Tailoring Customer Service and Support to Different Personalities


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Fess up, now! There some customers you just love to talk to and others that you can’t wait to get off the line, right? Of course there are some customers who are just downright cranky and rude, but barring those grouches, there’s a reason why you relate better to some people than to others. To sum it up, it’s easy for us to do business with people who are like us. For example, if I want to get to get a quick answer and a customer service rep has one for me, I’m happy. However, if I get a CSR who want to chit-chat about unrelated topics, I quickly become quite annoyed.

Carl Jung, one of the fathers of modern psychology, developed a theory of psychological types. The idea is that if we can identify others’ preferences and then modify our behavior, we’ll all get along better, prevent misunderstandings, and accomplish more. In the example above, if the sales or support agent can identify my personality type, then the agent can temper his or her need to build a relationship and get down to business. I’ll then leave the call as a satisfied customer.

Of course, this is overly simplified, but the theory works so well that a number of companies have created proprietary instruments and training programs around it. NASA even got into the game, using The Process Communication Model, to help predict how astronauts would jell in a capsule together.

Salespeople have long known about the power of adjusting their personality to that of their various customers. These concepts are now moving into the customer service and support realm and rapidly becoming a trend.

For example, on the high-tech front, ELoyalty uses speech recognition technology to compile personality profiles of callers and match them with a representative who works best with that personality type. Each time a customer calls back, the system uses the existing profile to deepen and enrich the profile. According to eLoyalty, one banking client saw the attrition rate among customers struggling with the most serious issues drop from 7% to 1%. Another saw their J.D. Power rating improve.

Other systems you may be familiar with are Meyers-Briggs, DiSC, or Insights. One we particularly like is WorkTraits. It assesses not only personality traits, but core convictions and has some great back-end tools for use on the job. When paired with training, role plays, and job aids to help agents identify caller types and know what to do when selling or providing service, great results can be achieved.

Are your agents treating your customers the way they want to be treated? Look into one of these systems today. And don’t be surprised if you see WorkTraits wrapped into a course here at Impact soon.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Peggy Carlaw
Peggy Carlaw is the founder of Impact Learning Systems. Impact helps companies develop and implement customer service strategies to improve the customer experience. Their consulting services and training programs help organizations create a customer-focused culture while producing measurable business results. Peggy is also the author of three books published by McGraw-Hill including Managing and Motivating Contact Center Employees.


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