A phone call from a customer

Listen to the phone call from a customer to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Junko: Hello, Junko Mori speaking. How can I help you?

Andrea: Hi, Junko, it's Andrea here from Red Band. I'm calling about our latest order.

Junko: Everything arrived OK, right? We got the delivery confirmation at our end.

Andrea: Yes, everything's fine with the order. I'm calling about the invoice and the payment terms. I need a favour.

Junko: A favour? What do you need?

Andrea: This is a little, er ... difficult, but I need an extension on the payment terms. I know they're usually 30 days, but we're having some cash flow problems. You'd really be helping us out if you could extend it to 60 days.

Junko: I'm not sure if I can do that, Andrea. We've got regulations at our end, and also have to manage our own cash flow.

Andrea: I promise this won't become the norm, Junko. Actually, I also want to place another new order. The same size order as last time. It's for an important customer and they pay on delivery.

Junko: I see. So your cash flow problem will be solved after this new order is delivered.

Andrea: Exactly.

Junko: That sounds good. Hold on, Andrea. Let me see what I can do. Yes, I think we can make an exception this time.

Andrea: That's great, Junko. I appreciate your help.

Junko: And we appreciate your business, Andrea. It works both ways.

Andrea: Thanks again, Junko. Can you send me a quick email confirmation of the payment terms extension?

Junko: Sure, no problem. We're happy to help you.

Andrea: Great. And I'll email you the new order.

Junko: Thanks. I'll keep an eye out for it. Talk to you soon.

Andrea: You too. Goodbye.

Discussion

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Language level

Intermediate: B1

Soumis par Hn0062 le lun 06/07/2020 - 15:50

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Yes, I made exceptions more than a few times, when worked. personally, I think that it is a bad behevior about other clients but sometimes some people have problem thus we can help them. when I did it, some of them appricated and I was glad because of it. But some times some of them made annoyed.

Soumis par abudo93 le sam 04/07/2020 - 11:11

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Yes I do that, I make exceptions at more than time to our clients, but some of them are really annoying and other are good with the dealing, and I also discovered one thing through it that the clients women better than men.

Soumis par Dariusz le ven 03/07/2020 - 19:32

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This issue doesn't concern me. I am not a supplier.

Soumis par muhammad baig le mer 01/07/2020 - 17:03

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yes, I could do a favour for my client, if it's our old client and plus he is giving us another order :)

Soumis par JORGE SALAZAR le mer 01/07/2020 - 02:28

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I have a problem with the word " our" in brithis , listening the audio, I wonder if in Brithish eglish you can pronunciate as " A "in spanish

Hello Jorge,

I'd recommend you pronounce 'our' as /aʊər/ -- you can hear a recording of it on this dictionary page (click or press on the small audio symbol under the word 'determiner').

This is different from 'a' in Spanish. It has more than one vowel sound. You might try saying 'au' and then 'güa' (I've written these thinking in Spanish orthography; the 'g' isn't pronounced) quickly together -- that is close to the pronunciation of 'our' in British English.

Hope this helps you.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Mr.Anas le ven 26/06/2020 - 22:59

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Sometimes, We have to do a favour to our customer. speacially when there is something went wrong with the customer like this problem.

Soumis par Esperance15 le lun 22/06/2020 - 21:40

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I work for distribution company, so I work with suppliers and hospitals; meaning I am a customer to suppliers and hospitals are my customers. Suppliers always assist me with quotation extension and I helped hospitals with orders placed query. I always appreciate Suppliers cooperation and its feel so good to help hospitals.

Soumis par Lizochka le sam 13/06/2020 - 18:52

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Yes, I think I could do a favour to my clients, but only in the situacion if it was very important clients for our company and if they ask about it in a polite form !!!!!!

Soumis par Sharif Tayyebi le lun 08/06/2020 - 19:00

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"It works both ways". What does this sentence mean in another way? Thanks

Hello Sharif Tayyebi,

The phrase ti works both ways in this context means that a situation or action has a similar effect on both parties.

https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/work-both-ways

 

In this case, Junko is telling Andrea that the fact that Andrea is a loyal and valued customer means that Junko is able to help her when she has problems.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Sharif Tayyebi le lun 08/06/2020 - 18:47

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I am an assistant professor, so I haven't had any business which needs doing a favour. In my opinion, business needs to deal with customers these days, if there is an important reason to do. Companies and customers usually have the same benefits, so they should help each other when one side needs helping. According to the case, even I sometimes make an exception to my students which have properly and rationally reasons. For instance, if a student cannot come to the class or miss some lectures, I usually help him/her, provided he/she has a problem. Our students have to pay their tuition fees by the time which identifys in the payment terms of a university, but sometimes, they have problems and the administration of university should make an exception for them. I think, regulations are good and they usually ensure the discipline. But it should be part of rules that we can help others with their problems. Best wishes,

Soumis par Vusale le lun 08/06/2020 - 13:15

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i just wonder why Andrea is a man? As far as I know Andrea is a female name.

Hello Vusale

While it may be true that 'Andrea' is more often the name of a woman among native speakers of English, around the world, it is a name given to both men and women. The Andrea in this phone call is not a native speaker of English, so it's not unusual for him to have this name.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par MedScience le dim 07/06/2020 - 12:58

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Hi. Is there any other listening audios apart from these

Hello MedScience

These are all the pages at the B1 level in our Listening skills, but there are many other pages in General English. I would recommend you have a look at a few pages in Big City Small World, Audio zone, Podcasts, Video zone and Word on the Street (though please note these last two have video, not just audio). Each of those sections has many more pages and you can continue with whichever one you like the most.

Hope this helps.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Adri le sam 06/06/2020 - 14:37

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If I had a company, I would deal all to my customers for similitary because I think that make exceptions with only some customers itsn't well.
Yes, I agree with that but sometimes I don´t think it is a problem to open a small exception to a client if it is something important and obviously not to let it become a routine or abuse.

Soumis par tramngoctran le jeu 04/06/2020 - 00:35

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Until now, I don't have a chance to work directly with customers. I work with my team, and my leader with contact with them. But I hope that I will have a chance to do it and get many experiences, or something like this

Soumis par Jangchutshomo le dim 31/05/2020 - 17:59

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Can someone please tell me how to select multiple answers and put in two groups. I am having problem in task 2.

Hello Jangchutshomo,

To place a second item in one of the boxes, make sure you drop the item on the box itself (it should be marked dark grey) rather than on any answers already in the box. If you drop an item on an item already in the box then it will swap them; if you drop it on the box it will add the new item.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Lilian.omune le jeu 28/05/2020 - 10:40

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I think making exceptions is very important for important customers but also benefits on both sides should also be highly considered.

Soumis par Abu obayda le mar 26/05/2020 - 14:43

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For me, this is due to the regulations where I work.

Soumis par mouna99 le mar 26/05/2020 - 11:48

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Yes, when it comes to important customers I do exceptions and favours because I always deal with them

Soumis par Codjoah le lun 25/05/2020 - 18:32

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Hi I work in a National youth entrepreneurship fund an we fund or finance young people projects. Now when the terms of payement arrive, the young entrepreneurs have some cash flow difficulties and aske for extension. Obviously we give them the extension they ask for. however, the extension don't suit them because they activities don't grow up

Soumis par Ayano le lun 25/05/2020 - 16:46

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Hello, everyone! I'm Japanese and I'll introduce tradition of Japan to everyone today. It is warabimochi. Have you ever eaten it? It is a kind of Japanese confectionery and tastes so soft and cool. Usually, we eat warabimochi with soybean flour, powdered tea, or dark molasses. Personally, I like to eat warabimochi with soybean flour and dark molasses best. Warabimochi has a long history. It was eaten by the Emperor Heian. Furthermore, it was also emergency provisions for the people on a farm. It is easy to make Warabimochi. It made from powdered warabi, water, and sugar. This is just three ingredients. Warabimochi is famous in Nara and Kyoto so there are many famous shops of Warabimochi. In my opinion, it is not famous for among foreigners than such a like sushi and tempura. However, like a warabimochi, many people in Japan eat Japanese confectionery now and these are low sugar and a calorie. If you want to eat something to sweet, I recommend you eat Japanese confectionery because these are so as sweet as cakes and snacks, but these are more health. For example, Japan has Dango, Daihuku, Monaka, Senbei and so on. It is difficult for everyone to travel to Japan now but if you come to Japan, you try to eat various Japanese confectionery.

Soumis par Miho Watanabe le mer 20/05/2020 - 08:47

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I work as a clerk at a super market in japan. Customers often says to me, "I forgot my point card. what should I do?" So I always make exception for the customer, and I give 1 week to the customer to bring the point card. I think this is very good to keep good connection between clerk and customer. Thank you.

Soumis par Tu Le le mer 20/05/2020 - 05:13

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In my opinion, do favors or make exceptions for customers needs to be considered carefully to ensure benefit for both sides.

Soumis par IBRAHIM HAMID le sam 16/05/2020 - 16:04

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I think to do favour or makes an exception is important for success of any business that controlled by rules (an invoice, payment terms,....etc).

Soumis par Albert Marambio le mar 12/05/2020 - 03:59

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In my opinion I could do an excepction ,just if I have the same amount of money in case my customer does not comply with the extension.

Hello Rehaf

As far as I can tell, Junko has a light Japanese accent and Andrea has a light Italian accent.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par AlejoPB le lun 11/05/2020 - 19:56

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Yes, on some occasions a had done an exception with an important client my last job. I think that is so important to help our clients and customer when we can do something, as long as that keeps the company's rules, is important to be flexible, due to anything could be happened in anytime.

Soumis par Bhre Satriavi le dim 10/05/2020 - 16:36

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i'm still get dificult when speaker was saying "30 days" it's sound err i dont i can't hear clearly

Soumis par mgalezzo le ven 08/05/2020 - 01:53

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I think that is very important to maintain a good client, for these reason I always do favors to whom need.

Soumis par senes19 le mar 05/05/2020 - 17:57

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Last year I worked an English course in Turkey as a receptionist. Sometimes we encountered same this situation. We can have flexible decision. Because important clients are raising up any company or not. If you interesting wit him very well, you will enforce.

Soumis par rerre le mar 05/05/2020 - 01:42

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Would it be wrong to say "You'll really help us" instead of "You'll really be helping us"? I don't know the difference in this situation. Thank you

Hello rerre,

Grammatically it would not be wrong and it would make sense. However, certain phrases are simply more commonly used by convention and the continuous form is generally used. A common alternative would be 'It would be a great help'.

If you check the transcript you'll notice that we use would rather than will. This is a more polite way of expressing the same thing in this context.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Soumis par Sharif Tayyebi le lun 04/05/2020 - 21:44

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I have studied criminal law. This is a great and very enjoyable dispute between philosophy of law that the rules should be flexible or they should be constant or fixed. In spite of those dispute, I should say that the rule constancy has many experimental and useful function. Firstly, it helps people to know about their rights and obligations. Secondly, it will become our habit and we would act very well and without any problems by the rule consistancy. Thirdly, managers and other people cannot behave illegal against customers. And so on. But we should be more flexible is a necessary in our lives especially in business. A good rule or law is that can manage our lives and allows some sensible exceptions which are necessary.

Soumis par Sharif Tayyebi le lun 04/05/2020 - 21:18

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Thank you so much for this nice website, but I ask for downloading the audio if it is possible!

Hello Sharif Tayyebi

You're very welcome! You can download any of the audio on our website (but not video). It's easiest if you use a computer -- just right-click on the audio player and then choose the 'Save audio as' option. 

Let us know if you have any trouble with that.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

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