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CUSTOMER SERVICE: Hire more of “the controller” type

Customer service is getting more difficult because technology siphons off the easy customer contacts.  Customer complaints that are escalated to a human being are, by definition, harder to handle.  Yet, at the same time, customer service staff tend to lack appropriate training, so attrition rates are on the rise.

The authors studied customer service reps in different countries and in different industries.  They found that there are seven categories of personality types that reps fall into – the controller, the rock, the accomodator, the empathizer, the hard worker, the innovator, and the competitor.  The personality type judged the most successful was “the controller”, yet managers were found to be more likely to hire empathizers.

This article advises on how to hire “controllers” and how an organization can take advantage of “controller” skills and mindset.

Interesting customer service metric: Cost per live service contact averaged about $7 in 2009 and nearly $10 in 2014 – a 38 percent increase.  (This is a general statistic – not health care specific.)

Source: Dixon, M., and others. (2016, January-February). Kick-ass customer service: Consumers want results – not sympathy. Harvard Business Review, 95(1), 110-117. Click here for publisher’s website: https://hbr.org/2017/01/kick-ass-customer-service  Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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