If I ask my friends whether they have yelled at a customer service agent before, most of them would say “yes”. Indeed, as customers, most folks take our frustration out on frontline reps and think it is legitimate because “it’s their job”. But rarely do those same customers think about it from the reps’ perspective — will they take those harsh words personally?
Consider this: companies love to put “nice” people in customer service. It’s obvious that this type of person genuinely wants to solve problems, and they are working really hard to make it happen for customers. However, the main problem of putting nice people on the frontline is that they tend to internalize the insults and absurd accusationsand take it all personally.
So, does that mean service organizations should not hire nice people? Definitely not. Instead, they should be looking for, and enabling, a set of skills which we call the Control Quotient (CQ). We’ve learned that one huge key to customer service performance is for reps to have the ability to bounce back from a negative or emotionally-challenging experience with one customer, and then be able to start fresh (just seconds later) with the next customer. Read More »