Posts tagged ‘customer service personality’

August 26, 2011

Too Much Too Young: Why Companies Shouldn’t Expect Schools to Do Their Work

Hundreds of thousands of UK 16 year olds got their GCSE results yesterday with record grades reported yet again.  The vast majority of these will be welcomed by further education establishments in September as they begin working towards higher level academic or vocational qualifications.

But for those who choose not to progress in education the welcome from employers is less warm.  The most recent quarterly survey of the labour market by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development released on Tuesday this week suggests that employers are choosing to recruit from the wider European Union, claiming that they are better skilled to take on the roles available than young people from the UK.  In fact, only 12% of employers are interested in recruiting 16 year olds – a drop of 25% since last year.

The CIPD reports that employers believe that school leavers lack the necessary levels of literacy and numeracy required, and also that they do not have sufficient customer service or communication skills.

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March 4, 2011

Customer Service Orientation

No1 in the series on aspects of Customer Service Personality

Of all the facets of personality that are fundamental to outstanding customer service delivery, Customer Service Orientation is arguably the most elemental.  By that I mean, even if an employee has every other quality in abundance, if they yet lack Customer Service Orientation, they may struggle to deliver excellent customer service. 

For example, a customer service representative could be highly resilient, have a strong drive to achieve and possess a good degree of interpersonal understanding, but if they do not also have a real commitment to customer service and a motivation to please the customer, when more challenging customer interactions occur, they may find that they cannot effectively tune into or deliver what customers seem to want.  

Not only that, but it tends to be very clear to customers when a customer service representative is particularly high or low on Customer Service Orientation. It determines both effort and time given to listening and trying to help the customer and so tends to be a primary feature of the customer service interaction for customers.  Because of this, it is likely to be one of the most significant contributors to how the customer feels about their contact with the organisation and has the potential to shape their overall evaluation of the organisation.

What Exactly is Customer Service Orientation?

Customer Service Orientation, or by some of its other names, Service Orientation, Customer Focus, Customer Excellence etc, is the psychological manifestation of  the belief that customers and their perspectives are of the highest value and consequence in an organisation. 

Any description of Customer Service Orientation would therefore draw on values, feelings, attitudes and preferred patterns of responsive and proactive behaviour that predispose an individual to the delivery of outstanding customer service. 

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February 7, 2011

Is there a kind of person who will always be better at customer service?

It is clear that organisational culture, training and management practices and systems contribute greatly to the quality of an organisation’s customer service. 

Unfortunately however, over time, even the most motivated, resilient and helpful people can lose the will to deliver excellent service if an organisation fails to champion, encourage and reward employees who prioritise customer satisfaction.  

Likewise, no amount of direction, support, incentivisation or motivational speeches will lead to excellent service provision, if the jobs are filled with people who don’t have the natural inclination or the personality to make customers happy.  

People can learn the right way to do things and can be empowered to make decisions that will meet each customer’s needs.  But having an instinctive feeling for what will help, a knack for tuning into the needs and perspectives of all kinds of customer and a drive to keep working out solutions are most likely to be instinctive and enduring traits that can take years to develop, if at all. 

The characteristics that makes one customer service provider outshine another are almost always related to their personality, values and attitudes and it means that some people are naturally better suited to customer service roles. 

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