Nice is not enough. Can we just finally say it. Can we finally just acknowledge that “nice” doesn’t build performance, loyalty or respect.

Is there anything more annoying that calling a customer service person, a really nice customer service person, and spending hours trying to get some resolution with nothing in return but apologies, niceness, excuses and putoffs.

Or to hear, “I am just a customer service person” after 30 minutes when she finally has met the screening criteria to pass you to a technical support person who would rather be infected by the king of all viruses than speak with a customer?

Can’t we just get to a manager who cares about results instead of how to calm down an irate customer. I have almost never been irate when I encounter a problem until I get into the customer service process. I don’t know how I have survived some of those.

Customer Service is the most mis-named function in business. It is so far removed from what it was originally intended to be. Try calling a cable company, or your cellular telephone provider and see if you can figure out what customer service is.

How in the world did we get to this point? As in everything else, people sincerely want to do a good job, contribute something of value, be valued. Once again, intentions are not the issues, but the problem evolves into trying to force the square peg into the round hole.

If companies would do simple profiles on their customer service applicants and current employees, they would quickly see that the majority of problems created have a direct link to the people they put into the positions. Instead of selecting people who are ideally suited to the job, they select people and then try to fit the job around the people. After surveying hundreds of customer service people, it is apparent that the successful ones share significant behavioral traits and that the problematic ones share others that are just as predictive.

If every business owner took a few minutes to make an anonymous call to their customer service department, or their receptionist, to experience the reality of what the customer faces, customer service would be viewed in a very different context. There are ideal traits for dealing with customers and the people who have those thrive in the position and so does the company when they are positioned correctly. Taking the time to identify these people is worth every minute in new and retained business. With profiling, this can be accomplished in minutes and for less than typical drug and credit checks. There really is no excuse not to find the best to deal with your customers.

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