that can promise or guarantee. It is the
distinguish the 8 different types of
basics: attitude, passion, drive, and
clients and start closing
knowledge.
immediately.
I gather this reference list from years of
By Kenyon Boltz experiences, numerous workshops, and
colleague bantering improving upon the
In the tumultuous art of salesmanship,
lengthy process of developing new clients
there are hundreds of books, lectures,
and maintaining loyalty for increased
and self-actualization techniques
sales goals. The current economic climate
occupying this vast realm. Many claim the
requires savvy awareness, increased
“secret to success” lies bundled in this
determination, and perseverance.
book versus the other contender boasting
cliché allegories; fundamentals hidden Here is a list of eight types of
beneath numerous pontificating chapters clients/customers and advice in handling
and exercises. these personality types to adapt your
pitch, thus increasing sales, office
Speaking from an extensive background
accolades, and getting your time to the
of 10 years in the “front-lines” for
top of the board. Please keep the context
international companies and production
of information relative to your individual
events, I have purchased my fair share of
situation.
these guides, ever so much in wide-eyed

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The Strong Need for Domination more information to the problem you
need to solve.
Avoid the confrontation: this will
ultimately, if not indefinitely, end in no
gain and lost potential. Depending on the
context, an ally within the company, such
as partner, secretary, or other team
member, may be ways to have your
alternative perspectives reach this person
on their own terms.

Type
Upon first interaction, either from new
prospect or from a new lead, their trait is
apparent: they are abrasive and defiant. Different from the security-driven type,
The discussion is monopolized leaving they force the salesperson to do all the
small amount of time to inform or to work. The entire “dog-and-pony show”
overcome objections. Information is rapid does not sit well; they are neck deep in
from their impatience, tends to reaffirm their own duties than to be concerned
their need of urgency, and interrupts either with a proposal or information
when one introduces alternative toward a solution. Uncooperative in
perspectives. This situation can be answering questions, even closed-ended,
frustrating; however, because of their they are a challenge to the salesperson
desire to be dominant, you can use this to and the salesperson’s assertions.
your advantage.
Solution: The significant key is being
Solution: Prepare your completely prepared not to waste the
meetings/conversations with extra customer’s time. Understanding they
information supporting a point allowing would rather be doing something else,
you to stay in control. By asking more keep your pitch as short as possible
open-ended questions you will keep the without losing any of the important points
person talking and providing you with to their needs.
Since they tend to ask or to answer little them so if the product or service can save
questions, be clear-minded to your time or workload, use this.
objective. A good direction can be to
draw the customer into a dialogue of The “I Can Get It Cheaper
conversation from their experiences Somewhere Else” Type
relating to the product. Time is critical to

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Similar to the popular type in constantly
drawing you off track with their sheer
humour and off-beat casualness, you fail
and fall into their trap. Their main
difference is the clever way they get you
to drop your defences into providing
lower pricing or additional service than
you would originally have offered to a
This is self explanatory: always insisting prospective client. Consider it ironic: you
they know somewhere else it is cheaper were sold when you were supposed to
or they have a current supplier that sell. And you lose out on your incentive
provides a discount. for the sale.

Solution: Early in my experiences, I Solution: Stick to business. The casual


usually shuffled this type deeper in my banter is always welcome; however, keep
pipeline, but I began to understand that I in mind what you are trying to do and
already knew exactly how to proceed: let what they are trying to do. Because of
the product and objective data speak for their nature, the innate ability to barter
itself. price with promises of future orders, insist
Get information before you start into your on talking about the products and
product or pitch, especially the price they keeping the person involved by asking
believe, or can get it at. This is a classic your own questions without getting off
“pay for what you get.” The more track.
information they can provide can lead you Remember, business is a two-way
to research on the competitor. Display the transaction.
true value they are getting with their
current supplier versus the benefits from The Real Tough Buyer
your prospective item.
Their current supplier might be cheaper, The true competition for all salespeople.
but calculate how much they lose if their They make you work for their business,
orders are incorrect, late, or have no period. They are knowledgeable, discuss
customer support, for example. intelligently point for point your
competition, and breakdown your product
The I’m Everyone’s Friend, Salesman with a pros-and-cons formula.
Type
Solution: Their drive for a hard bargain
can cut into your pricing range but they
are fair and logical in your efforts.

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Being honest with the bargain and the Always remember, salesmanship is an art.
follow-through is huge to them. Your There is only so much that can be taught.
personal attention is critical to their The resilient attitude, the unflinching
decision-making process. Never over- confidence, and the intuition to your
promise. The more you know about your prospect’s needs are the fundamentals
product to combat his information on and should never be forgotten. Take a
your competitor’s, the better you will moment to think about some of your
close. current clients or prospects and decide if
they do personify these traits.

Answer the questions in your own words.

1. Which of the previous is the most difficult type of client for you? Why?
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2. Did you ever have a difficult situation with a client? Which one? How did you react?
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Data / Date

Normalmente não é abreviada.

Ex: 13th November 1998; Thursday, 13 November 1998.

Títulos de cortesia

Os mais habituais são os seguintes:

Mr ou Mr. – Senhor (Sr.)

Mrs ou Mrs. – (Senhora (Srª.)

Miss – Menina, senhora solteira

Ms – usado para se dirigir a uma senhora quando se desconhece o seu estado civil.

Messrs. – abreviatura de “Messieurs”, usado para se dirigir a uma pessoa coletiva (p. ex.,
uma firma comercial)

Saudação inicial / Salutation

Dear + surname – se o nome do destinatário é conhecido.

Ex: Dear Mr Brown.

Corpo da carta / Body of the letter

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Neste caso, os critérios não são substancialmente diferentes dos usados no nosso
país.

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Saudação final / Complimentary close

Se na saudação inicial o correspondente foi referido pelo apelido “Dear Mr Brown”,


a saudação final costuma ser “Yours sincerely” ou “Yours truly”, nos EUA.

Caso o correspondente não tenha sido referido pelo nome, usa-se “Yours faithfully”.

Assinatura / Signature

Para evitar quaisquer problemas de identificação, é habitual incluir o nome do


remetente após a assinatura (abreviando ou não os nomes próprios, mas nunca o apelido),
indicando-se também o respetivo título, eventualmente entre parêntesis.

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Modelo de uma carta comercial comum (The normal business letter)

Como se começam as cartas comerciais / How to begin commercial or business


letters

Frases para abertura / Opening phrases

We have (I have) the pleasure to inform you that…


We have (I have) pleasure in informing you that…
We have (I have) the honour of advising you of the arrival of…
We have (I have) the honour to send you…
We are (I am) in receipt of your letter of the 22nd and…
We are (I am) in possession of your order of the 23rd last.
We beg (I beg) to give notice that…
We would be (I would be) much obliged if you…
We very much regret (I very much regret) that you are not able (you are unable) to
send me…
We are (I am) very pleased to inform you that…
In reply to your letter of the 12th…, we (I) may say that…
We are (I am) writing to ask if you will be able…
Please accept our (my) apology for not answering sooner to your letter of 9 th…,
but…
In compliance with the request contained in your telegram of the 5 th…, we have (I
have) pleasure in sending you…

(…)

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Como se encerram as cartas comerciais / How to end commercial or business
letters

Fechos de cartas comerciais / Endings of commercial or business letters

We rely (I rely) on receiving your urgent reply, Yours…


Awaiting your reply by return of post (by fax), Yours…
Always at your disposal, Yours…
Awaiting your instructions, Yours…
Awaiting an early reply, Yours…
Meanwhile please accept our (my) best thanks in advance and believe me, Yours…
We (I) shall have the greatest pleasure in being of service to you, Yours…
With our best thanks, Yours…
We hope to hear from you and are Yours…
With kind regards, Yours…
In any case, please let me hear from you, Yours…
Hoping to hear from you in the near future, Yours…
With thanks, Yours…
With compliments and regards, Yours…

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Written complaints – example of a complaint letter

Below is a sample of complaint letter. You can use this outline to help you write a
complaint letter but you may wish to vary it to fit your particular problem.

[Your name]

[Your address]

[Email and/or phone]

Dear Manager

Re: COMPLAINT ABOUT [INSERT NAME OF PRODUCT OR SERVICE] PURCHASED AT


[INSERT BUSINESS NAME] ON [INSERT DATE]

State that you have a problem with goods or services bought from the business at a
particular location and date and that you want the problem fixed.

Explain the key details of the problem including when you discovered it and any other steps
you’ve already taken to get it fixed, such as a telephone call or a visit to the store. Note
who you spoke to and any results of your efforts.

State that you have enclosed copies of relevant documents, such as a receipt of bank
statement for proof of purchase.

State the steps you want the business to take to fix the problem.

State that you expect to hear from the business with a solution by [insert date or within 10
days]. Describe what you intend to do if the business fails to fix the problem—such as
making a formal complaint to the ACCC or the consumer protection agency in your state or
territory.

List your business and after hours contact details.

Yours sincerely

[Your name]

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Enclosed: Copy of the receipt for [insert name of product or service]

Complaint letter

Below is an example of a possible finished letter using the complaint letter example
(previous page).

Jane Brown

123 Street

jane@brown.com.au

1 January 2013

Dear Manager

RE: COMPLAINT ABOUT FAULTY TELEVISION CABINET PURCHASED AT CABINET

WORLD ON 15 DECEMBER 2012

I am unhappy with the quality of a television cabinet I bought at 5 Street on 15

December and I am writing to seek a replacement.

The cabinet doors do not open and shut properly and the stain on the cabinet is uneven,

with one half darker than the other. The cabinet was delivered on 30 December and I

noticed this problem as soon as I unpacked it from the box.

The cabinet is not of acceptable quality and does not match the sample cabinet I was

shown in store. I would like you to replace it with one of the same quality and finish as the

sample and arrange for return of the faulty cabinet at no cost.

I have attached a photocopy of my receipt as proof of purchase.

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I would like to have this problem fixed quickly please. If I do not hear from you within 10

days, I will lodge a formal complaint with Consumer Affairs in my state.

You can contact me on 1234 5678 during working hours or after hours on 123 456 789 to

discuss this matter further.

Yours sincerely,

Jane Brown

Enclosed: Copy of the receipt for television cabinet

Activity:

Write a complaint letter. Complain about a broken microwave.

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Written complaints – how to complain using e-mails

Study the following vocabulary.

Mr. Peters: 408-533-0875

Customer Service Representative: I'm terribly sorry about the misunderstanding. We'll
do our best to change this as quickly as possible.

Mr. Peters: Thank you for your help in clearing this up.

Activities:

1. Translate the previous dialogue.

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2. Role-play it.

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Complaints – on the phone - dialogues

Read the following conversation.

A: Thank you for calling LG Visa, this is Kelly speaking, how may I help you?

B: Hello, my name is Toni and I want to dispute a charge on my statement.

A: What is the amount of the charge?

B: It was the purchase I made on the 12th of April for the amount of $288.00

A: Why are you disputing this charge?

B: The seller promised to deliver the merchandise in 2 days but I never received the
merchandise. I would like you to credit my account.

A: For you to dispute your charge and for us to credit you account, you must
write us a letter explaining what happened.

B: OK, thank you.

A: Thank you for calling LG Visa, have a wonderful day.

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Activity: now role-play it (and use your camera to record it if possible). Then, analyse
your performance.

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Face to face complaints – some rules before starting

Analyse and make a comment on the following documents.

Body language
Document 1

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Document 2

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Document 3

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Document 4

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Face to face complaints – dialogue: product-specific complaint

Role-play the following.

Unfortunately, mistakes sometimes happen. When this is the case, customer service
representatives need to handle consumers' complaints. It's also important for customer
service reps to gather information to help resolve the problem. The following short dialog
provides some helpful phrases to deal with complaints:

Customer: Good morning. I purchased a computer from your company last month.
Unfortunately, I'm not satisfied with my new computer. I'm having a lot of problems.

Customer Care Representative: What seems to be the problem?

Customer: I'm having problems with my Internet connection, as well as repeated crashes
when I try to run my word-processing software.

Customer Care Representative: Did you read the instructions that came with the
computer?

Customer: Well, yes. But the troubleshooting section was no help.

Customer Care Representative: What happened exactly?

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Customer: Well, the Internet connection doesn't work. I think the modem is broken. I'd
like a replacement.

Customer Care Representative: How were you using the computer when you tried to
connect to the Internet?

Customer: I was trying to connect to the Internet! What kind of question is that?!

Customer Care Representative: I understand you're upset, sir. I'm just trying to
understand the problem. I'm afraid it's not our policy to replace computers because of
glitches.

Customer: I bought this computer with the software pre-loaded. I haven't touched
anything.

Customer Care Representative: We’re sorry that you’ve had a problem with this
computer. Could you bring in your computer? I promise you we'll check the settings and
get back to you immediately.

Customer: OK, that will work for me.

Customer Care Representative: Is there anything else I need to know about this that I
haven’t thought to ask?

Customer: No, I'd just like to be able to use my computer to connect to the Internet.

Customer Care Representative: We'll do our best to get your computer working as
soon as possible.

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Idiomatic expressions – the most common business idioms

1. In pairs, translate the idioms below.


2. Find, if possible, matches for those idioms in the Portuguese Language.

IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

24/7 24/7 means 24 hours a day, The convenience store on the corner is
seven days a week. open 24/7.

ASAP ASAP is an acronym for "as I need to finish these reports. My boss
soon as possible." needs them ASAP.

a tough break When something unfortunate It was a tough break for us when
happens, it can be called a Caroline quit. She was one of our top
tough break. performers.

at stake At stake means at risk. I'm a little nervous about giving this
presentation. There's a lot at stake.

back to square one Back to square one means to Our programmers identified what they
start something over again. thought was the problem with the
software. After working for several
hours, it turns out that the problem isn't
the problem they identified, so it looks
like we're back to square one.

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

back to the drawing Back to the drawing board The prototype wasn't successful. We
board means to start something over have to go back to the drawing board.
again.

behind the scenes What happens in secret or not They make it look so effortless, but they
in front of the general public is do a lot of hard work and planning
said to happen behind the behind the scenes.
scenes.

big picture Everything that is involved with Even though we all have very specific
a particular situation is called tasks to do, our manager makes sure
the big picture. we don't lose sight of the big picture.

by the book To do things by the book means There are a lot of regulatory industries
to do things according to that audit us on a regular basis. It's
company policy or law. It important that we do everything by the
means to follow the rules book.
100%.

call it a day To call it a day means to decide Well, John, it's 7:00 and I'm getting
to stop working for the day. hungry. How about we call it a day?

corner a market To corner a market means to Apple has cornered the market on mp3
dominate a particular market. players. They have a very large
percentage of market shares.

cut corners To cut corners means to take We don't cut corners on our luxury
shortcuts and find an easier or products. They are all made to high
cheaper way to do something. standards with materials of the highest
quality.

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

cut one's losses If you stop doing something Advertising through that company was
that is unproductive and won't expensive and we didn't see an increase
ever generate results, you cut in sales. So, we decided to cut our
your losses. losses and stop doing business with
them.

fifty-fifty Fifty-fifty means something is My business partner and I split


divided equally -- 50% for one everything fifty-fifty.
person, 50% for the other
person.

If you start a business, project,


from the ground up Bill Gates built Microsoft from the
or something else from zero,
ground up.
you start it from the ground up.

To get or have your foot in the


get/have foot in the My son just took a low-paying internship
door means to take a low-level
door position with a large company. He was
position with a company with
happy to get his foot in the door at a
the goal of eventually getting a
well-known, respected company.
better position with the same
company in the future.

get back in/into the To get back in/into the swing of Our company shuts down operations for
swing of things things means to get used to three weeks during the holiday season.
doing something after you have When I go back to work in January, it's
had a break from that activity. always difficult to get back in the swing
of things.

get down to To get down to business means Well, everyone's here, and I know
business to stop making small talk and everyone is very busy. So, let's get
start talking about serious down to business and talk about the

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

topics related to business. proposal.

get on the good side If someone likes you, you are I always remember my co-workers’
of on the good side of that person. birthdays and get them a card or small
gift. I like to get on people's good side.

get something off To get something off the We're very glad that the planning
the ground ground means to start a project process is over. We're looking forward
or business. to getting the project off the ground.

give someone a pat To give someone a pat on the The boss gave Brian a pat on the back
on the back back means to tell someone for coming up with such a good idea.
that he or she did a good job.

give To give something or someone I can't believe she gave us the thumbs
something/someone the thumbs down means to down. I thought it was a great idea.
the thumbs down deny approval.

give To give something or someone They gave our new proposal the thumbs
something/someone the thumbs up means to up. We're going out to celebrate
the thumbs up approve. tonight.

go broke To go broke means to go There was too much competition and


bankrupt or to lose all the their expenses were too high. They
money a person or business eventually went broke.
had.

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

go down the drain When you waste or lose He dropped out of college in his third
something, it is said to go down year and never continued his studies. All
the drain. of his hard work and money went down
the drain.

go the extra mile To go the extra mile means to We go the extra mile for our customers.
do more than what people If someone is dissatisfied with a
expect of you. purchase, we refund their money and
offer them a discount on their next
purchase.

If you do not have any control


hands are tied I would love to get you a job at my
over a situation, your hands are
company, but my hands are tied.
tied.
Management isn't hiring any additional
employees this year.

If you have a lot of work to do


have someone's She has to sell $35,000 worth of
or a particularly difficult
work cut out products by the end of the month. She
assignment, you have your
has her work cut out for her.
work cut out for you.

In a nutshell means in a few In a nutshell, this book is about how to


in a nutshell
words. motivate employees.

If a company is in the black, it We didn't have a great year last year,


in the black
means that they are making a but at least we're in the black.
profit.

If a company is in the red, it When I started my own business, we


in the red
means that they are not were in the red for the first two years.

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

profitable and are operating at We didn't see a profit until the third
a loss. year.

A lose-lose situation is when It's a lose-lose situation. If they lay off


lose-lose situation
someone has to choose more workers, they'll get bad press. If
(also called a "no-
between various options and all they don't lay off more workers, they
win situation")
the options are bad. won't be able to compete.

nine-to-five A nine-to-five is a job during She was tired of working a nine-to-five


normal working hours. The term job, so she took her savings and started
came into existence because a restaurant.
many work days start at 9 AM
and end at 5 PM.

no brainer If a decision is really obvious or Taking the new job was a no brainer.
really easy to make, the They offered me more money, a better
decision is a no brainer. schedule, and more vacation days.

no strings attached If something is given without They will let you try the product for free
expecting anything in return, it with no strings attached. If you don't
is given with no strings like it, there is no pressure to buy it or
attached. give them anything in return.

not going to fly If a solution isn't effective, I don't think that idea's going to fly.
people say that it isn't going to Let's keep generating ideas.
fly.

no time to lose If there is no time to lose, it I told them I'd send the email by the
means that there is a lot of end of the day and it's already 4:45. I

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

pressure to complete something need to get to work. There's no time to


quickly. lose.

off the top of one's If someone says something off I have no idea how many branches they
head the top of his or her head, it have. Off the top of my head, I'd say
means that he or she gives a about 20.
response without thinking about
it for a long time or doing any
research on the subject.

on a roll If someone is on a roll, it means Our profits have been above our
that he or she has had several projected numbers for five months in a
successes in a row. row. We're really on a roll.

pink slip If someone gets the pink slip, it They gave him the pink slip. He wasn't
means they have been fired. performing very well.

play hardball To play hardball means to be He played hardball to get where he is,
competitive in a cruel way and so I would be careful what you say and
without showing mercy. Playing do around him.
hardball means doing anything
possible to win.

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

put the cart before To put the cart before the horse They were trying to find investors
the horse means to do or think about without even having a business plan.
things in the wrong order. They were putting the cart before the
horse.

read between the To read between the lines He didn't say that he wants to leave the
lines means to understand something company, but I can read between the
that wasn't communicated lines. He's thinking of getting a new job.
directly. Reading between the
lines involves understanding
what someone is implying or
suggesting but not saying
directly.

round-the-clock If a company has round the We have round-the-clock production at


clock service, it means they are all our manufacturing facilities.
open 24 hours a day.

run/go around in To run or go around in circles I've made phone calls all day and
circles means to do the same thing haven't made a single sale. I feel like
over and over again without I've been running around in circles all
getting any results. day.

safe bet A safe bet means something It's a safe bet that smart phones will be
that will probably happen. much more advanced in 10 years.

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

same boat If people are in the same We're all worried about losing our jobs.
difficult situation, they are in We're in the same boat.
the same boat.

second nature When someone learns how to He's been a computer programmer for
do something so well that it ten years. At this point, programming is
appears that he or she was second nature him.
born knowing how to do it, we
say that the activity is second
nature to him or her.

see something To see something through I told my boss that I really wanted to
through means to do something until it see my current project through before
is finished. taking another project.

sever ties To sever ties means to end a We had to sever ties with several of our
relationship. suppliers due to late shipments.

shoot something To shoot something down It's best not to shoot ideas down during
down means to deny something, such a brainstorming session. The goal is to
as a proposal or idea. generate ideas, not to criticize them.

sky's the limit If there is no limit to the With their commission structure, the
possibilities of something, sky's the limit to what you can make.
people often say "the sky's the
limit."

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

stand one's ground If you stand your ground, it We tried to change the dress code, but
means that you will not change Human Resources stood their ground.
your opinion or position on an
issue.

start off on the right To start off on the right foot We offered them a very generous price
foot means to start something in a on their first order and everything
positive way. shipped on time. We really started off
on the right foot.

start off on the To start off on the wrong foot I just switched cable companies. They
wrong foot means to start something in a overcharged me for the first month's
negative way. service. They really started off on the
wrong foot.

talk someone into To talk someone into something I was hesitant to redesign our website,
something means to convince someone to but my employees talked me into it. I'm
do something. glad they did. The new site is much
better than the previous one.

talk someone out of To talk someone out of I wanted to make a real estate
something something means to convince investment, but my financial adviser
someone not to do something. talked me out of it.

think big To think big means to have high I'm not content with just opening one or
goals and big plans for the two more stores. I'm thinking big -- I
think we can open 10 more stores in the

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

future. next five years.

think outside the To think outside the box means Creating a completely new product that
box think of creative solutions no one has ever sold before is an
instead of common ones. example of thinking outside the box.
Thinking outside the box
involves thinking of
unconventional ideas.

throw in the towel To throw in the towel means to I was trying to learn Portuguese, but I
quit. got frustrated and threw in the towel.

time's up Time's up means that the time I think his time's up as the CEO. They're
for something or someone has going to replace him as soon as they
ended. find a suitable candidate.

under the table Something done secretly (and To avoid paying taxes, they paid some
usually illegally) in the business of their employees under the table.
world is done under the table.

up in the air If something is undecided, it is We're looking for a test market right
up in the air. now, but nothing has been decided yet.
Everything's still up in the air.

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IDIOM WHAT IT MEANS EXAMPLES

upper hand If someone has an advantage He was more experienced and well
on someone else, he or she has respected, so he had the upper hand in
the upper hand. the argument.

win-win situation A win-win situation is a situation We were happy to get the contract, and
where everyone involved gains they were happy to get such a good
something. price. It was a win-win situation.

51
Anexos

52
Conversation questions
The following information may help you. Study it.

• Have you ever received bad service in a restaurant? What happened?


• Have you ever received bad service in a bank, post office or government department?
 How did you deal with it?
• How would you describe the quality of customer service in your country?
• Do you think it is a waste of time to make a complaint about service?
• Which types of businesses do you think have the worst customer service?
• What do you think are the best qualities for someone providing customer service?
• What are the worst qualities?
• What makes you annoyed when you are receiving a service?
• How do you feel about automated call systems where you speak to a machine rather
than a person?
• How often do you make complaints about customer service?
• Have you ever had to deal with a customer complaint? What happened?
• What is the best way of resolving a customer complaint about service?
• Do you think people who work in customer service need to receive special training?
• What do you think it would be like working in a department that deals with complaints?
 Could you do a job like this?
• Is there an organisation in your country that deals with consumer rights?
• Which businesses in your country are known for good service?
• Which businesses are known for bad service?
• How can companies ensure they provide good service?
• What is the level of customer service like in banks/ in fast food restaurants/ from phone
companies/ from utilities/ from transport companies/ from airlines in your country?
• How does customer service in your country compare to other countries you have been
to?
• Is the level of service in your country generally getting better or worse?

53
• Have you ever written a complaint letter? What for? What was the result?
• Have you ever demanded to speak to a manager or supervisor?
• Have you ever made a telephone complaint?
• What do you think is the most effective way of making a complaint?
• What do you do if you receive bad service in a restaurant?
• Has social networking made businesses more aware of the importance of good customer
service? How?

Useful language – complaining

Making the complaint

• I’m ringing to complain about…


• I’m sorry, but I’m not satisfied with…
• Unfortunately, there’s a problem with…
• I am very dissatisfied with the service I received

Insisting

• It really isn’t good enough


• I’d like to know why…
• I’d like an explanation for…

Threatening

• If you don’t replace the product, I’ll complain to the manager


• If you can’t deliver on time, we’ll have to contact other suppliers

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Useful Language – Dealing with Complaints

Showing understanding

• I’m sorry to hard that


• Yes, I see what you mean
• I apologise for…
• I understand your upset about

Getting the facts

• Could you give me some details, please?


• •What happened exactly?
• What seems to be the problem?

Making Excuses

• It’s not our policy to replace items


• It’s not our fault that it hasn’t arrived
• I’m afraid that’s not quite right
• I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do

Promising action
• Ok, I’ll look into it right away
• I’ll check the details and get back to you

55
Bibliografia

A. A. V. V., Business English, living language, for speakers of any language , New
York, Random House Company, 2005 – CD-ROM.

A. A. V. V., Cartas Comerciais em Inglês, Porto, Porto Editora, 1998.

A.A.V.V., English Pro – Sales, Global Learning Systems, Medial Ediciones, s.l., s.d.

A.A.V.V., Guia de Conversação – Inglês, Porto, Porto Editora, Abril de 2004

BLAKE, Gary, Quick Tips for Better Business Writing , New York, McGraw-Hill, Inc.,
1995.

DIGNEN, Bob, Communicating in Business English, New York, Compass Publishing,


2003.

DIGNEN, Bob, Communicating in Business English, New York, Compass Publishing,


2003 – CD-ROM.

FITIKIDES, T. J., Common Mistakes in English, Longman, Essex, 1936/2004

HOLLET, Vicki, Quick Work: A Short Course in Business English, Oxford, Oxford
University Press.

HOLLET, Vicki, Quick Work: A Short Course in Business English, Oxford, Oxford
University Press – CD-ROM.

56
HUGHES, John, Quick Work. Business English Course , Oxford University Press,
Oxford, 2002/2005

JONES, Leo; ALEXANDER, Richard, New International Business English,


Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003.

JONES, Leo; ALEXANDER, Richard, New International Business English,


Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2003 – CD-ROM.

MASCULL, Bill, Business Vocabulary in Use, Cambridge, Cambridge University


Press, 2002.

PELHAM, John, Essential Office English, Escolar Editora, Lisboa, 2005

ROBINSON, Catherine e Rowecamp, Jenise, Speaking Up at Work, Oxford,


Oxford American English – Oxford University Press, 1985.

SANTOS, A. N. e P. Santos, New Dictionaries of Idioms, Edições João Sá da


Costa, Lisboa, 1998

SWAN, Michael, Practical English Usage, Oxford University Press, Oxford,


1980/2002

WRIGHT, Jon, Idioms Organiser – Organised by Metaphor, Topic and Key Word ,
Boston, Thomson Heinle, 1999

Outras pesquisas realizadas na internet a partir de:


www.google.com e www.youtube.com

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